The books that raised me: Bookshop Day 2022 edition

This Bookshop Day, we’re celebrating booksellers around Aotearoa New Zealand by asking some to share a book that was special to them growing up, a book that raised them. How do you pick just one when you’re surrounded by a treasure trove!


Lisa at Vic Books, Wellington

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

The images conjured up all sorts of antics; Max always had a mischievous look on his face and I loved the wild things doing as they were told.  And I could never work out how he got home with his dinner being hot still…



Grace at Lamplight Books, Auckland

Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry

This may not be the chicest choice, especially if you’re familiar with the gorgeous range of illustrated books we have at Lamplight, but Richard Scarry’s depictions of everyday work (and the modes of transport we take to get there) filled my childhood imagination. I blame this book for my love of the train and Busy Busy People for my crush on the train driver.



Annie at Smith’s Bookshop, Christchurch

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

I always loved how much fun this book was when I was little, and the illustrations are simply classic.





Joanna at Chicken and Frog , Featherston

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

This was the first book given to my son, 38 years ago.  His children now read the same tattered copy, and I dream of saying ‘Hush’ and having everyone fall fast asleep! An enduring classic.





Jane at Good Books, Wellington

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

This book taught me that main characters – and kids – are allowed to be extremely imperfect.




Jo at Pictura, Dunedin

Tilly’s House  by Faith Jacques

As a child I was utterly fascinated by the idea of tiny worlds co-existing with our own. Tilly‘s House has occupied a special place in my mind for years; Tilly‘s perilous journey out of the dolls house to finally create a home of her own in the garden is just such an enchanting and sweet tale. A sofa made of matchboxes, paperclips for clothes pegs – bliss for a child’s imagination!




Jemma at McLeods, Rotorua

Comet in Moominland by Tove Jansson

This book is special to me because both mum and dad adored this series and would read a chapter a night to my brother and I growing up. Their storytelling throughout our childhood instilled a deep and abiding passion for books in me, and I love the quirkiness and whimsy of these tales by Tove. They are favourites still!



Rachel at Unity Books, Wellington

Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales by Beatrix Potter

As a child I couldn’t have a good nights sleep without listening to a Beatrix Potter story… I’m now 25 and the same rule still applies!





Wilma at Petronella’s Bookstore, Tekapo

The Macmillan Fairy Tale Collection

In my family we read fairytales forever. The wolves, witches and wicked parents were scary, but at least our real life was super nice in comparison.




Rebecca at Telling Tales, Christchurch

Flambards by K M Peyton

I loved this book because of its determined and resourceful main character.






Lesley and Celia at Paige’s Book Gallery, Whanganui

Charlotte’s Web by E B White

This book touched my heart , and to this day still does.

The Story of Babar: The Little Elephant by Jean de Brunhoff

As a child in the 1950s, Babar was a book that transported me to far away places I knew nothing about. It stirred my interest in travel and other countries.



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