Friday Feature: The Best Children’s Books of the Last 100 Years? Part 2 (6 – 8 yrs)

Last week I came across this list from October last year, of the 100 Best Childrenโ€™s Books of the Last 100 Years compiled by Booktrust.org.uk, so in honor of Children’s Book Week in the US I thought it would be a good excuse to talk about what I think of the choices, and maybe add a few of my own.

If you missed last week’s post you can read it here: (0 -5 yrs)

Click the heading to see the full list.

6 – 8 Years

The 6 – 8 year group is a weird one. Even though it’s only a three year span I’m pretty sure the books I was reading at age 6 were vastly different to the ones I did at 8, but I think they made some good choices in this list.

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I was a huge fan of Enid Blyton, so The Enchanted Wood is a good choice for me, I really loved The Faraway Tree series too, but for some reason I never got on with the Fantastic Five.

Blyton isn’t the only one that appears on this list twice, Dick King-Smith’s The Sheep-Pig, and The Queen’s Nose both made it on the list. I don’t actually remember reading either of these even though I know they were popular at the time. I did however LOVE The Queen’s Nose TV programme. That theme tune just made me very nostalgic! I’d love to read those books now.

I’m surprised only one Dahl book made it onto the list (although there are more in the next category). I love The BFG but when I think back to my childhood, George’s Marvelous Medicine and The Twits stand out more than that one.

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I guess books like Paddington Bear, Winnie the Pooh, Babar, Pippi Longstockings and Charlotte’s Web are a rite of passage but they’ve never particularly excited me. It’s great to see The Arrival included in this list though, and The Worst Witch books were always a winner with me.

I’m also a big fan of Lauren Child’s Ruby Redfort series aimed at the slightly older market than her Clarice Bean books, which I haven’t read – so I’m sure she deserves her place here.

Favorite on the List:
Oooh it’s tough. If I channel my inner 6 year old – which isn’t very difficult believe me – I’d go for The Enchanted Wood, with The BFG coming in a close second. But The Worst Witch would have been my pick at 7/8 I reckon.

Missing from the List:
I know I’ve already mentioned Blyton but man, she was amazing. I’ve just remembered the Naughty Amelia Jane books which were definitely a favourite of mine. Seeing that cover again makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

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But the piรฉce de rรฉsistance is a book it took me ages to find. I could picture the red cover and knew that the main character had messy black hair and said ‘No’ a lot. I Don’t Want To! used to have me in stitches leaving my mum pretty bewildered (and probably quite concerned).

I Don’t Want To! by Bel Mooney
Kitty’s favourite word is No! She doesn’t want to clean her teeth, eat her vegetables or, worst of all, play with boring cousin Melisso. In fact, Kitty can’t seem to stop saying ‘no’ but when Dad tells her he doesn’t ever want to hear her say ‘yes’, she discovers that that’s exactly what she does want to say! When she breaks one of her favourite toys, she finds she does want to tidy her room. When Dad says he doesn’t want a goodnight kiss, Kitty decides she’d like to give one. When she’s bored because Mum and Dad are having a lie-in she does want to play with her big brother, Daniel.

Are you sensing a pattern with the books I loved when I was that age? Naughty female characters? Not much has changed.

Friday Feature: The Best Children’s Books of the Last 100 Years? Part 1 (0-5 Yrs)

As I mentioned in my Bookish Thoughts post yesterday, I’ve noticed in blogland that this week America is celebrating Children’s Book Week. It doesn’t look like it’s one that we celebrate over here in the UK (there are so many it’s hard to keep up)but it got me thinking about my favourite children’s books, (also so many!).

I came across this list from October last year, of the 100 Best Children’s Books of the Last 100 Years compiled by Booktrust.org.uk, so I thought it would be a good excuse for me talk about what I think of the choices, and maybe add a few of my own.

They have split the list into four year groups, 0-5, 6-8, 9-11, and 12-14 with 25 books in each. I’m going to look at a different category at a time. Click on the heading to go to the full list.

0-5 Years

It’s been a long time since I’ve read any books aimed at 0-5 year olds. A few of my friends have young kids, but there are none in my immediate family so I’m not exactly up-to-date where they are concerned. However, a lot of the books on this list are classics that most people will be aware of.

The notable classics that made the cut include The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Where’s Spot, Room on a Broom and The Tiger Who Came to Tea, but I don’t actually remember those from my childhood at all. Well, maybe Room on a Broom.

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I am pleased to see The Snowman on the list, although I don’t think I had the book, I just watched the animation at Christmas (and still do), Where the Wild Things Are is a book that I ADORE but I came to it later in life, and Dr Suess’ The Cat in The Hat will always be a favourite, along with many of his others.

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But the nostalgia really hit me when I got to Not Now, Bernard – I’d completely forgotten that even existed and did a proper gasp when I saw it!!! Meg and Mog (I was all over anything with witches – nothing has changed) and Dear Zoo. I definitely remember loving those books.

Favourite on the List:
It’s a tough one. I own versions of The Cat in the Hat, and Where the Wild Things Are and would happily read them over and over, but now I’ve remembered about Not Now Bernard I’m leaning towards that one. I think I’ll have to find a copy!

Missing from the List:
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I always preferred Green Eggs and Ham to TCITH so I think that should be in there. I also really vividly remember A Big Ball of String by Marion Holland. I loved that book so much!

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And lastly, there is one book that I’ve never been able to find. All I know is that it was about a unicorn who gets lost and ends up cold and wet and covered in leaves. I can picture it well, but haven’t been able to find it because I have no idea what it was called or who it was by. ONE DAY I WILL FIND IT. Any ideas??

What would make your list in the 0-5 years category? I’d love to know!

Next time I’ll look at the 6-8’s Category! (Blyton…Dahl…ahh so good!)