There’s a Facebook thing I got tagged in recently, where you put up ten posts of books that have had a significant impact on your life. But I’m a multi-platform kinda girl, so here you go.
The Enchanted Wood
by Enid Blyton
This was the first chapter book my mother ever read me. I can remember sitting in bed, feeling nervous because she was holding a book that didn’t really have any pictures in it. It’s OK, she told me. There are a few. And she showed me the simple line drawings – maybe one per chapter – that seemed utterly inadequate to my four year old mind. I mean… there were whole pages in there with no pictures. How…? What…?
Oh my sweet summer child.
I have subsequent memories of sitting in bed begging her for just one more chapter PLEASE!!! And I’m pretty certain she ended up reading me the entire series more than once. Then I probably read it a few times myself.
This book is absolutely one of the flames that ignited my imagination. I’m sure I owe my fascination with forests to it. Also, it’s a sterling example of my favourite kind of fiction: stories set in an immersive world that is a character all of its own. Just thinking about it takes me back to leaning out the cottage window, seeing the trees with leaves of a darker shade of green than usual, and hearing the sound of their leaves rustling, wisha-wisha-wisha, as though they are whispering secrets to each other…