For those growing up in a government school, they would definitely remember the Program NILAM initiative whereby we would have to read quite a number of books in order to note them down in our buku nilam. It was a healthy way to cultivate reading habits, and hence books will certainly be a part of our childhood memories. Here are 10 books every Malaysian kid has probably read over the years.
1. Peter and Jane
Every kindergartener would start out with a Peter and Jane book because it’s got pictures in it and which kid doesn't like colourful pictures? It's a simple book to learn how to read and who could ever forget memorable characters such as Pat the dog?
2. Favourite Tales books
These Ladybird books are classics and contain well-loved stories such as Goldilocks, The Magic Porridge Pot and Thumbelina. If you flip the book over, there will be a full list of books from the series so most kids would use a pen to tick off those they already have, and keep a mental checklist of which to get next.
3. Enid Blyton series
A trip to the bookstore would likely mean you would come home with a storybook from Enid Blyton. There are so many stories inside, but they each only last a few pages long so we get through the books quite quickly.
4. Disney’s Little Golden Books
These Walt Disney books with a golden rim at the edge are bookshelf staples and were fun to read because come on, who wouldn’t want to read about what happens to Snow White or Mickey Mouse on their daily adventures?
5. Aesop’s Fables
Parents love buying kids Aesop’s Fables storybooks because it would teach the little ones a thing or two about moral lessons. Stories we would remember up till today would be The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and The Tortoise and the Hare.
Going to the school library, this series would be stacked on the shelves and every kid somehow likes to spook themselves out, so they will borrow one to read at home...at night.
7. Adventure/Detective novels
For girls, it would be the Nancy Drew series, and for the guys, the Hardy Boys' storybook may ring a bell. There’s just something enjoyable about solving mysteries as a kid and even if we had to live vicariously through these characters, then so be it.
8. Harry Potter series
There would at least be one kid in our class who collected the entire Harry Potter series and for those who didn’t want to spend money on books, we would borrow from our friends just to see what the hype was all about.
9. Archie Comics
Okay, it’s not really a book but Archie comics are a fun read and the adventures that the Riverdale gang get into are always really interesting - not to mention the love drama between Archie and the girls.
10. The Phantom of the Opera
This book is after all a part of the school curriculum, so we would have to read it for school anyway. Nonetheless, it is a good story about love and tragedy.