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List Love 7.2: Children’s books I have fond memories of, part II of II

Continuing from my posts on Tuesday and Thursday:

It is interesting to note that most of the books I loved best when I was a child were fantasies. Some of these I still occasionally pick up and read.

Fantasy by Astrid Lindgren:
The Brothers Lionheart. About 2 brothers who are reunited after death in a fantasy world where an evil warlord armed with a dragon has part of the land in thrall and is trying to invade the free parts.

Mio, my Mio. About an orphan who discovers that he is really a prince. He ends up fighting an evil knight who steals people and animals from his father’s kingdom.

Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter is a more lighthearted story about a girl who grows up as the only child in a group of rowdy robbers, and finally finds a friend when she meets a boy, the son of the leader of another group of robbers. All sorts of mayhem ensues when the two robber kings start fighting for territory and the children decide to teach the adults a lesson.

I was never very fond of the Pippi Longstocking books, perhaps because I was already in my teens when I first read them.

The Village that Slept by Manique P. de Ladebat.
Two children who have survived a plane crash in the Pyrenees have to make it on their own for about 8 months, in an abandoned village. I borrowed it repeatedly from the library when I was a child and teenager, and have been looking for a copy to buy for several years.
Since I wrote this, I was able to re-read it, and although it’s an enjoyable enough story, I don’t think I will bother to try to find a copy to own, unless one day I have children I can read it to.

A fantasy novel by Peruvian author Carlota Carvallo de Nunez, for which I have not been able to find an English title. In Spanish it’s Rutsi, el pequeno alucinado. It is the story of an immortal jungle spirit who wants to experience being human, so he takes on the form of a young boy and has all sorts of adventures as he travels from jungle to village to city and back to the jungle. It transported me into a world full of wonder and magic.

I am David by Anne Holm.
I was about 12 when I read this beautiful story of a young boy who escapes from a prison camp in Greece and makes his way across the continent to Denmark, finding his destiny along the way. I still pick it up occasionally when I want to read something that will make me feel good.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
Another favourite that I discovered at the library and borrowed over and over again. About a young orphan girl who finds a hidden garden and discovers she has a hypochondriac cousin. Together they make over the neglected garden and bring joy and happiness to themselves and the boy’s father. I didn’t read A Little Princess until I was an adult, but would probably not have liked it as much as a child - Sara is so incredibly good and perfect, and I hated such characters in stories.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Fantasy.
I was in my mid-teens when this one came out in Icelandic. Another book belonging to my brother that I wanted for myself. It’s just as related to fairy-tales as The Hobbit is, and an added bonus is the echoes of one of my favourite tales by Hans Christian Andersen: The Snow Queen. I also recommend the rest of the series.

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. Fantasy.
About a boy who is transported into a fantasy adventure through the book he is reading. A wonderful story about the power of a good book. Later, when I was in my teens, I discovered Momo, which I like even better.

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I read it and two of its sequels as a child and loved them all. Anne is still among my favourite comfort reads.

The Doctor Dolittle books by Hugh Lofting. A series that combines travel, adventure and fantasy, but has come to be considered politically incorrect due to its offensive portrayal of Africans.

The Tom Swift books by Victor Appleton.My father owned translated versions of several of these books and I enjoyed reading them, although even as a child I found the translations to be rather idiosyncratic. Some of the sci-fi stuff had very confusing names in Icelandic. For example the super-helicopter that appears in at least one of the books was called a "kopti" in the translation, derived from the copter in helicopter, whereas the word I was used to is "þyrla", so it wasn't until I was older that I realised what a "kopti" really was. 

Dear Reader:
Please post the titles of your favourite children’s books in Comments. I still like to read children’s books and I am always on the lookout for new ones.


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