Playing by the book

Reviews of kids' books and the crazy, fun stuff they inspire us to do

Bookstart 20 – Books I’d share with 20 fictional children

Posted on | May 17, 2012 | 25 Comments

As you may know, I’ve taken the Bookstart 20 pledge to share at least 20 books this year. Now, sharing books and book ideas is what Playing by the book is all about, so what could I do to make my Bookstart 20 pledge a little bit more of a challenge?

I thought I’d start by choosing 20 books I’d share with some of the fictional children I’ve loved reading about.

Here’s where I would start…

I don’t imagine Horrid Henry would sit still to listen to a book being read, but perhaps I’d put on an audiobook of the Nicholas stories by Goscinny so he could listen whilst he plotted his next naughty deed.

I’d love to have all the Pevensie children from the books set in Narnia join me round a blazing fire whilst I read Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.

The Pevensie children

I think Sophie from The Tiger who Came to Tea would enjoy The Tiger Skin Rug by Gerald Rose.

Sophie and her tiger

I can imagine Halibut Jackson loves books and has lots of favourites already, but one that I think would make him giggle, and feel less alone is The Invisible Boy by Sally Gardner.

Halibut Jackson

Ronia

If I had a chance to slip a book into Juliet Capulet‘s hands before the end of the play, I’d give her Ronia the Robber’s Daughter by Astrid Lindgren.

If I could meet Laura Wilder (I know she isn’t really a fictional child, but nor are the books entirely factual) I would offer her Louise Erdrich’s The Birchbark House.



To Ralph and Piggy in Lord of the Flies I’d give Charlie Higson’s The Enemy.

I think Katie Morag would adore the How to train your Dragon novels by Cressida Cowell.

Katie Morag and the Isle of Berk

To Hiccup in the Cressida Cowell How to train your Dragon novels I’d give The Three Musketeers by Dumas.

I’d love to see Toby Lolness‘s eyes open so wide as he read Charlotte Voake’s A Little Guide to Trees.

Toby Lolness and a page from A Little Guide to Trees

I have a sneaking suspicion that Ottoline would probably enjoy the Amelia Bedelia books.

I hope Coriander might enjoy The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge.

I’d love to see Quenelda’s eyes flash as she reads Tell me a dragon by Jackie Morris. Quenelda is the heroine of the Dragonsdome books by Lucinda Hare and come highly recommended if you’re looking for an adrenaline packed fantasy chapter book with a strong female lead.


I’m sure Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen would make Tomas, in I believe in Unicorns by Michael Morpurgo, smile.

A library lion and a library unicorn

I can’t decide whether I’d give Immi Flotsam by David Wiesner or The Red Book by Barbara Lehman.


I’d love to give Miranda the Explorer a copy of The Fantastic Flying Journey by Gerald Durrell and Graham Percy.

For Ella Bella I’d select Ballet for Martha written by Jan Greenberg & Sandra Jordan, illustrated by Brian Floca.

I think Robert Jacklin from Jason Wallace’s Out of Shadows would recognise something in The Eye of the Wolf by Daniel Pennac, illustrated by Max Grafe and translated by Sarah Ardizzone.

Liz Pichon’s Tom Gates would love a joke book. I’d start with the classic Ha Ha Bonk Book by Janet and Allan Ahlberg and then move on from there.

And finally, to dear Daisy (who does not like peas), I’d give I Do Not Eat the Colour Green by Lynne Rickards and Margaret Chamberlain.



What books would you share with which fictional children? Do share!

And what books are you going to share with the real kids in your life? Don’t forget – if you haven’t already done so, you can take the Bookstart 20 pledge to share 20 books over the coming year.

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Comments

25 Responses to “Bookstart 20 – Books I’d share with 20 fictional children”

  1. Damyanti
    May 17th, 2012 @ 7:28 am

    Not a fictional child, but I’d give Percy the Parkeeper Johnny Morris’s Goodnight Tales, might inspire a career change.
    Damyanti recently posted..Elves meet fairies

  2. Zoe
    May 17th, 2012 @ 7:34 am

    I like it Damyanti! Actually, the challenge of keeping it to just children was bigger than I had anticipated when I came up with the idea for this post. I kept thinking of animals and grown ups which appear in children’s books – realised that in picture books especially, children are not SO common.
    Zoe recently posted..Bookstart 20 – Books I’d share with 20 fictional children

  3. Lynne Rickards
    May 17th, 2012 @ 8:04 am

    Wow – what a wonderful surprise to find my own book at the end of your wonderful list! I would be delighted if Daisy who does not eat peas got a copy of I Do Not Eat the Colour Green. Thanks for a brilliant piece full of books I now want to investigate…

  4. Zoe
    May 17th, 2012 @ 9:07 am

    Hi Lynne :-) Glad to give you a nice surprise. This was definitely a fun way to think about how books can connect to each other – I bet librarians could come up with some great suggestions.
    Zoe recently posted..Bookstart 20 – Books I’d share with 20 fictional children

  5. Lynne Rickards
    May 17th, 2012 @ 9:21 am

    I was really taken with the cover illustration of Ronia the Robber’s Daughter and have since learned all about the artist Trina Schart Hyman (via your Wikipedia link). So many fantastic books to explore! Thanks again.

  6. Zoe
    May 17th, 2012 @ 9:23 am

    Lynne, DO DO DO read Ronia – one of my all time favourite books. Great adventure, marvellous exploration of real love. Just delicious.
    Zoe recently posted..Bookstart 20 – Books I’d share with 20 fictional children

  7. sandhya
    May 17th, 2012 @ 10:29 am

    Wow, Zoe! You have certainly outdone yourself with this post. I’m bookmarking this, and sharing it on my blog and FB page. A real treat for book-lovers.

    I would give Anne Frank (not a fictional character, of course,) a copy of Michael Morpurgo’s “The Best Christmas Present in the World.” So that she sees that what she supposed was true- that people are really the same, with similar wishes, hopes and dreams- except for that little fact of being on opposite sides of a political divide.
    sandhya recently posted..Mango memories

  8. Zoe
    May 17th, 2012 @ 11:20 am

    Hi Sandhya, Is this the story?
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2003/dec/23/booksforchildrenandteenagers.christmas
    Brought goosebumps to my skin.

  9. sandhya
    May 17th, 2012 @ 11:26 am

    Yes, it is, Zoe. It is available in book form. I think it is based on a real incident in the trenches in WW1. There is also a wonderful movie based on it.
    sandhya recently posted..Mango memories

  10. Library Mice
    May 17th, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

    I think this is the film (Joyeux Noel): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0424205/
    Lovely post, and I must read Ronia!
    Library Mice recently posted..BLOG TOUR: Ruth Eastham presents her all time favourite War stories

  11. Zoe
    May 17th, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

    Thanks Sandhya, I really don’t know Morpurgo’s books as well as I should.
    Ah Library mice – thanks for link .ANd yes, read Ronia!
    Zoe recently posted..Bookstart 20 – Books I’d share with 20 fictional children

  12. sandhya
    May 17th, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

    There is a non-fiction book on WW1 by Paul Dowswell (Usborne books) “The First World War”, written in a very lucid way for 8-12 yr olds, that has a whole chapter on this incident. It happened on Christmas eve, 1914, just around the beginning of the war. German and British soldiers, on opposite sides, first began singing carols, and soon they joined together in the no man’s land in between to exchange provisions to celebrate. Over the next few days, there were even ball games played between the two sides.

    Strict orders were issued the following Christmas to both sides forbidding a repeat of the previous Christmas’s goodwill. Of course this was anyway lost in the following years after carnage on both sides.
    sandhya recently posted..Mango memories

  13. Bookstart 20 – Books I’d share with 20 fictional children « childtasticbooks
    May 17th, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

    [...] Bookstart 20 – Books I’d share with 20 fictional children. Share this:FacebookLinkedInEmailTwitterPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this [...]

  14. Sam
    May 17th, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

    Thanks very much for this lovely article. I have just linked to it on my site. It was good to see a Daniel Pennac book on here – his stories for children don’t seem to be so well known. We read Dog and enjoyed it, and his Rights of the Reader is a wonderful read.
    Sam recently posted..Bookstart 20 – Books I’d share with 20 fictional children

  15. choxbox
    May 17th, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

    What a lovely post Zoe! Loved your choices for the fictional children I know, and will explore the ones I do not yet – thanks!

    And when I first saw Miranda the Explorer I thought of the Fantastic Flying Journey too! We have a different cover from the one you have, and it features Great-uncle Lancelot and the children in the balloon – even my kids immediatly noticed the similarity :)

  16. Darshana Khiani
    May 17th, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

    Lovely post. I hadn’t heard of or read many of these books. Will need to rectify that immediately. Thanks!
    Darshana Khiani recently posted..Interview: Joanna Marple on uTales

  17. Zoe
    May 17th, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

    Hi Darshana, if you are inspired to write a similar post I’d be v interested to see what you come up with – my post was definitely highly influenced by things I’ve read in the past year or so.

    Hey Choxbox, sometimes I wonder if you already have ALL of the books I recommend!!
    Zoe recently posted..Bookstart 20 – Books I’d share with 20 fictional children

  18. se7en
    May 17th, 2012 @ 11:16 pm

    I totally … totally love this post – I have to print not out and cherish all the connections!!! So many favorites here – just totally love it!!!
    se7en recently posted..Se7en Discover the Great Artists: Marc Chagall

  19. Zoe
    May 18th, 2012 @ 7:37 am

    Thanks Se7en – I’m sure your family could come up with a great list of books for fictional kids – do let me know if you decide to play the game :)
    Zoe recently posted..Bookstart 20 – Books I’d share with 20 fictional children

  20. Yvonne Keen
    May 18th, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

    As with all the other comments, you have come up with yet another inspiring piece. I salute you. A superb collection of books, all wonderfully connected. Yvonne

  21. Stacey
    May 18th, 2012 @ 11:57 pm

    Fun, fun, fun!!
    Stacey recently posted..Testing

  22. choxbox
    May 19th, 2012 @ 7:22 pm

    Oh no I have not, and now I did read one wonderful book thanks to you – Toby Alone :)

    p.s.: Did you get my mail?

  23. sandhya
    May 20th, 2012 @ 7:00 am

    Have just ordered Rania. Thanks for the recommendation, Zoe.

    Seconding your view that choxbox seems to have all books!
    sandhya recently posted..Mango memories

  24. Zoe
    May 20th, 2012 @ 9:25 am

    Choxbox – yes, sorry. Have just replied. Glad you enjoyed Toby Alone – I’ve almost finished reading it to M as her bedtime story.

    Sandhya – hooray! Let me know what you think of the book.

  25. Helen D
    May 20th, 2012 @ 10:27 pm

    I wonder if My Naughty Little Sister and Lola from Charlie and Lola would enjoy each other’s adventures…

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