Sun writers name their favourite books as they support our Books For Kids campaign
JEREMY Clarkson likes a bit of Pooh Bear, while Lorraine Kelly is partial to Enid Blyton’s Famous Five tales.
Reading to ourselves or our kids is the most popular way to while away time in lockdown, according to a new survey.
So we asked Sun writers to tell us about their all-time favourite titles.
Telly petrolhead and Sun columnist Jeremy reckons Pooh is a winner for young and old alike, as he is “so damn funny”.
His fellow columnist Lorraine wanted as a child to be George from the Famous Five, because she was fierce and funny.
Our other writers’ picks are sure to surprise and delight you, too.
We also explain how you can help get youngsters reading with the Books For Kids campaign – launched by our sister paper The Sun on Sunday with BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity.
We want you to send us your old kids’ books, no matter how ripped or tatty.
We will pay to recycle them then BookTrust will begin free distribution of colourful new books chosen by its experts. Full details are below.
Click here to find out more about our Books For Kids campaign
Five On Kirrin Island Again, by Enid Blyton
I GREW up in a house of books and my mum and dad taught me how to read before I went to primary school.
Disappearing into this book was sheer escapism and a huge adventure.
It introduced me to the “famous five” Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy the dog.
I loved George, and wanted to be just like her. She was fierce and funny and was just as good as the boys when it came to getting in and out of scrapes.
Anne made the sandwiches, made sure there were lashings of ginger beer and was a bit of a blancmange, but George kicked ass.
The House At Pooh Corner, by A A Milne
I WOULD read this to my children when they were young and never once did I ever get to the end of a chapter.
This is because it’s impossible to speak when laughter has made breathing just about impossible.
It’s one of those books that kids love on one level and adults love because it’s just so damn funny.
But its genius is not the humour — it’s the way all of human life is to be found in the characters. Richard Hammond just is Piglet. James May is Owl and I, sort of, am Tigger.
We all know an Eeyore.
Life As A Unicorn, by Amrou Al-Kadhi
THIS is such an incredible read, and it sends you through a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s the true story of a Muslim boy on his path to becoming a gay drag queen.
I can’t praise this book enough. It’s a wonderful account of the journey of love and innocence, and a search for a place to belong.
Amrou tells his brave yet inspiring story of growing up.
It’s beautifully written, it’s funny, it’s educational, and it’s moving and uplifting all at the same time.
Prepare to have your eyes opened and your heart broken.
I found myself laughing out loud then welling up and reaching for the tissues in the next chapter.
If you haven’t read this incredible book, make sure you stick it on your list.
It’s one of those books that I could easily pick up and read again.
The Winter Agent, by Gareth Rubin
THIS gripping D-Day yarn follows a British agent leading a bid to sabotage the German war effort — as well as identify a traitor in the midst of Allied intelligence.
For someone with a keen interest in history, as well as a love of a well-written thriller, this book provides perfect escapism.
You are swept along by the fictional story, at the same time as being provided with clear detail of our real past.
It’s like the best kind of TV box set — and I just couldn’t put this book down.
How you can help
YOU can either post your old books or send them via Hermes.
The courier company, which delivers in excess of 630million parcels a year in the UK, has agreed to deliver the packages at the reduced cost of £1.99 for a medium-sized box (66cm x 41cm x 38cm maximum, with maximum weight of 5kg).
Hermes UK CEO Martijn De Lange said: “We are delighted to be supporting The Sun on Sunday and BookTrust by making our nationwide network of local couriers and local ParcelShops and Lockers available to accept these books. This is a fantastic campaign.”
SENDING BY POST
The address to send your old books to is: Books For Kids, PO Box 485, Grays, Essex RM17 7HY.
SENDING BY HERMES
Go to myhermes.co.uk and select “Return A Parcel”. Search for “The Sun on Sunday” and click on The Sun on Sunday logo.
Enter “books” in the order ID field, enter your email address (they need this to send you the postage label) and choose “other” for your reason to return. Choose from ParcelShop drop-off (no printer needed) or courier collection (home printer needed).
Pay the £1.99 via debit card and you will receive an email with details of how to print your label at home (if you have chosen a courier collection).
Or if you have chosen ParcelShop drop-off, take your phone or tablet and your parcel to your nearest Hermes ParcelShop, show the shopkeeper the QR code on the email – and your label can be printed in the shop and attached to your parcel.
Hermes has more than 5,000 ParcelShops and Lockers.
To find your nearest Hermes ParcelShop, just enter your postcode in the Hermes ParcelShop finder on the website – myhermes.co.uk.
Frog And Toad Are Friends, by Arnold Lobel
THIS is a must-have for the bookshelves of kids and adults alike.
I read it to my kids and, to this day, return to one of the many life-affirming short stories if I’m having a glum spell because they cheer me up.
They’re poignant, funny and full of delightful moments that accentuate the important qualities of kindness, selflessness and being a good friend.
A Study In Scarlet, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
THE first Sherlock Holmes story is the book I’ve read the most.
I’ve found coming back to favourite authors and reading them again is actually even better than the first time.
What I love about all the Sherlock Holmes tales, as much as the brilliant characters and twisting plots, is the world they are set in.
Victorian London really comes to life.
You are transported into a cosy world of tobacco smoke, roaring fires and kingly breakfasts.
There are dozens and dozens of Sherlock Holmes stories and, if you’ve liked any of the many film or TV adaptations, I promise you will love the books.
I am so envious of anyone who hasn’t read these books.
You’ve really got a treat in store.
The Chronicles Of Narnia, by C S Lewis
WE all recall being read a bedtime story, but for me The Chronicles Of Narnia became so much more than that.
Across seven books, a fantasy second life opened up in parallel with my own.
It was set in a world so vivid, I felt as at home within it as I did in a suburban cul-de-sac on the outskirts of Liverpool.
For me, the extraordinary tales of the children’s adventures were the first time a book became to me more than a quick story — it was a total escape, and I would wait eagerly each day for the chance to pick up where I had left off.
Today my own children appear, horrifyingly, more interested in anything battery-operated than the pages of a book — but little comes close to the magic of pages bursting into life in your own imagination.
Even in a chaotic world of adult stress, if I close my eyes for a moment and think, I can still slip through the back of the wardrobe and step into the snow, even now.
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