One book series (or rather the animated series based on it) that inspired me to start writing was the Redwall Book series by Brian Jacques. Something about medieval armies, pirates and talking animals just works for me.
I used to read them. My school library had several of them, and after I ran out of them I started buying them. They were good. It was some of the first fantasy I read, and I loved it. I never tried writing with anthropomorphic animals, perhaps because I felt it wasn't "serious", or because I didn't want to write kids books (even when I was a kid), but some of the ideas behind the stories have stuck with me.
They were my first fantasy books as well. Found them right before I started Harry Potter. The thing I remember best about the Redwall books was the feasts. They always made me hungry or wishing I could at least sample the dishes.
As for writing. I don't think I could write with talking animals.
I loved Redwall as a kid! I'd spend hours reading, even during recess. I think I've still got a couple old copies lying around. But I think it was sometime around Triss that I started to move on. Eventually every hare seemed like the same character to me And the descriptions of the forest, while absolutely beautiful, always were a little long for me. But I loved the characters, and the way he could tell three or four stories at once.
The Redwall series was not the first Fantasy series that I started with it was the second, the first was the trilogy by Stephen R. Law head. Back to Redwall, Yes there were the patterns that he would have of discovery of enemy, raising up of warriors, the traveling, the fighting, and then the warriors kicking enemy butt. But Still Brian Jacques did a very good job and each time his books came out I went and bought one or it was given to me as a Christmas present. There are only specifically certain of his books that I actually like the others i enjoy but not as much as the one I really like. Out of them all I think that Lord brocktree was my favourite with many others contending for second.
Eventually I did notice that there was the same plot over and over. But I guess, when you get older, you can start taking more intricate plots, while the kids probably couldn't keep up if the plot was overly technical. Still, you can't hate a story that makes you feel warm and welcomed like Redwall did. Redwall was the place to live. Another thing was that he described the food so well, I remember wanting to eat everything they had. So glad he made recipes! The strawberry fizz was the best.
I read several of the Redwall books to my kids when they were younger, and really enjoyed them. It's true, after you read a few of them, it does start seeming like the same story over again, but still very exciting and well written, and the characters were endearing.
There characters were very endearing. There were so many of them that I loved. It wasn't very hard to decide that if I could live anywhere, it would be at Redwall. It was both an adventurous place, a peaceful place, and a place where the best things were simple day-to-day happenings: preparing for winter, fishing for dinner, planting, harvest, helping whoever needed a hand with chores.