Tuesday’s Choice: Shirley Hughes

One of our favourite activities is reading and as I aim to keep the budget down and the house (relatively) uncluttered, it goes without saying that one of our favourite outings is to the local library.

We are very blessed with two reasonably local libraries that are pretty well stocked. With our allowance of 12 books each, we generally have an overflowing box of delights at home. Even better, we recently discovered that the mobile library parks near us on a Wednesday afternoon so that could cut down on bus trips with my bag full to breaking point tipping the buggy over. You do have to time your trip well though or you may find yourself squashed amongst the continual stream of school children as they come to select their two new books. In a mobile library, anything more than two is definitely a crowd!

Tuesday’s Choice will hopefully be a weekly slot for me to record some of our favourite books and perhaps inspire you to pick up a new book or share with us one of your own recent (or not so recent!) discoveries.

I am kicking off with probably my favourite children’s author right now, Shirley Hughes. I suppose it is possible that there are one or two of you out there who have never read anything by her, if that is the case then do go dig something out! I particularly love her rhymes (so satisfying) and rich vocabulary, but also the pictures so full of detail – each one is worth pouring over for a while to make sure you haven’t missed anything. It is also lovely to read about brothers and sisters who get on well together for a change.

Our first encounter was with her Nursery Collection before we went to Guadeloupe, and we got it out so often that LissaLou knew it by heart! It is a collection of poems about very ordinary things, such as colours and sounds, but so beautifully written.

 I am sorry that our libraries don’t have it, but instead we have been enjoying  the Alfie books, about a little pre-schooler called Alfie and his baby/toddler sister Annie Rose. My favourite is Annie Rose is my sister, which is such a lovely, tender and positive portrayal of a sibling relationship.

Another favourite which we were delighted to receive second hand (and missing the first page! we must copy the poem out sometime…) from a friend is Out and About, taking you through the seasons. It has a double page picture of each season which we gaze at for a while and lots of lovely adjectives to describe wind, water, mud and sand. LissaLou and I love “Misty in the morning, raw and nippy” and this along with the poem “Cold” was recited many times during the winter. So we were delighted to read the line “Sunshine at bedtime, why isn’t it dark?” tonight following the change to British summer time.

Probably her most famous book, Dogger is a touching book about losing something precious (oh, can we relate to that!) and the sacrifice of a loving sister to get it back again. If you are looking for a simple way to explain redemption, this is it!

I could go on, but I shall stop myself there! Do let me know your recommendations this week (adult or children, fiction or non, I am not fussy!) and as you take the time to soak yourself in a good book either on your own or with an undoubtedly appreciative child, happy reading!


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