70 ‘best children’s books’ revealed by Puffin in their 70th year

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.

4 thoughts on “70 ‘best children’s books’ revealed by Puffin in their 70th year”

  1. Hi Lisa enjoyed reading your post.Which is your ‘best children’s book of all time’ ? Mine is Pamela Brown’s ‘The Swish of the Curtain’.

  2. I just went on to look at what the choices were to see even though I’m a boring grown up now how many i had actually read, and found that with the exception of books published “after my time” and books I would have categorised as “being for smelly boys” I had read about 90% of them. I particularly remember being a fan of Michelle Magorian, Anne Fine, and Morris Gleitzman, and, with the books for little ones, I’ve had the joy of sharing them all over again with my godchildren. Good times.

  3. Now this is INTERESTING! I have a black and white photograph upstairs, somewhere (in one of my ‘safe places’ ) of a very dear friend who won for his school, a Puffin competition in the 80’s, along with his pupils. HIs winning phrase was “The proof of the Puffin is in the reading”! I’m sure he would not mind me repeating this now. My said friend shared a flat with ‘us ‘in Bristol (ex-husband myself and small daughter) prior to filling a teaching post in Greece.

    He had the most amazing ‘library’ in his room, which I used to enter each day and pilfer all sorts of books (paperback at the time) for my reading time with my daughter (I miss those days very much!) and books for myself.

    I don’t know why I assumed it, but I did assume that Puffin no longer existed,maybe, for me, the time I had in the ‘library’ was special ‘out-of-time space’ and cannot be purely translated into today’sPuffin. Well, it got me and my daughter into some fantastic reads and closeness whilst her father was away for months (workwise). Hope that in time travel more Mums and children are now experiencing something similar!

    In the now for myself I am trying to type this whilst in my youngest sons room who is playing accompanying bass guitar to a track of Kings of Leon – he’s quite good actually.

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