30 July, 2012

The Book... by Roanna Price

The fourth in my series of posts about the books that people love. Today, the lovely Roanna Price lets us know which book is...

Image from: fantasticfiction.co.uk
The Book I’ll Pass on to My Children.

Ironically for a journalist and book lover I used to hate reading, writing or anything else they made you do during the dreaded school hours. Therapists would probably blame my reluctance to engage with education on an early upheaval and move between schools, or some other Freudian ramble, but that's not the relevant part to this short tale.

The catalyst for my eventual love of the written word was my mother recommending I read the book Milly Molly Mandy Stories by Joyce Lankester Brisley. My parents bought me this book to entertain me on a car journey or on holiday or something - I can’t remember what it was now, because from the moment I opened it I consumed it and my own childhood reality slipped away. Milly Molly Mandy with her simple pleasing life of village adventures and friendship opened my eyes to the true joy of books and reading and I’ve never looked back.

Reading and writing now define me, as I attempt in return, to define through writing. Whether I am revisiting an old favourite like a Persuasion by Jane Austen or letting J.R.R Tolkein sweep me away once again, I am always reminded, with the first turn of the page, of Milly Molly Mandy and how lucky I am to have discovered the world of stories.

Whether my children already love reading, or get off to a rocky start like me, I plan on passing on my own copy of Milly Molly Mandy Stories, hopefully prompting them along the way to what has to be the best hobby of all.

Thanks, Roanna. I know I read this book too and loved it - though I don't remember details now. Just the name gives me a little buzz of nostalgia. I wonder if they make books like this any more? Books where children have innocent adventures in a real-world setting. I love Just William and Anne of Green Gables. 

Which books make you nostalgic?

Roanna Price is a journalist and bibliophile, brought up in south Wales and Bristol. Now living in Liverpool, she is one quarter of the ethical design collective raje.


  1. I don't think I've ever read the book, but I very vaguely remember there was a song of the same name. Just searched for it and found this: http://www.lyrics.com/milly-molly-mandy-lyrics-chatton.html#

    I love the idea of a treasured book travelling down the generations. Places can be like that too. Each becomes an anchor against the storm of time passing.

  2. That was very poetic! One of my prized posessions is a family bible that I found in a bookcase when I was little. My Dad didn't remember having it and let me keep it. There's a beautiful copperplate inscription in it saying, 'Robert Wigley, His Book. June 16th 1836'. Dad hadn't heard of Robert Wigley, but underneath there's another faint inscription, 'Peter Everall, His Book. The gift of his uncle Robert Wigley, July 15th 1866'. Everall is my maiden name. We think Peter was my great (possibly another great too) grandfather. Not quite the same thing as a favourite story passing down, but I'll definitely pass the book on to my kids one day. Now, you won't get that with e-books!


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