The folks over at Penguin Books are running a campaign called #PackAPuffin to celebrate ‘A Puffin Book’, a series of classic children’s stories that last a lifetime. I was offered a selection in exchange for sharing what I’d take with me on a trip and where I’d go, topped with the Puffin books I’d bring along. I adore children’s classics (and they’re perfect for the 2015 Classics Challenge), so I couldn’t resist taking part in the fun. Bon voyage!
A Day Out in London
Meet the Ruggles family from One End Street, who live in the fictional town of Otwell and have seven children. Trundling along on the busy London Underground, I’d read Eve Garnett’s The Family From One End Street (1937) and I’d take my tote bag from Daunt Books, Marylebone with me! I’d visit London’s many bookshops, browse Borough Market, and relax in Holland Park. I love reading old children’s stories about middle class families and their charming adventures in the countryside, but what about the adventures poorer children have? In The Family From One End Street, there’s many escapades and excitement, even though children are not as well-off as The Famous Five!
A Day Away from London
As much as I love London, I also love to get away. The United Kingdom has a lot to offer, from peaceful countryside to chocolate box towns. Although I’m not being evacuated during the Second World War, it would be the perfect opportunity to read Michelle Magorian’s Goodnight Mister Tom (1981) and Nina Bawden’s Carrie’s War (1973), following two children as they are made to leave their homes in London. I’d grab this wonderful tote bag that I bought in Oxford last year, depicting the opening line from Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle, and explore the country, such as my recent visit to Bath or picturesque day out in Essex.
A Trip Abroad
Florence, Italy. Stockholm, Sweden. Melbourne, Australia – they’re all places that I’d love to visit. I’d pack my favourite backpack and take Erich Kastner’s Emil and the Detectives (1928) and Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time (1962) with me, two stories not set in the United Kingdom – one in Berlin, one that’s out of this world. I’d track down a thief with young Emil and join Meg on dangerous and extraordinary adventure. Or maybe I won’t need to leave the country. Maybe all I need is a good book!