Of all of the books on our bookcase, right now this is Kitty’s most absolute favouritest ever ever favourite book.
And it’s not even one I chose for her.
She’d picked up a rather tired and battered looking board book copy in the bookshop the other week with a squeal of delighted recognition and ran to H with it;
“Look Daddy! Charliecookfavouritebook! I have it at [her nursery]!”
She really really wanted it, but the only copy in the shop was that worn board book, and it wasn’t even worn in an “ask for the discount and don’t mind the scuffs” kind of a way, it was more “will need regular application of sellotape”. For me, part of the fun of a new book is the tactile experience, the smooth new pages and the nice crisp page turns, before it becomes all worn and dog-eared and comfy-familiar, like an old battered pair of slippers, and I just couldn’t bring myself to buy a less than perfect copy.
And so we waited, and plotted, and put in an online order, and on Saturday morning it arrived. All new book smell and shiny cover.
And since then I’ve read it more times than I can count, even if barefoot. And even when I stop Kitty takes over, turning the pages and reading a pretty decent approximation of the story to whoever will listen, and everyone else who isn’t.
It’s a good thing it’s a fabulous Julia Donaldson. In fact it could even vie for the top spot, although I do love Room on the Broom, and I’ll always have a soft spot for The Gruffalo.
It’s a book within a book within a book within a book; Charlie reads about a pirate; who reads about Goldilocks; who reads about a knight telling jokes to a dragon, and on it goes, right back to the beginning and Charlie Cook. It’s got that same sort of fascination as propping two mirrors up facing each other and peeking into infinity.
And of course Axel Scheffler’s illustrations are full of humour, and little jokes, from The Bearo Annual so beloved of Baby Bear, to the Prison Library stamp on the pages of Improving Stories for Wicked Thieves, and the advert for a governess for a little girl who can’t stop talking about aliens in the pages of her mother’s magazine. There’s always so much more than just the story on each page.
Which as I’ll be reading it just a few more gazillion times can only be a good thing!
Thank you so much to everyone who joined in last week; I’m loving spotting some of our familiar friends – and adding a few more to the ever growing wish list! Anne-Marie and her daughter at Mummy Hearts You were reading another of Kitty’s favourites, The Singing Mermaid; Claire at Great British Family shared her beautiful pictures of a very Valentine appropriate Guess How Much I Love You; Vickie from Vintage Vickie introduced me to the gorgeously illustrated NO! (which from the title alone made it onto the wish list); and Jemma at List of Lovely Things brought a tear to my eye with her recollection of reading Once their were Giants to her younger siblings now that she’s reading it to her little ones.
And if you have a favourite why not share it here; each linky will stay open for a week so there’s plenty of time to join in. And so, without further ado, it’s over to you. I’ve told you what we are reading, now tell me what we should be reading!