I am absolutely thrilled that Sam said we could fill in for her this week and we have so many things planned for you! The problem: how do you write about all the children’s books we love in a week’s worth of posts? Well, we’ve whittled down our list to some or our favourites, and we will throw in some extra bits and pieces for your entertainment. Let’s see how it goes. We may just have to send Sam on another holiday so we can write some more!


Before we begin, let me introduce ourselves. My name is Lynne. I am mum to Seth (9) and Neil (6 ½). I call both of them readers, but, as you can imagine by their ages, they approach reading in very different ways at the moment.


Seth is now a full participant in the world of reading. He reads everyday, chooses his own books (and other reading material) and talks about books with us, his friends and even our friends! I would call him a book lover and he has even recommended a few books to me that I’ve really enjoyed – and a few I haven’t (ahem) – but more on this later in the week!


Neil is just beginning his life as a reader. This year he has moved into that gloriously neon-lit world of words and I’ve watched closely as he suddenly realised he does know what that sign says on the front of that building and that he can finish a whole book all by himself. (It’s such a great stage in a reader’s life, isn’t it?) This week I hope to share with you how it feels to be a new reader through Neil’s eyes.


I guess, in conversation with others, I often say my children like books and reading, but, it would be more appropriate to say they are story lovers. Books are very much a part of our lives, but I think it is the story that holds the bigger role. Over the next few days, as you get to know us better, you will see in more detail how stories come into our daily lives in various forms, but as an introduction…


Nearly every day (occasionally we get a date night and the babysitter fills in for us!), my husband and I help to complete our children’s day with a story. Usually the story is from a book, chosen by them, but occasionally it will be a story from our memories or a personal story from our past.


Most days Seth and Neil find time in their days to read their own books to themselves or (when we’re lucky) they read to us.


But just as importantly (I think), we listen to stories on the radio or in the form of an audiobook, or we watch stories, as movies or television shows or we interact with stories in the form of games and apps.


I am absolutely convinced that in whatever form, it is the story that’s at the heart of all these activities because my favourite part of stories is getting to talk about them afterwards. I love to hear how other people (especially my children) view the same story. I love that intimate glimpse you get into who they are as people. I think talking about shared stories helps us develop our own stories about who we are and how we think about things. I even think that’s why Sam and I became friends way back when (because she loves to share stories, too!) and I think that’s why, as a family we love stories. It brings us closer together, and helps us to create OUR story.


This week, we will share some new stories with you and maybe remind you of some old stories that you once loved. We look forward to sharing them with you and I hope you’ll share your stories with us!



  1. Wise words about story, Lynne. Being a writer I tend to think about writing coming in many forms – but writing is just the medium (of course – doh!) it’s the story which is the message. I twice had the opportunity (at the Cheltenham Lit Festival) to watch a professional story teller in action. The two storytellers worked in very different ways. One told ghost stories in different rooms of a lovely, well preserved, Georgian house. The children were spellbound, even though it was two in the afternoon. The other’s stories were almost traditional folk tales (‘they went on and they went on and they came to a castle …’) and would have appealed greatly to children. But it was the last event of the festival, late at night, and we grownups became the children who were absent. We leaned forward in expectation, gasped and laughed as the story wove around us. Telly’s all right, but I hope that sort of story never leaves the world.


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