What book would you give?

I am sure you’re all aware from the many news items going around that it’s International Book Giving Day, which you can read more about here and in this article in the Guardian.

What a fantastic idea, to link up Valentine’s Day with a day for giving books! It’s done in Catalunya, but on their own version of Valentine’s Day, which is 23 April, Sant Jordi’s Day (yes, you’re right, St George’s Day – they share their patron saint with England’s!). Men given women roses and women give men books, or vice versa, or both.

Anyway, Holly and I had a think about what book we would give someone today (alas we can’t as Holly is unwell with a stomach bug and is in quarantine).

Holly’s choice: Pippi Longstocking, by Astrid Lindgren

Pippi Longstocking, as drawn by Lauren Child, courtesy of telegraph.co.uk
Pippi Longstocking, as drawn by Lauren Child, courtesy of telegraph.co.uk

“I’ve just leant my copy to a friend because I know she will like it. It’s a great book that I have just reread. I like Pippi and think she’s a good character for anybody to read – boys or girls. She’s funny and strong and I like how she just appears in a town and walks off a boat and lives on her own and can carry her horse around.’

Holly and I love this quote by Susanna Forest, in the Telegraph, in an article entitled Pippi Longstocking: The Swedish Superhero:

‘If Pippi met Voldemort she’d make mincemeat of him and then, because she’s a generous, forgiving soul, sit him down and feed him ginger snaps.’


Sam’s choice: Matilda, by Roald Dahl

One of Quentin Blake's marvelous illustrations from Matilda. Image courtesy of kelvincheong.com
One of Quentin Blake’s marvelous illustrations from Matilda. Image courtesy of kelvincheong.com


Choosing one book was hellish for this. I would have gone with Pippi too but I thought I should try to choose another book for the sake of interest. The reason I love Matilda is because of the way in which the heroine overcomes all the obstacles in her life to get the existence she wants and deserves. At no point does Dahl make her journey sad or invoke pity in the reader. Instead, he treats you to a hilarious, if somewhat black, rollercoaster ride of caricature parents and headteachers and Matilda’s ability to outsmart them all.


Now over to you! What book would you give someone today? Please share!



  1. I couldn’t do better than either of your choices. So I’ll go for something new — The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. One of the best new books I’ve read in a long time.


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