I have many favourite books - naturally, I'm a writer. But there are a few I re-read every year, and some of them I've even shoe-horned into my current book. These are: The Little White Horse, I Capture the Castle, The Swish of the Curtain, Golden Pavements and Three Men in a Boat. Notice anything? Four of them are loosely defined as children's books. I also re-read Monica Edwards, Malcolm Saville, Ngaio Marsh and Georgette Heyer every year - not their entire oeuvre, but the odd few books.
Thanks to t'internet, I've also begun to collect and replace gaps in my collection, something I would have thought impossible a few years ago. I even found a book which used to make my mother and father - and me - laugh out loud when I was a teenager, of which I only remembered the title. I found it - exorbitantly priced, and two other books by the same author. Unfortunately, they didn't stand up to my memories.
This is not the case with the children's books. I've obtained Monica Edwards books I hadn't read since I was about 14, and they are as brilliant as ever. Malcolm Saville, too, although they seem to me now to be slightly condescending. Edwards isn't. Neither is my other favourite, Pamela Brown. Perhaps that's because she started her first book, the above mentioned "Swish" when she was only 14 herself.
To my delight, I have found an internet retailer who not only shares my anorakey love of old pony books - she has a whole section of her site devoted to them - but has a copy of a Pamela Brown book I lost years ago. She is at http://www.janebadgerbooks.co.uk Between us, we've come up with an idea that might appear here on this blog one day - when I've got the current mss - now late - to the publisher. Watch this space. Or not. Up to you. But would love to hear about people's favourite children's books. And whether there are many out there who still buy and read children's books.