In 1979 I spent a semester in London attending Southlands College and student teaching at a local primary school. The teacher with whom I did my teaching practice had a set of books in her classroom that I fell in love with and when I finished my student teaching, she gave me several titles in the collection. I’m pretty sure that I was the first person in Elgin to have copies of these books because they didn’t hit the States until a few years later. I remember being delighted yet dismayed to see the books being sold in a bookstore in Pittsburgh. Delighted because I could now easily purchase more of the books and dismayed because I was not unique in that respect any longer.
I used these books for lessons when I was a teacher because I loved the simple drawings, the life-lessons and the high vocabulary they offered. The books may have been small picture books, but when I did a readability evaluation on a few passages in several books found they were at the 5th grade reading level.
When my own children were old enough to care about books, I brought the books home and read to them from the books. We had fun laughing over the silly characters and the situations in which they found themselves.
The books are still in the house somewhere and while I’ve not seen them recently, thought about them the other day and made a mental note to blog about the set of books sometime soon.
My favorite was Mr Chatterbox and I never really liked the Little Miss books. They seemed more like an afterthought to me and not nearly as funny as the originals.