Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Not for Kids Only, aka why should they have all the fun..

Summer time, oddly enough more indoors because of heat and humidity, and a lot of reading temptations show up.  When I'm not doing a mental workout with Jane Hirshfield's essays and the anthology of Kierkegaard, I'm reading stuff like this:

Perfectly wonderful, not exactly for kids, very penetrating social critique and very funny too.  I have to read more of her.

And then I've finally got around to Swallows and Amazons, by Arthur Ransome, a series of books really for kids, where two families of kids have adventures involving sailing, pretending to be pirates, diving for pearls, learning to swim, camping and cooking and tracking, all out of the reach of adults.  For kids a great escape form of reading.  

I never read kids' books when I was one, very little access,in  wartime no publishing for kids, and a house full of older brothers school texts, Dickens, Buchan, Belloc, GK Chesterton, through which I plowed at an early age.  Heck, I was an adult before I encountered Beatrix Potter! 

I could read well years before I was old enough to have a library card.  Dogonart used to kindly bring me back books on her card, though, and that's how I read Mary Poppins and other items. So she did what she could to provide more age appropriate material, and I still thank her to this day for doing this. And for showing me how to make a chest of drawers out of three matchboxes and three beads. Drawer pulls, you know.

Anyway, last week I found Swallows and Amazons on CD, great to listen while I do other stuff, and it's actually very good, even for an aging adult.  Which just shows you that a good story is a good story for practically any age of audience.  And that the later years are a great time to fill in the blanks from childhood, including reading lovely kids' books.  And yes, I now know who Mrs Tiggywinkle is!  oddly, I recently did one of those BBC quizzes about which Potter animal are you, and found I was Mrs. T.  Very apt.


  1. Well Hello Mrs. T.! Swallows & Amazons was one of my childhood favourites. Thanks for reminding me...I'll see if libe has audio available for download.

  2. Sorry about the lack of comments lately - for some reason my computer time has been limited. Children's books are wonderful, provided you discount some of the gruesome fairy tales that are enough to frighten the socks off adults much less children.


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