In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Bedtime Stories.”
I honestly can’t think of a particular favourite book as a child, because I had so many stories read to me before reading age and so many I read once I learned to read, which was somewhat later then most if I’m honest. I always put this down to my lack of interest in the schools reading scheme as I wasn’t interested in the adventures of Roger Redhat, Billy Bluehat and Jennifer Yellowhat (or possibly that the prose style was stilted out of date),and that was pretty all you got until after you were out of the first two school years. I think after that it was a different person in charge of the reading materials as the books I was put on were certainly more engaging and I moved on several stages in the space of half an academic year. I think it was the arrival of the Jets series of books which spurned me on; they were fairly simplistic stories with affable cartoon like illustrations and short, easy to read sentences in a very engaging prose style which at times would reflect a more comic book approach then a education textbook tome. While after this I was permitted “free reading” meaning I could read what ever damn book I liked, I was still under some restrained supervision which I guess was just to make sure I could handle the word count and vocabulary increase, but it meant I was reading more substantial books in away. Mostly I admit were volumes from the Target range of novelizations of stories from the TV series Doctor Who and this was always entertaining. I really liked the novels by Terrance Dicks, Malcolm Hulke, Ian Marter and David Fisher as they wrote in an easy to read style and expanded upon what shown on screen in many ways. Hulke added a lot of insight and character development, as did Dicks when he wasn’t writing a book a month. Marter expanded to go beyond budget limitations and upped the visceral elements and the violence and dropped the odd swear word in, Fisher wrote a very Douglas Adams like couple of novels which were highly amusing. Of course some of them were written in a style which was clearly aimed at the more mature fan, Donald Cotton and Ben Aaronovitch spring to mind, which at the time I found dull but having revisited through the medium of talking book I appreciate much more. Cotton was fond of dry humour and puns, in a story about the fall of Troy he has chapter titles like “Small Prophet, Quick Return” and “Doctor in the Horse.” While I can’t say I had a favourite book, I think the Target range represent my childhood reading.