Thursday, 20 June 2013

We Like To Read # 2

The book we've chosen this week is one that's really special to me as it holds so many memories of my own childhood. 
'The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle' - Beatrix Potter
When I was a child I had a box set of miniature Beatrix Potter books.  They were absolutely tiny and came in a box with a little drawer that pulled out with the books in.  I adored them.  I got them as a Christmas present one Christmas Eve from Tomte.  We used to go to the Lake District for holidays for many years when I was a child, and when we were there we would visit Beatrix Potter's house and Gallery.  We also used to listen to a cassette tape of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle in the car on long journeys and I can still hear the story read in the same voice, and the song sung the same as it was on the tape.   And I had a copy of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle exactly the same as this one (which is one of a set of vintage Beatrix Potter books my Grandma bought for Eric from a charity shop).



Eric's been enjoying a new animated Peter Rabbit adaptation on CBeebies at the moment, he gets so excited when it's on each day and will watch it absolutely rapt, so I thought the time was right to introduce him to the Beatrix Potter books too.  I'm not sure why I haven't read them with him before, they have been on his bookshelves for over a year, I think I just felt he wouldn't be interested.  Also as they are such beautiful vintage copies I didn't want them to get ruined! But Eric is over the chewing-on-ripping-out-all-the-pages-of-books phase now, and lately he's had a much longer attention span and ability to get involved in the story.  So tonight we read Mrs Tiggy-Winkle for the first time!

When I showed him the book and told him Mrs Tiggy-Winkle is a friend of Peter Rabbit's, and is a hedgehog who wears clothes, he was immediately keen!



The book seemed to have a calming influence.  Eric was excited, but not PANTS-DINOSAURS-LOUDNOISES-STOMPING-IKNOWLET'SJUMPOFFTHETOPOFTHESOFAEXCITED, more quietly excited and interested to find out about Mrs Tiggy-Winkle (whom he called Mrs Tinkle Winkle!) He turned pages slowly and thoughtfully, looking in detail at the illustrations, and was gleeful when Peter Rabbit made an appearance.  The story is really gentle and the illustrations are naturalistic, soft and whimsical.  I really love the idea of animals having removeable coats, stockings and gloves, like Sally Henny-penny's yellow stockings, little white mittens belonging to Tabby Kitten and Cock Robin's red waistcoat, that Mrs Tiggy-Winkle washes for them so they're all clean and lovely.  It's relaxing and the ideal bedtime story. 



Our copy of the book has that lovely 'old book' smell, and reading the same edition as the one I had when I was small was really nostalgic.  The illustrations feel really cosy and comforting, and as well as remembering them from when I was young the scenery in the pictures also reminds me of our Lake District holidays.  I really love the world created in this story, it is magical and familiar and I remember how much it used to spark my imagination. 



I'm surprised, but pleased, that Eric liked this book so much, and we'll definitely read it again.  

Don't forget to check out the other We Like To Read posts on Fritha's blog Tigerlilly Quinn and Fiona's blog Pea Musings!

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