The topic for this month is children’s books, and we’ve looked a lot at gender and the roles of writers, and had a look at World Book Day, I decided to take a look at which books are the nations all-time favourite children’s books.
After a google search, I found the most up to date articles I could find were from April 2015, so I chose to look at one compiled by the BBC and written about by The Guardian. In reverse order, here are the top 10 books that made it on their list:
10. A wrinkle in time
9. A Wizard of Earthsea
8. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
7. Winnie the Pooh
6. The Little Prince
5. Little Women
4. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
3. Where the Wild Things Are
2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
1. Charlotte’s Web
From looking at the BBC site, when they announced their winners, the panel of critics consisted of critics from all over the world, including children’s book editors from the Sunday Times and Times Magazine as well as the author of the Oxford Companion to Children’s literature. What were you expecting to see on the list?
Any of the titles there surprise you? Well, I was pleased to say that I recognised 7/10 of the titles which is a good start, and had read 6 many moons ago, but I can’t say that any of them were my favourite. I was brought up in a generation of Harry Potter and Jacqueline Wilson books so far from the classic titles that appear to make it on this list. Interestingly, it appeared there had been much criticism of the list compiled. Someone had tweeted the BBC to point out that the most recent book on the list had been written in 1968 – so not very representative of now. I also wondered as well whether some of the material was appropriate for “children” (I would class children as those at primary school and the list itself was compiled for children aged 10 and under). I remember picking up Little Women in my teens and trying to have a read after my Grandad had given me an entire set of classics and I must say I found it very heavy going.
Looking into this topic has made me question whether there is such a thing as an “All-time favourite book” – maybe as a generation we can say that our peers would share similar interests, depending on the current trend of the time, but is this possible for a whole nation? Of course there are some books that will be passed down from generation to generation because maybe they were our parents’ favourites, but that doesn’t mean they are going to be ours.
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