We all have childhood memories of gifts we were given. Some gifts were coveted while others made us cringe. I love to hear stories of childhood gifts and who better to ask than my favourite bloggers?
emhawkerblog was one of the first blogs I read when I stumbled into the world of blogging. Back then, Em’s blog was called You Learn Something New Every Day and her way with words made me a regular visitor.
Em is a word nerd but not in an “I told you so” way. Whether it’s her Practical Grammatical posts or regular #whatswrongwiththispicture photos on social media, she makes reading and learning about grammar fun. That’s no mean feat! Her song rewrites are shared across the web, she runs toddler music groups, writes great book reviews and her tales of being a parent and raising her munchkins are often humorous and always heartwarming. The girl has skills.
I was keen to see which childhood gift Em would choose as her favourite. Her choice comes as no surprise for those who follow her…
What was your favourite gift you were given as a kid or teen?
A Children’s Book of Verse (illustrated by Eric Kincaid). It includes poems and selected passages from larger texts by many authors including Lord Tennyson, Robert Louis Stevenson, Lewis Carroll, Walter de la Mare and Edward Lear. Not to mention that very prolific author, Anonymous.
Who gave it to you?
I don’t remember! But thank you, thank you, thank you, anonymous benefactor!
How old were you?
Judging by my handwritten name on the inside cover, I was around eight years old.
Do you still have it?
Until three years ago, I thought it was gone forever. I have four younger siblings, and not many children’s books and toys made it through the hand-me-down journey unscathed. I’d asked mum to keep an eye out for two particular volumes, and the other is still yet to be found. But I nearly cried when she presented this with a flourish on a visit!
Is it something your kids would play with now?
I read verses from this book to my kids all the time. They’re too young to really appreciate the illustrations just yet, but my five-year-old enjoys parsing the ‘funny-sounding’ phrases of the classic poems.
Any other details or special memories of this gift?
I used to curl up with it and my other favourites and ‘lucky dip’ read it over and over. Despite having read it cover to cover when I first got it, I felt like every time I dived into it, I discovered a new verse.
(Meanwhile, the other hardcover volume I’m still hoping will turn up contained illustrated abridged versions of Heidi, Bluebeard, The Wizard of Oz, Gulliver’s Travels and others. If it rings a bell for anyone, please let me know where I can find a copy!)
Can I double dip on the favourite toy thing? My BFF4EVA, Hippo, will never forgive me if he doesn’t get a mention. He was a cheer-up gift from my parents when my baby blankie disappeared (disintegrated) when I was five years old. He’s super squishy and super cuddly, and he’s the best secret-keeper in the whole, wide world!
A big thanks to Em for sharing her gift memories (and introducing us to Hippo!).
Which book was your favourite as a kid?
Who did you share all of your secrets with?