Childhood Books and Creeping Crooks ❤
I was reminiscing the other day, about my favorite books from my childhood. We all have those favorite books that we have read over and over again and I have revisited my favorites even into my adulthood. In fact I have even gone and recently bought again, a book that I loved so dearly as a child. It got destroyed one day and was never replaced, which I was mortified by at the time. So here are my top five favorite children’s books from my childhood.
1. Mr. Creep the Crook by Allan Ahlberg
Mr. Creep the Crook is a bad man, and all his family are bad too - even Growler, his dog. But when he escapes from jail and heads to the seaside, he finds out that being bad is not such a good idea after all. .
Oh how I loved this book, the characters were horrible, the epitome of bad. They lived half their lives in hideouts the other half in Jail but, after a while Mr. Creep gets fed up with a life of crime and decides to start being good, the whole family decide to start being a lot nicer, all except for the dog who steals sausages. It was funny, the pictures were great. I loved this book so much, it would come to bed with me and I would carry it everywhere, until one day my mum put the chip pan fryer on top of it!
Everyone was asleep in the house, except for me! I realised that I had left my favorite book in the kitchen, so I took myself downstairs to find it. When I got into the kitchen, I found it at the back of the worktop under the old-fashioned dial telephone that hung on the wall, but my mum had put the chip fryer on top of it! To be fair to my mum, only part of the chip fryer was on my book and she had put the fryer right at the back of the worktop, out of reach to cool down. I was of course rather annoyed that she had plonked the chip fryer on top of my beloved book and at six years old I was terribly independent, knew my own mind and already had plans to have my own house, job, credit card and world domination, but first I needed my book!
I pulled over a chair from the kitchen table and climbed up so that I could reach over and push the fryer over, what I hadn’t factored in was how heavy the chip fryer was! It was one of those big 1980s metal and plastic type of fryers, it was huge and could have fried enough chips to feed a squad of orks! It was black and copper in color if I remember and when I tried to move it, it wouldn’t budge. If I had been sensible I would have waited and asked my mum to move it, but I’m six years old, not terribly worldly in such matters concerning the weight of a chip fryer and I want my book! I give the fryer another shove and this time it moves but to my horror, it somehow tips over and the oil pours out of it like the flood gates being opened on a large damn. It of course went all over my book, the worktop and the floor. My parents had quite a large kitchen, which lead out to a conservatory and a shower room, the oil flowed like a river, through the kitchen and beyond. It didn’t care where it went as it flowed under the washing machine, the oven, and kitchen table and under the door! I stood there in shock at what I had done with the only thought in my head that a six year old would have “mum is going to really tell me off”. I had a cunning plan though, oh yes it was a brilliant plan and it was so easy, mum wasn’t going to find out because I would stop her from going into the kitchen. The innocent ideas of children, I didn't have a hope in hell of stopping my mum from going into the kitchen I couldn't avoid the oil spill and neither would my dad.
I went upstairs to find my dad getting up to go and make a cup of tea. I tried to tell him not to go in the kitchen that I would make the tea but he would he listen, no of course he didn't listen. Wearing his bathrobe he put one bare foot on that oil covered floor and slid from one end of the kitchen to the other, through the conservatory and landed up in the showroom, which considering the circumstances was probably the best place to be. Needless to say he wasn’t happy, mum had to use a whole industrial size box of washing powder from Bejam to clean up the oil, my book got thrown in the bin never to be replaced and the only thing that got away scott free was the chip pan fryer that lived, to fry another day, even Bejam didn’t survive and got sold off to Iceland!
I’ve only just replaced the book!
2. The Worst Witch Series – Jill Murphy
These books were fantastic! I re-read them again and again and again and then I read them three years ago and they were still as wonderful as they were when I was at school. Telling the story of Mildred Hubble and how she navigates her way through school at Miss cackles Academy of witchcraft. She’s clumsy and scruffy and always in trouble for being late or accidently doing something wrong, but ultimately she always saves the day. When I was at school I identified with Mildred quite a lot. She was picked on by Ethel and I was also picked on by girls at school. Miss Hardbroom was always giving her a hard time and I to had a teacher that did nothing but take any opportunity to ridicule me. I felt like Mildred Hubble except I didn't have her friend Maud or access to spells, which would have been immensely helpful in turning the rat faced girls into toads and the horror of a teacher into a slug. Alas Transfiguration was not on my timetable of lessons, which was such a shame.
The Worst Witch books though were beautifully written, full of adventures and got my imagination running riot, they kept me going through school when I had tough days.
3. Fantastic Mr. Fox – Roald Dahl
I still remember the Boris and Bunce and Bean rhyme telling of the three horrible dim-witted farmers, who did everything in their power to dig out Mr. Fox and oh what a fantastic fox he was. Roald Dahl is one of my all-time favorite authors, the man was a genius! By the end of the book I wanted to live with all the animals under the ground and help them steal the cooked hams and try the cider than they had stolen from the farmers cellars.
One farmer has a chicken farm and eats chicken livers (yuck), the other had a duck and goose farm and the last one made cider.
After I had read the book, someone bought me an assortment of stories on cassette tape and one of them was Fantastic Mr. Fox, I listened to it almost every night!
4. The Twits – Roald Dahl
This has to be one of the best books ever written! I read it again about a year ago and
still loved it just as much as I did when I was a kid. Mr. &Mrs. Twit are so revoltingly horrible to everyone and each other.
The nasty tricks they play on each other with Mrs. Twit getting the shrinks and Mr.Twit finding his wife's glass eye in his drink. They get their just deserts in the end with the Mugglewumps using the glue that they paint on the tree to catch birds to stick all their furniture to the ceiling and to the Twit's heads so that when they convince themselves they are upside down they then can't move from their head standing positions, get the shrinks and disappear into nothing! Roald Dahl was right though in that if you have ugly thoughts it shows on your face and you become ugly and twisted but if you have nice thoughts they will shine out of your face like moonbeams even if you have crooked teeth, a wonky nose and have a wart on your chin, you will still be beautiful. Wonderful book! I'm sure one of my teachers was Mrs Twit.
5. Mr.Mean – Roger Hargreaves
Can you see a theme here I like all the books about rotten people. It's because as characters they stand out more and are interesting. I loved the Mr. Men and Little Miss books, I had tons of them but my favorite without doubt was book number 19 Mr. Mean.
It made me laugh that he was so mean that he gave his brother one piece of coal for Christmas! He had huge amounts of gold that he would sit and count every night, but would never spend any of it so his house was falling to bits and his furniture was made from orange boxes. He was terribly mean and grumpy to everyone that in the end a wizard taught him a lesson by turning all of his gold into potatoes and cast a spell on him so that every time he was mean, bits of him would turn into vegetables. In the end he was a changed man and bought his brother a much better Christmas present, two bits of coal!
These books were great though they always had a moral compass to them.
I have so many more books that I really love, but these are definitely the ones that have really stuck with me over the years and invoke memories of my childhood. I still wish I had access to those transfiguration spells though!