Books from Grandparents

Christmas is coming and being a writer, my thoughts turn to books. This Christmas we will have a grandchild to consider – at six months he will need help but it’s never too soon to start them on a life-long love affair with reading.

What should my husband and I choose?

My paternal grandmother often gave my older brother and I books for Christmas and since she was a fan of all things British – despite being born in Canada – she chose British books. Always an annual compendium of some sort. I remember mine as filled with short stories and comics, as well as ideas for games, puzzles and the kind of quiet pursuits that would have earned her approval. She was Victorian in her attitudes about suitable pursuits for young girls (I could go on about that but I’ll save it for another day) and I never went out with her unless my gloves were firmly on and my dress neat and clean.

What I remember receiving from my maternal grandparents are The House at Pooh Corner and When We Were Very Young both by A.A. Milne. These classic stories and poems remain popular today and I can still recite some of the poems from When We Were Very Young. I suspect my grandparents gave them to us because they had given them to my mother and uncle when they were children. My husband and I continued this tradition with our own two children.

The Tale of Mr. TodOne other series I remember are the stories of Beatrix Potter. The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, and The Tale of Two Bad Mice are familiar titles although don’t quiz me on the content of these stories. It’s been a long time since I read bedtime stories! One of Potter’s books might be perfect though – it’s called The Tale of Mr. Tod.

Did you notice the spelling of that name? Just right indeed.

What do you recommend?

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The historical fiction author behind A Writer of History...

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5 Responses

  1. Mary,
    Welcome to the world of grandmahood. It is wonderful. Books for Christmas has been a tradition in my home all my life. First my parents giving to me, then I took the tradition to my home when my husband and I married. Everyone with whom we spend Christmas Day gets a book. Everyone. Each other, I get 5-7 from my husband with a box of Whitman’s Sampler to enjoy with the books. Our children, then add children-in-law, then five grandchildren, and now a daughter-in-law’s mother, and a grown up grandchild’s boyfriend. It gets book crazy. About 7 years ago I did something different for the grandchildren and wrote an individual book for each of them. Check out my webpage and see the various titles. Each book reflects the child’s personality. They are on the first page of my website. I think you will end up doing the same someday. One of my treasured photos is of the 5 of them sitting on the sofa reading ‘their’ books. Enjoy all of the upcoming holidays with the little one.
    Julia Faye Smith

  2. Lovely post and those names brought back wonderful memories. I remember bumping down my grandmother’s steep stairs, as I believe Christopher Robin did (holding Pooh, of course). Once, as a new step-mother, I faced a moment where it seemed the world hung in balance over the choice of a book to read. And perhaps it did.

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