Wednesday 21 December 2011

Countdown to Christmas: Librarian Ferelith Hordon

Ferelith is the Children's Librarian for Balham Library in the London Borough of Wandsworth. She has been Chair of CILIP Youth Libraries Group which administers the Carnegie and Greenaway Awards. 'I have been a Children’s Librarian now for more years than I care to count – and have never regretted this choice,' she says. 'My passion is reading and I firmly believe that there is at least one magical book for everyone. The challenge is to find it. I am committed to the value of great books and storytelling, the power of words and pictures and the difference they can make.'

Ferelith Hordon

Sharing what you read is one of the greatest pleasures, and sharing within the family the icing. Reading aloud is one of the best ways to share - and what better time than when the nights are long and a bit cold. My wish is that everyone should be able to experience this sharing and should have the chance to listen to a great story read by a real person - someone they can touch. These stories are tried and tested - and can be enjoyed by all ages....granddads, dads, grannies and mums - and all the young. So curl up, cuddle up, turn lights down begin..

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith

Varjak Paw by S.F. Said

Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie


  1. What a beautiful introduction, Ferelith. Being read to 'by someone you can touch' is amazing. Hope things are going really well for you. It was great to meet you at the conference back in November. And I'm still planning for us to shadow the Kate Greenaway this coming year at my children's school. And they'll all be read by someone they can touch... Thanks, and very best wishes, Clare.

  2. This is a wonderful post that highlights the importance of reading together - there is nothing like it. Sometimes you wish you could bottle it, those precious moments when you share a book with your children and they are as enthralled as you are. I hope as Ferelith says many more children get the opportunity to find out what it is like.

  3. Thanks Ferelith - I'm going to pack 2 of these titles in my bag for a holiday read-aloud. Most of the family is grown up but we still share stories.

    What a wonderful wish.

    Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Magical New Year!

  4. Thanks Ferelith, another great Advent treat! And what better way to spend this darkest and shortest of days than to curl up and read someone a book!

  5. What a gorgeous post with all those huggable stories! Many thanks, Ferelith!

  6. I've been thinking of buying Varjak Paw for a couple of months now, so this has made my mind up.

    One of the biggest treats in our houshold is when everyone goes and picks 2 or 3 of their favourite books and we all pile onto the parental bed and have a big family reading time. These days I don't get to read much but have the huge pleasure of being read too by my children :-D

  7. The thing I miss most from my teaching days is telling the story at the end of the day. Watching the children's emotions rise and fall with the beats of the story was magical.

  8. I'm with Maureen - my favourite part of the day as a teacher was story time - and it was loved by the children too.
    Happy times.

  9. Every single book in this list is magical to the core. Thank you, Ferelith, for all that you and other librarians do!

  10. My happiest memories from school were the times spent in the library - either reading as a group when we were in junior school, or alone, sitting in the window looking over the schoolgrounds when I was in senior school. The teachers I remember with the greatest fondness and respect were those who encouraged reading and storytelling and my school librarians! They created whole new worlds for me.

  11. Love it :o) Just so Stories was the very first thing I bought for my first unborn child ;o) x

  12. I got a lovely glow just from reading this post. I really must read Varjak Paw - I was a little put off because it made my youngest daughter cry so much she couldn't finish it! Love the Dave McKean drawings, though.


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