Who am I and why am I here? (M’s first post!)

I’m C and H’s dad and an avid Story Seekers follower on this blog and on Twitter – out of choice I should add, rather than duress!

As is abundantly clear from her previous blog posts, Loll is incredibly passionate about children’s books. Am I as passionate? Well, no, as that’s virtually impossible, but I do think it’s important that, as much as possible, we create the environment where C and H can handle, explore and hopefully gain a hunger for reading as I believe it will set them up for life ahead.

As a slight aside, I’m writing this having spoken on the phone to my 91 year old grandad for an hour last night. He’s the most well and widely read individual I know and still devours newspapers and books on a daily basis. We can go from discussing a Times article on the revival of the UK wool trade to a book on Japan in seconds. I’m convinced it’s his fiery mind that keeps him going and I wish I had the same love of reading.

Anyway, back to children’s books and my kids. I read to them (almost) daily just before bed and for me it’s golden time. Don’t get me wrong, rumbling with my boys is also golden time but reading with them is a different kind of closeness!

We get almost daily deliveries of children’s books to our house. These come from different sources but we have an ongoing joke (OK, it’s my ongoing joke) that we have a personalised chute connected to our letter box from all these suppliers. (Personalised chutes are definitely an untapped investment potential).

As a result, we pretty much have children’s books in every room and inevitably Loll and I discuss all sorts of connected things. We’re both quite opinionated so she suggested I channel my opinions on her blog in a mini-series (subject to content and reader reaction – this could either be the first of many or the one and only!).

I’ve a short list of topics covering things like books I remember from my childhood, whether story CDs are a good thing, book reviews and my next post which will be about kids books which have an adult subtext. The list is as short as that so if anybody wants a dad’s (/guy’s) take on something, feel free to suggest something below…


  1. Story Giraffe · · Reply

    Hi M – welcome to the blog! Just wondering what literary character would you say you most empathise with?

  2. Bella Lasagne · · Reply

    Yes hi M! I know it must be difficult to narrow it down but what are your favourite 3 books of all time?

  3. Great to hear from you M, am looking forward to reading your psots.

  4. Dr John · · Reply

    Would you regard Tolkein as children’s literature? The Balrog is a bit scary right

  5. Welcome! I’m looking forward to reading your posts too. I love the personal book chute idea. You’ve won me over with that line alone!

  6. (Matt) Thank you all for your comments – I hadn’t really expected a response at all, never mind so quickly! I’m unsure of blogging etiquette so if you don’t mind, I’ll tackle them one by one:

    Story Giraffe: thank you for the question and, wow – a hard one to begin. Loll gave me the heads up this afternoon so I’ve been mulling it since then. So, my answer is…… Dougal, from ‘Dougal’s Deep-Sea Diary’ (by Simon Bartram). Dougal goes to work on the train surrounded by a bunch of pin-striped, bowler hatted men. He looks surly but he’s really dreaming of going deep sea diving at the end of the week. I won’t give up the rest of the story but it’s excellent, as is the diary format. Now I really enjoy my job – and I don’t travel to work next to pin-striped guys (not often anyway!) – but I empathise with Dougal in terms of my head whirring with ideas, thoughts and plans.

    Bella Lasagne: thank you too and not really any easier! OK, so straight to the answer – I’m plumping for a mixture of adult books and kids books. 1) ‘Lunch with the Generals’ (Derek Hansen) – just an excellent story, set around the world. Its aura with me is probably made more powerful because I read it while sitting on several South-East Asian beaches. 2) ‘Desmond the Dusty Dinosaur’ (Althea Braithwaite) – a strong childhood memory and it’s sat on my bedside table right now. Hard to explain why I like(d) it so much but just one of those things. 3) ‘Slow Loris’ (Alexis Deacon). This one arrived with us a few months ago and being honest, I was underwhelmed by its cover and opening spread. But it’s AWESOME. In my opinion anyway!

    Dr John: I never would have anticipated this question – thank you! I have a (probably embarrassing, no, definitely embarrassing) admission to make (especially making it on a book blog) – I’ve never read Tolkein. I’ll take it further – I’ve not even seen the films inspired by his works. At the risk of seeming set in my ways, I’ve never liked fantasy-esque books or films. But, let me give an opinion about scary stories and children (my experience coming mainly from a 3 year old). I’ve read what I would judge to be scary stories (or at least parts of stories) to my son (C) and it’s been water off a duck’s back. What an adult may deem scary and what a child thinks, I think can be far apart (albeit they could probably be close together at times too!).

    Zoe – thank you, hope I can add something worthwhile!

    Carmen: Thank you! You’ve made my night with that comment!

  7. Will be great to hear your take on books and reading. My husband also loves reading to our girls each night before bed and takes them to the library nearly every week.

  8. Lovely to meet you M! Look forward to your posts. Agree with you on scary things, it can be much more unpredictable for children what will be scary (has Loll shown you Polly’s excellent blog post on that topic)

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