Books we enjoyed as children.

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Do you remember the first time you read Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’? I certainly do. I was 8, it was Easter and along with the mountain of chocolate eggs, I had been given a copy of the book. I remember racing upstairs, sitting under my red desk, cracking open a Smarties egg and peeling open the first page to what I can now describe as one of my all time favourite books. Being transported into a magical world where the imagination can run wild and anything is possible is something every child should be entitled to.

G1100-Charlie-Chocolate-FactoryWith a recent report showing that 72% of parents believe that bedtime reading is one of the most important bonding experiences they can have with their child and with 75 per cent putting on voices to bring their children’s favourite characters to life, it is obvious that enjoying books from a young age is not only a key part of a childs development, but also for their adult relationship with reading. With World Book Day coming up in a couple of weeks (Thursday 5th March), Sainsbury’s conducted a poll of 2000 readers, which found that six in ten parents choose to read stories to their children that their own parents once read to them. Nostalgia, it seems, is a powerful thing.  Having recently read most of the Roald Dahl books to my six year old son, having already gone through the Enid Blyton ‘Faraway Tree’ and ‘Wishing Chair’ collection, I can empathise with this nostalgia wholeheartedly. Seeing the delight on his face as Mrs Twit served up worm spaghetti to Mr Twit is something that will stay with me forever and I can only hope that he will share the same joy with his own children when he is older.

In honour of World Book day, a list has been compiled of the top 50 books every child should read by the age of 16:

  1. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory- Roald Dahl
  2. Alice in Wonderland- Lewis Carroll
  3. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe- C.S. Lewis
  4. Winnie The Pooh- A.A.Milne
  5. Black Beauty- Anna Sewell
  6. James and The Giant Peach- Roald Dahl
  7. The BFG-Roald Dahl
  8. A Bear Called Paddington- Michael Bond
  9. Treasure Island- Robert Louis Stevenson
  10. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn- Mark Twain
  11. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling
  12. Matilda- Roald Dahl
  13. The Railway Children- E. Nesbit
  14. Oliver Twist- Charles Dickens
  15. Five on a Treasure Island- Enid Blyton
  16. The Wind in the Willows- Kenneth Grahame
  17. The Very Hungry Caterpillar- Eric Carle
  18. The Jungle Book- Rudyard Kipling
  19. Charlotte’s Web- EB White
  20. The Tale of Peter Rabbit- Beatrix Potter
  21. Watership Down- Richard Adams
  22. The Hobbit -J.R.Tolkien
  23. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- J.K. Rowling
  24. Lord of the Flies- William Golding
  25. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 ¾ Sue Townsend
  26. Great Expectations- Charles Dickens
  27. The Cat in the Hat- Dr Seuss
  28. The Secret Garden- Frances Hodgson-Burnett
  29. The Diary of a Young Girl- Anne Frank
  30. The Twits – Roald Dahl
  31. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz- L. Frank Baum
  32. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne
  33. Anne of Green Gables- L.M.Montgomery
  34. The Tiger Who Came to Tea- Judith Kerr
  35. Green Eggs and Ham-Dr Seuss
  36. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
  37. Bambi- Felix Selten
  38. Tom’s Midnight Garden- Phillipa Pearce
  39. Little House on the Prairie- Laura Ingalls Wilder
  40. Funny Bones- Janet and Allan Ahlberg
  41. Where The Wild Things Are- Maurice Sendak
  42. Carrie’s War- Nina Bawden
  43. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
  44. The Magician’s Nephew- C.S. Lewis
  45. The Golden Compass – Philip Pullman
  46. The Story of Doctor Dolittle- Hugh Lofting
  47. The Story of Tracy Beaker – Jacqueline Wilson
  48. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
  49. Curious George- H.A.Ray
  50. Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

I have printed this list off for my son, who has very proudly ticked off 11 titles already and he’s only 6! We are now making it our mission to slowly work through them. I also worked out how many of these children’s classics I had read – 34. Not bad, but that leaves 16 to still read, which I intend to do, either by myself or with my son. Take a look through yourself and see how many you have read from the list. I would also really enjoy hearing about the books you enjoyed as a child – can you remember Bobby Brewster, Flossie Teacake or Superfudge?  Send us your own top 20 childrens books and we will share them on here for others to enjoy.

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