Books you read when you were a lad
I remember Tom’s Midnight Garden. The magic of night-time and half-lights and a friendship that bridges genders and generations. I remember Ballet Shoes, as a middle child of three girls, each one identifying with a Fossil, and how pleased and proud I was to find in Petrova the tomboy I felt. I remember Little House on the Prairie, The Hobbit, Little Women, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Peter was my first crush, sigh), the five findouters, the faraway tree and a story about two girls who swapped identities in a train station, and another about a secret garden behind an overgrown wall. I remember sneaking to the window to read by the light of the streetlamp oustide after my mother had turned the light off. I loved books as a child, still do. Which is why the Children’s Book Festival, kicking off tomorrow, makes me at once nostalgic and excited about the wealth of stories in store for young imaginations today. the festival, launched tomorrow by Philip Ardagh at Cork City Library, will run for the full month of October, and offers young readers all over the country plenty of bookish goodies, including readings, poetry performances and creative writing workshops. (More information about events near you at www.childrensbooksireland.ie). So what were the books that marked your childhood, the stories recalled, read and reread, and the ones you still remember from being young?