My affinity with books began at a time in childhood I could hardly read – I would look at rows and rows of books on my parents’ bookshelves and play with them. If I was lucky, I’d find one with a few pictures inside and try to make my own story out of them. I discovered the joy of fiction in Enid Blyton – as did so many children all around the world – and I can never forget how it felt to have this amazing secret life of my own. Going on adventures with the famous five and sneaking midnight snacks with the girls of Mallory towers. I’d come back from school and this is all I would want to do – lose myself in Blyton’s world! For a lot of us, our childhoods are reminiscent of some of the best books we have ever read, some of the best authors we have ever discovered. With time, of course, new authors have found a place in this genre and rightfully so.
But for me, some classics can never be replaced. They’re symbolic not only of the light hearted, fun stories they gave us, but also of how we grew up with books. Of times we secretly switched the light back on after our parents left the room and picked up a book. Of the five-minute break between English and Math period that granted us a chapter of the newest library issue we’d gotten our hands on. If you have young children or siblings, it’d only be a gift for them to be introduced to the magic of these classics. Here’s a little trip down the memory lane – some of the favourite authors and series that we grew up with!
The absolute number one on my list of favourite childhood authors, Blyton brought to us a world of friendship, adventures and mysteries that has tsyaed with me even today. The famous five were my best friends – it was like I was right there on all their adventures. A little scared of Julian, best friends with Anne, having the time of my life with Timmy. The language was always simple and enjoyable. For someone who had no idea about the British culture that the children were apart of, Blyton novel managed to teach me plenty without seeming alien. To imagine the pish-posh girls of Mallory Towers roaming around in their “night-gowns” and going to villages to feast on scones was my favourite part of sleepy afternoons. If you’re looking to introduce your child to reading, this is the perfect author – the perfect world to lose oneself in.
A precursor to reading the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie, if you will. Light-hearted fun and yet grappling mysteries – Nancy Drew was always a rollercoaster ride, quick reads on train journeys and waiting rooms. Nancy’s sassy personality and quips made it all the more enjoyable. Many of my friends preferred this series over children’s’ books because they found a lot more excitement in following the story of culprits and how Nancy Drew tracked them down. If your child is curious, enjoys mysterious stories and is looking for a simple read, you better stock up on these!
Our favourite author of the hills, a treat for our imagination. Every child should read Ruskin Bond and get lost in the adventures of Rusty and the magic of the hills. Bond makes characters like Hassan the Wrestler, Aubrey Bond and in some stories – his own self so lifelike that reading them will feel like coming home. A world of beautiful descriptions and heartwarming relationships, Ruskin Bond is and will always be one of India’s favourite authors.
R K NARAYAN
What are Mondays without loathing the early mornings and remembering Swami in Malgudi Days? R.K. Narayan uses simple, captivating language and makes sure that we befriend Swami, live his little adventures, friendships and dreams through Narayan’s own words. Even though the TV serial has personified our beloved Swami as well as it could, the book is a timeless classic that definitely deserves a place in your child’s bookshelf!
How can we forget Roald Dahl? Dahl stretched our imagination beyond anything we had ever experienced before. I would find myself in the library every other day, scouring the shelves for a Roald Dahl. But they would always be taken – no library can ever sport more than a couple Roald Dahl books for long! If you ask me, a childhood is incomplete without dreaming about Dahl’s great big chocolate factory or aspiring to have Matilda’s powers. We all grew up to read classics and discover new, amazing authors. But nothing has ever compared to Roald Dahl, has it?
There are dozens of more authors that have shaped my childhood and yours. Occasion or no occasion, grab these books, wrap them up and welcome them into your child’s life. Watch the magic unfold.
Featured image sourced from Freepik
If you are a booklover and love to write, share your thoughts on reading and writing, contribute articles for us.