Best 50 children’s books?

 As revealed by Booktrust the list of the 50 best children’s books (polling 4,000 people) was as follows:

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
Famous Five, Enid Blyton
Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne
The BFG, Roald Dahl
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling
The Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson
The Tales of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
Matilda, Roald Dahl
The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Cat in the Hat, Dr Suess
The Twits, Roald Dahl
Mr Men, Roger Hargreaves
A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
The Malory Towers Series, Enid Blyton
Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie
The Railway Children, E. Nesbit
Hans Christian Fairy Tales, H.C. Andersen
The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum
The Witches, Roald Dahl
Stig of the Dump, Clive King
The Wishing Chair, Enid Blyton
Dear Zoo, Rod Campbell
The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Judith Kerr
Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Jan Brett
James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
A Bear Called Paddington, Michael Bond
Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
Aesop’s Fables, Jerry Pinkney
The Borrowers, Mary Norton
Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling
Meg and Mog, Jan Pienkowski
Mrs Pepperpot, Alf Proyson
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Michael Rosen
The Gruffalo’s Child, Julia Donaldson
Room on a Broom, Julia Donaldson
The Worst Witch, Jill Murphy
Miffy, Dick Bruna
The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery
Flat Stanley, Jeff Brown
The Snail and the Whale, Julia Donaldson
Ten Little Ladybirds, Melanie Gerth
Six Dinners Sid, Inga Moore
The St. Clares Series, Enid Blyton
Captain Underpants, Dav Pilkey

They appear to have omitted Tove Jansson, Alan Garner, and Robert Westall from the list completely – and poor Roger Hargreaves is named for his entire masculine output (including the rubbish later books where the variosu Mr Men start appearing in each other’s books) as opposed to the artful simplicity of the early morality tales (that for me can’t be read aloud without attempting an Arthur Lowe impersonation).

Anyway, any thoughts on what’s missing?


About loveandgarbage

I watch the telly and read when not doing law stuff and plugging my decade and a half old unwatched Edinburgh fringe show.
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25 Responses to Best 50 children’s books?

  1. CS Lewis can feck right off, transparent apologetics that I hated even as a kid.
    No Alan Garner, no point reading any further.
    Rowling? Eff off. Give us some Anthony Buckeridge if you want school stories.
    And where’s Jan Mark’s “Thunder and Lightnings”?
    Not a good list.

  2. burkesworks says:

    No Uncle, no molesworth, no Jennings, Bunter or William. And as you rightly point out, no Alan Garner either. Culturally deprived the lot of ’em.
    Also, is Tolkien missing because he wasn’t very good, or (more likely) could it be because – gasp – he didn’t write children’s books for the purposes of this poll?

  3. wardytron says:

    Where’s Richard Scarry, the man was/is (delete as applicable, depending on whether’s he still alive or not) a genius.

  4. peeeeeeet says:

    Ah yes, that famous book “Famous Five”, and that other famous book, “Alice in Wonderland”. I agree that Garner’s a crazy omission. And the Adventure series was the best of Blyton, with its homoerotic hero Bill Somethingorother. Though I did rather like reading about all those girls’ boarding schools, with their jolly communism and midnight feasts which were obviously a metaphor for something.

    • I was never able to treat Enid seriously again after the opening night of Channel 4 and that special Comic Strip version of the Famous Five. Then to cap it all I discovered that the TV adaptation had Gary Russell in it…

  5. > We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Michael Rosen
    Which reminds me of an incident when I was ambling through Manchester city centre; a grubby and rather seedy-looking chap sidled up to me and intimated that he “liked bears”. Believe me I’ve never clenched my arsehole so tightly in my life. 😉

  6. No Jacqueline Wilson, which is probably a Good Thing, and no Louise Rennison, which is probably an Even Better Thing – tough on proto-chicklit, tough on the causes of proto-chicklit.

  7. shaz_rte says:

    Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series blows Rowling out of the water.

  8. perlmonger says:

    No Tove Jansson or Revd. J P Martin, as stated above; no Andre Norton, no Russell Hoban, no Raymond Briggs. No sense to it at all.

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