Reading to little ones has to be one of loveliest perks of being a grandma. Being able to send lively imaginations rocketing off to fantasy worlds as they giggle and chatter and cuddle up on your knee is a special privilege many of us treasure and take great pride in.
It's something that also sends us hurtling back in time to remember stories read to us at our own grandmothers' knee.
So when we asked you in a recent issue to share the classic stories you most love reading to your grandchildren, it was no surprise that lots of you came forward with many great suggestions. And they all made us incredibly nostalgic!
Here's the top ten children's books you picked, along with some of the lovely things you had to say about these much-loved stories :
- Black Beauty
"When I was young I sobbed my way through Black Beauty, especially the chapter where Ginger collapses and dies. When my own sons were old enough I read them Black Beauty, saying to myself 'I must not cry'. When I came to that chapter there was a sob in my voice, but I carried on reading until the end of the chapter. Both boys were subdued and so I said 'maybe tomorrow's chapter will be happier"– Yvonne Parsons
"I still have a copy of Heidi by Johanna Spyri bought by my grandparents for my 10th birthday in 1955. This book has been read by my own children over the years and is a much-loved book"– Sylvia Boddy
- Alice in Wonderland
Time and time again, we can't resist going down the rabbit hole with Alice and the gang. And we all desperately wanted to be invited to that mad hatter's tea party which looked such a hoot!
- The Hungry Caterpillar
This is often one of the first books that many children today are taught at school, but we love telling it to our grandchildren first with them sat patiently on our knee. It inspires a love for nature and pretty butterflies that lasts years.
- = The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
"I loved this childhood book so much I read it over and over. Who wouldn't be captivated by the idea of a magical land at the back of a wardrobe? My grandchildren now love it as much as I do. I always say 'Destination Narnia!' whenever I'm about to read it to them. I still have a copy of it that my dear mum gave me 50 years ago"– Kathleen Ryan
- Secret Garden
We love sharing this story with the children to see them then hunting round the garden, turning up the undergrowth looking for a key that leads to their very own secret garden.
- = The Wind in the Willows
Our childhoods would have been an awful lot different without Mr Toad, Ratty, Badger, Mole and co. to entertain us.
- Peter Pan
Sets little minds dreaming of a childhood that never ends.
- The Famous Five
We never tired of the daring adventures of Julian, Dick, George (never Georgina!), Anne and Timmy.
- = Little Women
Girl power at its greatest!
- =Rupert Bear
Those bright chequered trousers and red jumper have been such a source of comfort and fun over the years.
- The Railway Children
"Daddy, my daddy"– need we say anymore?!
- =Anne of Green Gables
It was originally written to be enjoyed by all ages, and while it's now renowned as a children's classic, we've loved it every time we've revisited that story over the years.
- =Chicken Little
Has the little ones staring upwards for days, wondering if the sky will fall in.
- =Winnie the Pooh
Everyone's favourite honey-guzzling cuddly bear.
- =Milly, Molly, Mandy
The stories of the little girl in the quaint thatched roof cottage gave us a glimpse into a beautiful, sentimental world.
- Swallows and Amazons
Inspired our love of the great outdoors!
- =A Bear Called Paddington
With his tatty old suitcase and penchant for marmalade sandwiches, who could resist the charms of dear old Paddington? Following the recent film of Paddington, he's also more of a hit than ever with the younger generation these days.
One of the oldest fairy tale stories there is. The grandchildren never tire of that wonderful moment where the glass slipper fits Cinderella's feet and she finally gets the hand of that lovely Prince Charming.
All the better to hear you with...
- Reading with grandchildren is one of life's pleasures. Don't miss a word they say by getting a free hearing check at Boots. Call 0345 202 7030 or visit bootshearingcare.com/book