Family Favourite Books

One of my favourite books as a young child, and also as an early reader with three younger siblings was The Monster at the End of This Book.

I loved how silly this book was, and how each page had something we could point at and talk about with even the baby of the family. No matter how many times we read it, it still seemed incredibly hilarious that Grover could be afraid of a monster, the irony we understood even as small children. That family book was so loved it was read and ripped and taped and mended and sticky with fingerprints and probably drool. I got a lot of practice changing my voice for different characters when I read it aloud to them.

As an adult, my sister and I were given a box from our parents garage when they moved. It contained our Barbies, Strawberry Shortcake dolls and other miscellaneous things from our childhood. At the bottom of the box was the book! We both went for it at the same time and fought over it. We tried to arrange custody of this book in order to share it with our children. Then we realized you can still buy the book today! It even comes in different formats – I’ve seen it in board book style, paperback style, even with buttons that make Grovers voice. To this day, I still fondly remember time spent with this book 😉

My seven year old daughter has a well-loved book that she will read over and over again to herself, to the cat, to the dog, to anyone who will listen: Harold and the Purple Crayon. She secretly wishes for a purple crayon of her own, I am sure. Its a classic. I had forgotten all about this book until she brought it home from the school library over a year ago. SInce then I have found a complete collection of all the Harold stories for her. I had no idea that Harold had more than one story to tell, but then there is no end to what a boy can do with a magic purple crayon, now is there? Does anyone else remember Harold?

A favourite author of mine in childhood was Roald Dahl. Known for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, BFG, The Twits, and Fantastic Mr. Fox to name a few.

Every year I volunteer to read to a variety of age groups in my children’s schools during wonderful Read In week (the first week in October). One year stands out to me because of the special gift I received afterwards. I had read The Twits and Esio Trot to a grade 5 class. They howled with laughter at the stories. This is not unexpected when reading Roald Dahl. What was unexpected was a few days later I received some thank you letters from the children in that class. In true Esio Trot fashion, each one was written completely backwards. What fun that must have been for the class to have to write their thank you’s and their favourite parts all backwards, and even more fun for me deciphering each one. I reflected back to when I was in school doing a book report on this author. If only I had been clever enough to compose the entire report backwards for my teacher!


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9 thoughts on “Family Favourite Books

  1. I’ve never read any of these books but as my daughter loves to read, these will be great gifts in the future or maybe I’ll be lucky and find one at a garage sale this summer.
    The idea of reading to children in schools during Read In week is fabulous. What a wonderful way to promote a love of books! I know this love got ahold of me at a young age and I believe all it takes sometimes is one person to show a child how to do the same. (I wonder how I can get involved with Read In Week…)

    • Volunteering to read at schools is easy! I am familiar with the Edmonton Public schools and know that they host their read in week the first week of October each year. Contact a school in your neighborhood or go online to find one and put yourself in touch a few weeks ahead of time. They are willing to accommodate your request for specific grade and time of day. Their librarians are also happy to choose a book for you to read if you so choose.
      I also like to do this before special occasions if I have an appropriate book to share. It is great to hear when others want to volunteer to such a fun cause!

        • You can also check out the Read In website at Not sure if it is up yet but it will tell you who to connect with in Edmonton Public, Edmonton Catholic and the Francophone School districts. This years Read In Week isOctober 7 – 11 with the kick-off being held at Concordia University College of Alberta the host for this year! Check it out!

  2. I completely forgot about The Monster at the End of the Book. It was one of my favourites as well. I can still picture the page where Grover is building the brick wall. I also loved James and the Giant Peach. I will have to check out his other books! I have the movie of The Fantastic Mister Fox (which I love) but I didn’t realize it was based on a book. Thanks Lisa!

  3. Books are a world of magic. Reading is the ‘ticket’ to get you into that world, but literacy is the vehicle that carries you to the gate. For me, it was Holling Clancy Holling’s “Paddle To The Sea” that allowed my imagination to really blossom. For my son it was any number of things, from “Moo, Bah, La,La,La”, to “Adventures of Litttle Bear” and “Lemony Snickett”. Loved the blog(s). Don’t stop!

    • Yes! Lemony Snickett, I remember my son being mystfied at an author warning people NOT to read his works.
      Paddle to the Sea, I haven’t read before, I’ve already requested it from the library it should be a good story to share with my daughter, thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks for the wonderful book reviews! I too have fond memories of ‘The Monster at the End of the Book’ (my Dad always did the best Grover voice!) Also, some new books for me to check out!

    • I love giving book reviews, my problem is being selective, there are so many wonderful ones to choose from 😉