Week 19 – Reading

Did your parents read to you as a child? To be honest, I cannot remember mum or dad reading to me. Being the youngest, perhaps they were too busy. I imagine my three older brothers would have had them on the run most of the day and by evening they would have been too tired to even contemplating reading me a story.

However, I do remember my grandmother reading to me. Actually, nanna Herbert was so good at story telling, that she didn’t need a book. She would tell us the story or fairy tales, of the Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, The Gingerbread Man and The Three Billy Goats Gruff, without looking at the book. She knew them off by heart. That was always such a special time, not that I realised it back then, but now, looking back, it was very special.

Most children’s stories had a meaningful lesson built into them. e.g., Three Little Pigs is the story about 3 pigs that try to build a house on their own, one of straw, he wanted to get his done quickly so he could sleep, the other of sticks so he could play, while the third takes a long time to build his house of bricks, no time for sleep or play. Then along comes the big bad wolf, or life’s challenge, and tries to blow the houses down, but because the third little pig has taken the time to build a stronger house, it stands up to the wolf. Effort and hard work pays off!

Goldilocks and the Three Bears is another fairy tale that I loved to have read to me and nanna always had just the right expression. “Who’s been sleeping in my bed?” “Whose been eating my porridge?” “Who broke my chair!?” Looking into the meaning of the story is interesting, as it refers to how your actions might hurt others, trespassing or breaking and entering and Goldilocks wants perfection, everything had to be “just right!”.

I never knew that Little Red Riding Hood had such a serious message. To us, they were just stories that my grandmother told me and it wasn’t until later in life that the interpretations were put out there in the media. I can remember playing and saying “Oh Granma, what big eyes you’ve got!” “All the better to see you with, my dear!” All fun to an eight-year-old. No doubt The Gingerbread Man and The Three Billy Goats Gruff have their own interpretations. They didn’t do me any harm, maybe I learnt some good life lessons from them without realising. If that’s the case, then maybe they should be revived.

No doubt many of you remember your first reading book at school. Mine was the one that went like this – Here is Dick, Here is Dora. Nip has a ball, Fluff is a cat. Run Dick, Run Nip!  I was a good reader and loved to read out loud. And let’s not forget The Secret Seven, The Famous Five, Black Beauty and as I grew into a teenager, my favourite stories were the What Katy Did series. I still have to this day, Ash Road by Ivan Southall. It was a book I read in my last year at primary school about the 1962 fires near Melbourne.

I hope you have enjoyed reminiscing with me about the books that you read as a child. I wonder what books my grandchildren will remember when they grow up.


About Jenny MacKay

Just a person who is looking forward to retirement and enjoying the golden years!
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8 Responses to Week 19 – Reading

  1. I don’t remember Mum or Dad reading to us either but I am sure they did… as we knew all the fairy tales off by heart. And I still have my fairy tale given to me by Grandma Hasleby when I was 8. Famous Five and Secret Seven were on the list as was the Laura books. AND Black Beauty. One of our first records we had for the new record player was the narration of Black Beauty. Rocks Newsagents was on our shopping list at Xmas. And mum loved Anne of Green Gables so I have read them over and over and over and now often rewatch the series on DVD.
    I love your posts – they bring back lots of precious memories for me .

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      Thanks Sue. I forgot about Rocks as that’s where we would go and get our school books for the following year and where my Sindy doll came from…next weeks blog. I loved the smell of the stationary in Rocks. I might need to do an addendum. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. tstatton says:

    Another good read Jenny. I too have read those books you mentioned to my grandchildren as they grew up. I know I read to my son often and know my mother read to me when I was a child, but I can’t remember Dad reading to us. It will soon be time to read fairytales to our great grandchild when it is born in November! Funny how the wheel turns!

  3. Marie Dux says:

    Love reading your blog. xxxx

  4. sunshinechick007 says:

    I AM A BOOK-A-HOLIC Jenny, I too do not remember my parents reading to me, (or my grandparents) BUT THEY did a LOT of reading themselves so by default I learned to love reading. Mama was an Agatha Christie fan, and Daddy Zane Grey or any westerns… each night I would see them in their easy chairs reading while the TV was blaring with some silly show… entertaining the kids (remember there were 14 of us). Slowly but surely the number of kids in front of the ‘boob-tube’ would become less and less as we would creep off to our bedrooms and our OWN ‘good books’. My imagination traveled the frontier with Laura Ingalls Wilder through her ‘Little House’ books… later a friend shared here ‘Children’s Digest’ magazine with me. The first book I EVER owned I received in 5th grade winning a spelling contest… Audubon’s Birds… from there now I have thousand’s of books… it’s so hard to let any go… but if I only had one series to keep it would still be the ‘Little House’ books… I read the entire series to my kids annually beginning February 1 of the year and going through them all. My daughter and I traveled out to S. Dakota to visit many of the sites from the books… and I now have lots of extra ‘Laura Ingalls Wilder’ memorabilia, about her life before the books (she started writing at age 60-hmmm my age this year lol) It’s never too late to begin a new career. *U* Kathleen

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      I think I need to do another blog on this subject. In fact I think I will, and show the transgression to audio and digital books. I have a set of books calked The Australians. It’s one series that should have been in our history lessons, instead of the stuffy books we were given. And now for the next episode, I’ll see you back here next week. Oh I’d better find time to write it first. 😶😶😶

  5. Another good read. Yvonne and I are still avid readers and Yvonne has many of the books shown in your blog, which she reads to the grandies.

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