I confess I am using the letters of the alphabet to suit my own devices. Martin Waddell is going to get his own post so this one is dedicated to the illustrator Barbara Firth, who, I find, sadly died only a few weeks ago. Her wonderful pictures are the perfect foil for his simple enchanting stories.
Ones that we came back to time and again were Park in the Dark, about three toys who take themselves off on an adventure to the swings:
and Big Bear and Little Bear, on their many expeditions in the snow and in their cosy cave:
My favourite was Sam Vole and his Brothers.
I pick this one because it was always for Jacob; it is about a younger sibling struggling for independence. Sam Vole always feels like he is playing second fiddle to his big brothers and so one day decides to go 'voling' alone. To begin with it's great fun by himself, "He voled and he voled all by himself and he sang and he danced, for he liked it so much without brothers":
but gradually he begins to feel lonely, "He voles and he voled all by himself. Then he stopped and he stood and he listened. He didn't like it at all without brothers", and he wishes that maybe his brothers were there, and then there they are, and they all vole happily home together:
It is a lovely story about how siblings get along, about having your own space and time to do your own thing, but enjoying playing together as well.
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