I first read this, one of my favourite children's books, when I was about seven after seeing it on the TV show 'Jackanory'. After just a chapter or two, I remember thinking that I MUST HAVE IT! I hassled my mother until she went to buy it from a bookshop. That must have been a marathon mithering session because we were too poor (or my stepfather too mean? who knows) to actually buy books. I owned fewer than twenty books by the time I was 12. But the library just wouldn't do for this book. With a fierce desire, I wanted to own this one.
Tonight, I'll be reading the final chapter to our little five-year old daughter. It's the first long book we've read with her - until now we were mainly reading the wonderful picture books by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. But my beloved baby brother Michael remembered how much I loved this book and sent it to our daughter last Christmas. So I thought we'd try it out, to see if she was ready for a long narrative - and she is.
She's very excited about bedtime tonight, to see how things work out for Gobbolino. Me, I'm watering at the mouth at the possibilities this opens up. "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe" is next - she adores the film. Then perhaps "The Robber Hotzenplotz".
It's all lovely. Our older daughter didn't share my tastes in books - adventure stories. She was bored by most of the long books I tried to read to her, until we discovered Jackie Wilson. But our younger one is dying to be read Harry Potter. I think we'll give that just a couple more years, for maximum impact.