Best ever children’s books unveiled

Five children’s laureates have revealed their favourite books for youngsters


Classic tales for youngsters are more appealing than more modern stories, according to five children’s laureates.


Quentin Blake, Jacquelin Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Anne Fine and Michael Rosen have compiled a list of their favorites for bookshop Waterstone’s. 

Among the top books for children were The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken, Five Go to Smuggler’s Top by Enid Blyton and Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, Just William by Richmal Crompton and Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild also made it into the list.

Noticeably absent from the collection were the Harry Potter books and A.A Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh stories.

Sarah Clarke of Waterstone’s told the BBC: “I’m sure it will be a surprise to many that the list does not include more recent bestsellers like JK Rowling’s Harry Potter.

“But it’s great to see the laureates choosing some timeless greats like The Railway Children and Just So Stories and introducing them to a new generation of readers – that’s what the laureates are all about.”


Just five of the 35 books selected were written in the last two decades.


Please read our Chat guidelines.