Books Elma Family Kitty Reading what we're reading

My Mummy Says {what we’re reading}


Growing up on the coast we spent a lot of our summers at the beach. There were the quick trips down to the shingle strip nearest our house for an afternoon bathe, or the summer when we borrowed a Topper (small dinghy, fits on a roof rack) and sailed out from the beach along the bay with at least one passenger perched on the foredeck cuddled up to the mast trying not to lean back too far and turn us into a temporary submarine.

And then there were the trips to the beaches with a capital B. Not big beaches in the way that Bournemouth would be a big beach, mile after mile of sand and suncreamed people on every spare inch, but Beaches because they were somewhere to go for the whole day. Lannacombe, Gara Rock, Black Cove, Bantham, they all required a little planning (is it a day for surfboard? or buckets and spades? or both? Should we take the boules or the cricket?) and a lot of pack lunch.

We had our favourite spots to pitch camp on each depending on tide and height of sand and the routine was always fairly similar; mark out our ‘spot’, then peel off into bathers and go for a swim or a surf as soon as possible, followed by a little running around to warm up again and then lunch.

It was a pattern followed more or less but just about every family up and down the beach and as the remnants of packed lunches were gathered up again and the parents settled down to read the paper or a book or have a snooze with the strict instruction that no one was to go back in the sea for an hour while their lunches settled, we children started to drift together, and, in the way that only truly works when you’re under 10, within five minutes we’d all be new best friends, all working together to dam the stream, or make a really big ball castle that someone’s Daddy would be encouraged to join in with to do the all important tunnel through the middle.

We were inseparable, right up until the end of the day, when we’d all go our separate ways soon to forget names and faces, only the enjoyment lingering in our memories.

If it all sounds like we spent the summer straight out of an Enid Blyton book, well (a) perhaps, and (b) no ginger beer – but it was awesome!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life - What we're Reading - My Mummy Says

And it’s those memories that came to mind when I picked up My Mummy Says because it’s the story of a trip to the seaside for two little ones and their Mummies.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life - What we're Reading - My Mummy Says

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life - What we're Reading - My Mummy Says

There’s all the planning and packing and travelling that I remember, the excitement of arriving, and the feel of the sand under your toes, the friendships made, and the sleepy journey home, and while I knew Elma would love it (because it has pages, which is her primary, and frequently sole requirement in a book at the moment), it’s Kitty who’s claimed it as bedtime story this week.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life - What we're Reading - My Mummy Says

It’s a great bedtime story, it ends at a bedtime, with sleepy little ones tucked up dreaming of sandy toes and buckets and spades, and the words, and pacing are all the gentle lullaby of the sea, combined with softly coloured illustrations, and perhaps just a little bit of that retro feel.

After all, if I can’t get the girls to the beach, the least I can do is have them longing for it!

Space for the Butterflies: What We're Reading

If you missed out last week then do go and take a peek at  Anne-Marie’s review of Blast Off, a tortoise and hare for the space race age perhaps! And Vickie shared the brilliant tale of a frog-collector turned dog fancier who decided that in fact, a duck was his perfect new best friend in Wanted: The perfect pet!

If you have a favourite, please do share it with us; each linky stays open for a week so there’s plenty of time to join in. And so, without further ado, it’s over to you!

You Might Also Like

  • Katie @mummydaddyme 29/04/2014 at 12:07 pm

    Ah this one looks lovely Carie, I really like the illustrations.

    • Carie 29/04/2014 at 8:55 pm

      Thank you – they’re so sweet, they’re definitely what pulled me to the book when I saw it on the shelf, and then I was hooked as soon as I saw the story!

  • Claire @ Great British Family 29/04/2014 at 12:50 pm

    I have always wanted to live near the coast and after reading about your childhood memories I want to even more. This book looks lovely too. I may have to get it as the next best thing plus we are lucky enough to be able to go and stay on Anglesey several times a year.

    • Carie 29/04/2014 at 8:53 pm

      I’ve never been to Anglesey but I hear it has something of the same magic as Devon so on that basis, yes you do need to add it to the wish list!

  • preeta samarasan 29/04/2014 at 1:27 pm

    Your description of your childhood beach days reminds me not of Enid Blyton, but of Shirley Hughes 🙂 . It does make me long for an English coast (any one!), either way.

    • Carie 29/04/2014 at 8:48 pm

      Isn’t that funny – we were quite into Shirley Hughes as children – I definitely remember the My Naughty Little Sister books, and the little sister in question had a good collection of Alfie books!

  • Anna-Marie 29/04/2014 at 8:09 pm

    This looks wonderful Carie! The illustrations are gorgeous and looks like the book would fit in really well here!

    • Carie 29/04/2014 at 8:45 pm

      Thank you – I know its a little young for your two, but I think they might just love it anyway!

  • Lauren 29/04/2014 at 10:55 pm

    Your reminiscing reminds me a lot of my beach days as a child. We lived on the South coast (I still do in fact) and I know exactly what you mean about being best of friends, and then suddenly you’re home and have forgotten all about them the next day!
    Will try and link up to this in the future!

    • Carie 05/05/2014 at 8:35 am

      It’s definitely a quirk of children at the seaside that I’ve not really seen anywhere else – and please do link up, it’s always fun seeing what other books people have discovered!

  • Vickie 02/05/2014 at 2:15 pm

    Another lovely choice Carie. It’s making me long for a beach holiday in the summer.


    • Carie 05/05/2014 at 12:33 pm

      Oh me too – fortunately we’ve got one booked an I can’t wait!!

  • sally 03/05/2014 at 12:49 am

    This book looks lovely, I really like those illustrations. And we’re lucky enough to live quite near the coast so we have lots of beautiful days like those you described so well – except that I never get to snooze or read a paper after lunch! Not that I’d want to on the beach anyway, so many better things to do!

    • Carie 05/05/2014 at 12:33 pm

      I think I’ve got a few years to go before we get to the snoozing stage – but it’s what I remember my parents doing – though probably with at least one eye open for us!!