My son is 13 now and although I haven't had the pleasure of reading to him at night for many years (oh treasure those times!), we do both now settle down to read our separate books together and we do recommend books to one another. We had quite a fight over who got custody of Hunger Games when he was reading that! He used to want to take it to school and I wanted to read it myself! Now it's half term and I'm really looking forward to the family snuggling up with their books on the inevitable wet afternoons. Reading is a joy, it allows the imagination to thrive: give your kid the gift of escapism this half term.
When I was younger I definitely had a favourite genre of books - magic! I liked to escape to different worlds and different lands and I had a number of favourites such as Enid Blyton's The Wishing Chair and The Enchanted Tree series, but my all time favourite was Bedknobs and Broomsticks by Mary Norton. The story focuses on three children who go to stay with their aunt in the country and they find that the lady next door is not all she seems.
When I was little, my sister and I loved to sit on my nana's old bed, which reminded me of the bed that features in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and we would imagine that we were up there flying, sailing to different lands. It was incredibly exciting at the time. I was lucky enough when I was little that I did have stories read to me at bed time but actually I really enjoyed reading to myself and I thought reading was something very private, very secret and that only I knew about it, I really enjoyed that.
I think Mary Norton was incredibly clever in this book because she starts it with the sentence where she tells us that Carrie was about your age, which is a lovely way to involve a child and involve a reader and I remember thinking that Carrie could be my best friend because she was about my age after all. So she was definitely my favourite character. She was an older sister as well and she had two younger brothers, whereas actually in real life I was the younger sister so there was always this sort of glamour about an older sister - I thought she was incredibly exciting.
My favourite scenes were definitely when the children take off and have adventures on the bed and they're flying through the sky and find themselves in different parts of the world, and even different parts of time. What I loved most about this book is that these kids were out exploring on their own. The idea of taking off and being somewhere else is an absolutely stupendous idea and I think that the only thing that can really do that, is books!
Adele Parks is supporting Amazon Family to inspire children and families to enjoy reading together. Watch Adele's exclusive film at www.amazon.co.uk/amazonfamilyauthors
Adele has proven to be one of the UK's most-loved and biggest-selling women's fiction writers. She's sold over two million copies of her work in the UK alone and is translated into 25 different languages. She's published 12 novels in 12 years, all of which have been Sunday Times bestsellers. Her most recent title 'The State We're In' is available at Amazon.co.uk
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