Today’s post is: My favourite childhood book.
My favourite book when I was little was the Brambly Hedge series. I loved it – the adventures of Wilfred and Poppy and the rest were, and still are, totally magical.
I treated myself to a brand new copy of the complete anthology a few years ago, and I re-read all the stories in one sitting. I had forgotten how magical and how genteel the stories were. They’re a far cry from some of the children’s books of today.
Jill Barklem passed away in 2017 and throughout the Brambly Hedge fandom (yes, we exist, and there’s a lot of us all of a certain age) there was a massive sadness. Her creations touched a lot of people’s hearts and souls, including mine. I of course had to re-read the book the day I found out she had died, and I did so with a tear in my eye. What an amazingly talented woman she was, to create this little perfect world and share it with us.
I recommended to a friend with a young daughter that she should get a copy of the Brambly Hedge books, and was met with the response ‘but they’re not relevant any more, what does anyone care about a bunch of field mice?’ which I think is a terrible attitude. The mice and their world offer a peaceful escape in a busy society that’s dominated by technology. To go on an adventure with Wilfred and his friends is a step back from our smart phones and the shambles that Britain seems to be in at the moment. Where better to forget that there’s a knife crime epidemic, or that Brexit is a Thing, than in a wonderful world where there’s very little danger beyond the standard ‘mild peril’?
There was also a Brambly Hedge stop-motion animated series, which I remember being aired in the mid-90’s. I think we had that on VHS! I have just found out that there’s a DVD compilation of all the episodes, so after I’m done typing this post, I’m straight on Amazon to order it. I fancy a bit of nostalgia.
What was your favourite childhood book, readers? Let me know in the comments!