Children love to be entertained by witty, action-packed stories as well as charming tales that gently draw the reader in – and this is reflected in the top 10 children’s books.
The top 10 list reveals that classics are still highly valued alongside more modern takes on storytelling for children.
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, CS Lewis
Set during World War II, this book centres on the accidental discovery of the land of Narnia by four children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie. Sent to live in the countryside from London in 1940 to escape the Blitz, the children stay with Professor Digory Kirke in a country house. During a game of hide and seek, Lucy opens the wardrobe that leads to Narnia – and soon all four discovery the mystical lands and their adventure begins, but it’s not long before they encounter the cruel White Witch.
The Wind In The Willows, Kenneth Grahame
This entertaining tale of friendship sees Mole, Ratty and Badger enjoying their days of picnics and river play – until that is, they decide to help Toad mend his ways and the adventure takes on a more exhilarating pace.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
A big hit with little children, this classic book is about a week in the life of a hungry caterpillar, as he gets bigger and eventually turns into a butterfly. Enchanting, kids enjoy the touch-and-feel nature of the colourful book as they discover the different foods the caterpillar munches his way through.
Peter Pan, JM Barrie
This classic story about the boy who never grew up has enchanted children for decades. Originally a stage play, this novel follows the adventures of the Darling family after they are taken to the island of Neverland by the forever-young Peter Pan. Among their encounters are fairies and Captain Hook.
The BFG, Roald Dahl
The Big Friendly Giant is a wonderful book written by Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake. It centres on the friendship formed between orphan Sophie and the BFG, and their adventure to stop a group of human-eating giants.
The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkein
This epic and magic tale tells of the battle for Middle Earth. Sauron, the Dark Lord, wants the One Ring so he can rule all Middle Earth – but this ring has fallen into the hands of hobbit Bilbo Baggins who entrusts it to young Frodo Baggins. Frodo together with his loyal companions undertakes the dangerous and fraught task of travelling to Mount Doom to destroy the ring and stop Sauron’s evil plans.
Alice In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
This fantasy tale is loved by children of all ages and follows the adventures of a young girl called Alice who one summer’s afternoon follows a rabbit down a rabbit hole. There she encounters a world of crazy creatures, a mad tea party and more.
The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson
This picture book is funny and teaches children that their worst fears are not always as scary as they seem. The Gruffalo is a charming story about a witty mouse who encounters three animals in the wood, who all want to eat him, so he tells tales of a scary gruffalo that he’s on his way to meet in a bid to put them off turning him into a light bite. But it turns out the beast of his tales is real…
Harry Potter, JK Rowling
Since 1997, the Harry Potter series has sold millions and been enjoyed by children and adults alike. The books tell the adventures of Harry and his friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger as they battle against Lord Voldermort to stop him taking over the world of wizards and muggles.
Swallows and Amazons, Arthur Ransome
This adventure-filled story follows the antics of four children John, Susan, Titty and Roger who set sail for Wildcat Island on their boat called Swallow. Soon their peace is disturbed by the Amazon pirates Nancy and Peggy who claim ownership of the island. But before too long, a truce is declared and the Swallows and Amazons become great friends – and have endless adventures and sunny days on the island.
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