When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr
K I D S ‘ B O O K
When it comes to books, reconnecting with my own childhood through the stories I read with my kids is something I find truly special. Before the pandemic, I loved nothing more than meandering through our local children’s bookshop, pointing out my favoured titles from my younger years and helping them choose what they fancied getting stuck into.
This was the very same bookshop I walked through when I was a child and a voracious reader, even then. Ruth, who ran the shop, clocked my hunger for books quickly and hugely encouraged my reading; she used to keep aside proofs for me to read before the books hit the shop floor. She would even read through the stories I wrote, offering me her thoughts, and whenever I walked in with my mum, she was ready with endless recommendations for me. Needless to say, I was (or rather, my parents were!) an excellent customer!
Ruth sadly passed away recently and a couple of months ago, we found out that our favourite bookshop is not going to be reopening. I have so many memories tied up in that place — from childhood, my teenage years, adulthood and motherhood. When they started selling off the stock, I was able to go in for one last wander around. I knew what I was looking for before I got inside — Judith Kerr’s When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. Nine-year-old Anna’s story, set in Germany in 1933 during the rise of the Nazis, is one that has always stayed with me. I can actually remember waking up at the crack of dawn and opening my curtains to let the light in so I could read it before getting up for the day (twenty-five odd years later, I still do this every morning!)
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit was one of Ruth’s recommendations. I’m waiting a bit longer before I give it to my eldest to read but it was so important to me to buy it from our beloved bookshop and to have it in our home. I don’t think my love of books would have grown the way it has without Ruth’s encouragement and guidance during those formative years and for that I will always, always be grateful to her. Needless to say, we will miss her, and Bookworm, immeasurably.