Our writers are (lovingly) foisting favourites on their unsuspecting nippers. Jojo Sutherland introduces her daughter to a whole new world at the bottom of the garden.
As a child I was convinced, completely and utterly, that the tree at the bottom of our garden was THE tree: that magical, incredible magnificent oak that soared up to the sky and housed the Saucepan Man, Moonface and, my favourite, Silky.
The fact the tree at the bottom of my garden was little more than a sapling didn’t deter my imagination. I swore blind Wishy Washy’s water was pouring down the trunk and no amount of “it’s just rain” from my brother would put me off.
I would lose myself for months in those pages, desperately wanting to visit one of the lands at the top of the tree. Not all of them mind, as some were pretty mean. But the ones that gave away free stuff – they were tops.
Who wouldn’t want to live in a land of “do as you please”? How cool would it be to live in “a land of spells”? What child wouldn’t adore the tales and adventures of the characters in this book?
My child, that’s who.
Bless her she tried, for my sake, to love it as much as I did. But in the end she just wasn’t convinced. In a world that houses smart phones, iPads, Playstations and Sky TV, a whole chapter on turning someone upside down just wasn’t cutting it.
Nowadays, with the click of a few buttons she can star in her own pop video, create a land of her own, build houses, run farms and hang out with her friends through a screen. She loves books: her books not the books of her mother’s youth.
I suppose I should be grateful, because if she is anything like me (and she is), after reading The Magic Faraway Tree for the first time she might have climbed the tree at the bottom of our garden, fallen out of it and broken her scapula.
Jo jo Sutherland - Charismatic comedy mother, entertaining audiences worldwide and proving that you can have it all