In honour of their 70th anniversary, the book publisher Puffin has compiled a list of the 70 best children’s books of all time.
The list spans a range of books targeted towards the tiniest of tots right up to teenagers and is divided into sub-categories including ‘best mischief and mayhem’, ‘best blood and guts’, ‘best weird and wonderful’, ‘best swashbuckling and derring-do’…and on the softer side, ‘best sugar and spice’ and ‘best books to cuddle up with’.
Classics featuring include Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan, which head up the titles in the ‘weird and wonderful’ category, as well as Treasure Island, Watership Down and Charlotte’s Web.
That staple of every childhood’s reading material, Roald Dahl, has a category all to himself: the rather appropriately titled ‘Phizzwhizzers’, which features The BFG, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Mr Fox. Dahl sells more books than any other Penguin author in both the children’s and adults categories each year, with his sales boosted by a staggering 35% in 2009.
The entire list is featured in The Puffin Handbook, a new guide to children’s books designed for parents. Published by Puffin, it is being made available for free from UK bookshops, libraries and to download from the Puffin website as part of the 70th anniversary celebrations.