My First Ever Favourite Book (A Walk in the Park – Anthony Browne)

A Walk....jpgMy earliest memory is of my parents taking me to a small bookshop. I was being shown a range of flash cards and I was told I could choose the set I liked most. I was somewhere around age 2. I remember how important these flash cards were. I remember this because I was told how important they were. I was told that they would teach me to be grown up. Without knowing it at the time, I guess my love of literature was about to begin.

By the time I started nursery, I could already read (more or less). I read everything I could get my hands on. I read shopping lists, product names, the local newspaper, and just about any book I found. But I had no real understanding of the words I was reading, it was a purely phonetic reading exercise. I liked the reactions I got when I read words and got them right, but I didn’t exactly read stories and understand them.

All this changed on my first day at nursery. I don’t remember anything of the day beyond the fact that everything was a bit big and scary, and that I found a copy of ‘A Walk in the Park’. This immediately became my first ever favourite book. I became obsessed with it. Every day I went in to nursery, this was the first thing I went to. I read it all day, as many times as I could. I found the pictures hilarious. I could follow the story. I never got bored of it.

After much encouragement from myself, my parents bought me a copy of my own. I carried it everywhere. I read it almost constantly. I read it until the cover fell off and the pages were taped together. It is with this in mind, that I can only possibly give this book 5 stars. I think I moved on from this book around the time I started school but it had clearly made an impression on me.

This year, I bought a copy of this very same book. I read it to my year 1 class. They loved it. It has aged, there’s no getting away from that, but the pictures are still hilarious to children, the story is still easy to follow. The book can be adapted easily as a ‘Talk for Writing’ text and to help children write their own sentences. I now have a class of children who love the book just like I did all those years ago. Maybe one day they’ll grow up and give it 5 stars too.

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