Sophie’s Basket

Or Imogen and Charlotte’s book recommendations for their younger sisters

We are sitting around the table munching our lunch and chatting.

Sophie tells us she wants to learn more about horses and Charlotte mentions brumbies.
“The wild horses of Australia…  You remember the horses in that poem, The Man from Snowy River?
“You have to read The Brumby books,” someone insists.
Charlotte’s eyes light up. “Yes! They were good.” She thinks for a minute. “There’s lots of good books you haven’t read. There’s The Borrowers and What Katy Did…”
“Don’t forget A Little Bush Maid,” adds Imogen.
“And how about Swallows and Amazons?” I suggest.
“You haven’t read Swallows and Amazons?” Charlotte says with disbelief. How come Sophie hasn’t already discovered all these books?
Imogen and Charlotte look at each other. They both have the same idea. “Let’s fill a basket with all the books we think Sophie should read.” They are on a mission. They are going to educate their ten year old sister.
After lunch I can hear the older girls searching the bookshelves. They are looking for all the books they think a ten year old must read before she turns eleven. They soon realise there are more books than will fit into the basket. So they compromise and make a selection. “We can always refill the basket when Sophie has read these ones.”
Gemma-Rose looks at Sophie’s basket and says yearningly, “Can you choose a basket of books for me to read too, please?”
Imogen and Charlotte are happy to oblige. They smile as they read the book titles. They are remembering. They are rediscovering old friends they made when they too were seven years old.
And what did the girls put in the two baskets? Here’s what the older girls chose:
Sophie’s basket:
The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge
Charlotte’s Web by EB White
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
The Silver Brumby by Elyne Mitchell
A Little Bush Maid by Mary Grant Bruce
The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
The Railway Children by E Nesbit
Manxmouse by Paul Gallico
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
The Bobbsey Twins and the Goldfish Mystery by Laura Lee Hope
The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong
What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge
Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo
The Complete Borrowers by Mary Norton

Gemma-Rose’s basket

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
The House at Pooh Corner by AA Milne
Mrs Pepperpot by Alf Proysen
The Hodgeheg by Dick King-Smith
The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson
Tales of Brave Adventure by Enid Blyton
The Bobbsey Twins in Eskimo Land by Laura Lee Hope
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney
Mary Poppins by PL Travers
The Ordinary Princess by MM Kaye
A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
The older girls present the younger girls with their baskets of books.
“What shall I read first?” asks Sophie has she sorts through the books, her eyes bright with anticipation.
“That’s for you to decide,” laughs Imogen.
Isn’t it fun sharing old friends?

I have just discovered this post by Charlotte: Baskets of Books
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    • Erin
    • September 19, 2011

    That's so beautiful:)

  1. Reply

    Thanks, Erin!

    After the older girls finished putting together the baskets of books, Charlotte asked Imogen to do one for her. Then I offered to do one for Imogen.

    I wonder if any of the mothers would like to suggest some of their own favourites for other mothers to put in their baskets and read.

    • Pam
    • September 19, 2011

    I remember reading and loving so many of those as a child.

    • Erin
    • September 19, 2011

    Do you mean mother's favourites for themselves? or mother's favourites from their childhood to share with their girls?

  2. Reply

    yes, there are also some of my old friends on the lists but a few I haven't read like the Michael Morpurgo book. And I don't think I ever read "The White Horse". Everyone says its such a good book I will have read it.

    Thank you for stopping by, Pam. btw, I've been enjoying your scrapbook pages. Such beautiful photos of your children!

  3. Reply


    I can see how my comment was confusing! I meant mothers' choices for other mothers eg adult fiction they have enjoyed etc. But mothers' choices for their daughters would be interesting as well.

    This gives me an idea for a meme! Shall I develop it?

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