One of my favourite memories of being read to was when I was five and my dad decided that it was time to read me a ‘proper’ book. I was still in the ‘wee room’ which was really cosy for story time and dad read to me the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I’ve lots of very warm memories of the Chronicles of Narnia because of this, my favourite being the Magician’s Nephew.
There was something exotic and more thrilling about the Magician’s Nephew, which is the story of how Narnia came to be. The names Diggory and Polly were strange and exciting, and the idea you could travel between worlds with magic rings thrilled me. Like all the best books for children, I wanted to be in the book and daydreamed about it for hours. I’m reminded of it as well every time I visit Belfast Castle and see those old-fashioned lamp posts tucked away at the bottom of the garden, hidden away from the view over Belfast Lough to County Down.
So don’t stop reading to your children when they grow out of picture books. They’ll hold in their hearts for a long, long time.