The Wolves of Willoughby Chase – Joan Aiken

the wolves of willoughby chaseI was ill a few weeks ago and couldn’t concentrate on my current book, so picked up this old favourite of mine from my childhood instead.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase is packed with all of the right ingredients to make a smashing children’s adventure. When Sir Willoughby and his wife leave for a long trip abroad, they arrange for their daughter and niece to be looked after by a distant relative, the perfectly named Miss Slighcarp. With a name like that, it’s no surprise when the stern governess turns out to be a villainous and scheming woman with a plot to steal all of Sir Willoughby’s money. The two girls, Bonnie and Sylvia suffer much cruelty at the hands of their ghastly governess and later in a nearby orphanage workhouse. However, the girls are resourceful and with the help of Simon, a goose boy who lives in the woods, they plan their escape.  Continue reading

Tales of the Greek Heroes – Roger Lancelyn Green

Over the past year, when reading certain books, I’ve felt as though I am missing something. The feeling first started when I read Donna Tartt’s The Secret History a few years ago, but I always assumed that I was just too young to fully understand the book. But more recently, when reading Ali Smith’s Girl Meets Boy, The Magus by John Fowles and many other novels which hint at or are inspired by Greek mythology, I have felt completely out of my depth. References that other people seem to fully understand fly right over my head.

I don’t remember learning much about Greek mythology when I was at school, which I find quite shocking seeing as it plays such a vital role in our culture – especially art and literature; two subjects I have an interest in. Wanting to catch up, I immediately researched and decided to buy a well-respected translation of Ovid’s MetamorphosisContinue reading

The Owl Service – Alan Garner

I bought this book on Amazon in a frenzy of excitement after reading some reviews raving about how fantastic it was. When I settled myself down comfortably to read The Owl Service, I thought I was in for a real treat, so maybe my expectations were a bit too high from the very beginning.

Supposedly a book to be enjoyed by both children and adults, the idea behind The Owl Service is wonderful. It’s set in a secluded cottage in a beautiful valley in Wales. This is the perfect setting for eerie and magical happenings and when there are mysterious scratching noises coming from the attic, the reader can’t help but feel a bit of a shiver down the spine. Continue reading

Top 5 Animals in Children’s Literature

Children’s literature is simply packed with animals. They can range from loyal pets to dangerous baddies, silly creatures to courageous heroes and most importantly, there are no limits to the imagination. They can walk on two feet, talk and dress up in boots, glasses and waistcoats.

With a world out there of wonderful animal characters, it is difficult to pick just five, but here are a few of my favourites.

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Top 5 Books That Inspired You To Read As A Child

As a child, I remember hours of car journeys with my dad playing a certain game called Top 5 Favourite. It was more interesting than Eye Spy and more exciting as I really believed my dad had made it up. It’s only in the past few years that he has admitted that he stole the idea from Nick Hornby‘s High Fidelity. However, I still love to play this game on long car journeys.

Recently, someone asked me why I loved to read so much and how they could get there child to love reading. I thought about it and came up with my Top 5 Book That Inspired Me To Read As A Child. Continue reading