Monday, 8 June 2009

What Katy Did


So embracing my inner child at the weekend wasn't entirely successful. Re-reading What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge I was wishing that I hadn't. Much as Hilary Mantel did I found Katy's story to be pious and moralising. Is this really the Katy Carr I loved as a child? Post accident she is so saintly saccharine that I felt the need of a visit to the dentist.
I was a good child and I am sure that I looked to Katy as I did Anne Shirley and Mary Lennox and Pippi Longstocking as a means of escape. I certainly preferred the Katy Carr who got herself into scrapes earlier in the children's novel and not Saint Katy that she later became.

What Katy Did at School was my favourite of the What Katy Did trilogy (What Katy Did Next I can barely recall) and I approach re-reading it with trepidation ... what if all my wonderful childhood memories of reading and re-reading it are shattered? It is a school story, one of my favourite children's literature genres, and therefore full of promise but I am still nervous. I don't think I'll be able to bear the disappointment of now hating it.

Far more successful were re-readings of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Although not a revisit to childhood memories for me as I first read about Harry Potter and -at that time- four of his magical adventures in 2002, it is certainly embracing my inner child. I am an unashamed and avid fan of the Harry Potter books and films and I am still waiting for my letter to say that I am going to Hogwarts.

7 comments:

Nymeth said...

Oh no! It always makes me so sad to return to a childhood favourite and find that the charm is gone. I hope you have better luck with What Katy Did at School!

Paperback Reader said...

Thank you, Nymeth.

Jo said...

I loved these as a child. But I can se how they might seem a bit moralistic to an adult mind. I think I'll leave them in my childhood. Blyton and Dahl still have the childhood appeal for me though.

Paperback Reader said...

Thanks for dropping by, Jo.
There are definitely children's books that still hold their charm for my (like you I love Blyton and Dahl) but I may avoid rereading the classics for a while.

Vintage Reading said...

Yes, I think I like Katy much better pre-accident. Although she is much sweeter to little Elsie after her fall. Always preferred Clover, anyway!

Vintage Reading said...

Yes, I think I like Katy much better pre-accident. Although she is much sweeter to little Elsie after her fall. Always preferred Clover, anyway!

Vintage Reading said...

Yes, I think I like Katy much better pre-accident. Although she is much sweeter to little Elsie after her fall. Always preferred Clover, anyway!