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23 September, 2011

Glorious Books

I use to read 'Possum in the House' to my children all the time.  We had so much fun; I would deliver the story with flare and flamboyancy much to the delight and giggles of my boys.  My husband would come in and remind me that I was trying to get the kids sleepy, not all hyped-up.  My boys can remember this story and well it’s my plan to read it to the grandchildren one day.  Just as well books last a long time.

This book was written by Kiersten Jensen and illustrated by Tony Oliver.  The book is full of beautiful drawings and when trying to research on the net to give credit where credit is due, I couldn't find much about author or illustrator.  A little bit about Tony Oliver is here and I noticed it can still be purchased via Amazon and other online book stores. I have read this book so many times that I know it by heart and have told the story heaps of times to children of friends before they pop off to bed.

One of my boys favourite stories was the one about a rabbit.  Well, it was my story not from a book, but I still remember my boys giggles when I told it.  Do you want me to tell you the story?  Yes, well here goes.

Once upon a time there were two young boys walking along a lane near a dark and scary forest (bush if you live in Australia).  They were a tiny bit frightened but they kept walking hoping to get home real soon.  As they walked along this lane up jumped a rabbit out of a hole in the ground.  Well, the boys were startled but curious.  They eye balled the rabbit but said not a word. No, no, nope not a word. The rabbit eye balled them back and said in a high pitched squeaky voice “Hello, what's your name?"

That's it folks, the end.  By this time my boys would be rolling around the bed with tears in their eyes because, well it was just so funny!  I guess you had to be there.  But sometimes the best kids stories are the ones we make up on the spot.  Why not try it.

I read 'James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl as part of the Retro Reader Club which I signed up for recently.  It was fun to read and only took a couple of sessions.  I would so love to have been able to read it to someone.  I always fancied myself recording books for sight-impaired people, but you have to have some kind of a degree, so that's the end of that long held dream.  Back to James and the Giant Peach.  I'm glad Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker got what was coming to them.  Squashed, yup that's right the giant peach made sure they paid a mighty high price for the way they treated James.  But James was a brave little boy and as we all know 'goodness wins over evil' every time. 

In between reading kids books and making up stories I like to give myself a challenge.  I've recently re-read Pride and Prejudice by Miss Jane Austen.  Can you believe that I've read it twice?  For me anyway, the old world writing can be a bit over the top and I find I have to go back and read a paragraph, because I just don't get what they are trying to say.  Conversation back in the 1800's in England was rather dramatic even corny in places.  But that aside, oh how I would love to wear those clothes, go dancing at a beautiful mansion and feel like a princess. 

 Never any mention of the poor and suffering, I guess Miss Jane was protected from all that.  I'm now in the middle of reading Emma by Jane Austen. What's so good about these three books is that they were written during the life of the author and she lived from 1775 to 1817.  She was writing in actual time.  Apparently, in real life Jane loved to dance and these three books mention lots of dancing. I can tell you, I don't like the fact that back in them there days, women could not inherit the family home.  If there were no boys in the family the home went to the next in line like a cousin or nephew.  Just as long as it was a he and then he could banish the ladies from the house if he felt so inclined.  Thank goodness that doesn't happen these days.

Finally, I just like to put it out there that a follow up to Pride and Prejudice has been written by Colleen McCullough and it's called 'The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet'.  I loved this book and I love Colleen, read most of her books.

If you've read Pride and Prejudice you will remember that Mary Bennet (one of the sisters of Jane Bennet) didn't get much air play.  She was the quiet, bookwormy type not worth mentioning.  But Colleen has done the right thing by Mary, yes she has and given her a book with Mary as the star.  Colleen is a feisty writer quite the opposite of Jane Austen.  If you're not a fan of Jane Austen books you should still enjoy 'The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet'.  Colleen tackles real issues like poverty, love, sex, yes sex in a discriminate way of course, we are talking about 1800's here..  You won't get any mention of sex from Jane Austen, but she does refer to 'love making' but not in the terms as we would think of it, but rather meaning a couple chatting intimately.

Well, listen to me.  I sound like a book critique, which I am not.  I just like to share and seeing I love to read, I'm sharing some books.  More in a few days.  Now remember to come and see me.  Hope I haven't frightened you away.

PS.  Any spelling mistakes my DH will pick them up and make sure he points them out to me.  Thank goodness this post can be edited.  Cheers


  1. I used to read so much more in earlier times, I enjoyed your reviews and your enthusiasm in story telling. Your boys had a treat with you telling them tales. Thanks for the follow.

  2. I used to make up bedtime stories on the fly when my kids were younger. It was definitely much more fun than merely reading from books.

  3. Very nice! I like the illustrations...your boys must've been cute giggling over that story! I didn't know all that about jane austen....I guess people had thoughts too back then! It does seem a shame about the inheritance....but then I would've been a servant back then anyway! love,andrea

  4. Very sweet. Thank you for linking up to Thursday Favorite Things.Hugs and smooches! Katherine

  5. Thanks everyone for the lovely comments, if I haven't paid you a visit yet I surely will by today's end. cheers


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