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What are your favourite children's books?

10:30 UK time, Thursday, 6 May 2010

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Children's books publisher, Puffin is marking 70 years in the business. The books for kids line grew out of the Penguin books stable. What makes a successful children's book?

The first Puffin book to hatch featured Worzel Gummidge and in 1967, Kaye Webb, Puffin editor, started the Puffin book club to encourage more children to read books.

Famous Puffin titles include Treasure Island, the Artemis Fowl series and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

What were your favourite first books? Are there books that inspired you to read more as a child? Have you passed on your reading recommendations to your children?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    10 points to the first poster who claims the bible is their favourite fictional children's book.

    Personally, I liked the Secret Seven books, John Christopher's tripods trilogy and The Demon Headmaster.

  • Comment number 2.

    My favourites as a very small child were "Spot the Dog", of course "The very hungry caterpillar" and after I learnt to read I loved the "Narnia" books, the "Redwall" series and "The Animals of Farthing Wood" (before there was a TV series of it).

    I found reading amazing as a child, and though I didn't come from a family that read a lot of books, my parents always encouraged me and sat up to read with me each evening. Whatever they did in my school to teach me to read must have worked, I learnt in four months and then never stopped again!

  • Comment number 3.

    If I have to read the Very Hungry Caterpillar again I'll scream! It is a great book, but not when your 2 year-old refuses to have any other bed-time story. All together now...."In the light of the moon....".

  • Comment number 4.

    Reading was very much one of my favourite pastimes as a child. I loved all of the Roald Dahl books, they were great and I also enjoyed Enid Blyton's Secret Seven and Malory Towers series.

    Also being horse daft I loved any sort of pony story, especially the not very well know Jinny Series by Patricia Leitch about a girl who owns an Arab Horse that she rescued from a circus. I'd be interested to know if anyone else on here read those ones.

  • Comment number 5.

    Rasmus & the tramp

  • Comment number 6.

    I loved all animal books and would probably pick out "Tarka the Otter" by Henry Williamson. I can still remember feeling Tarka's hunger in the harsh winter months and the fear when he was hunted.

  • Comment number 7.

    What are your favourite children's books?

    My favourite 'classic' childrens book would have to be Rudyard Kipling's Jungle book.

    Special award for all of Roald Dhal's childrens books, he would have to be the greatest children's author.

    Best of the modern age- JK Rowling's Harry Potter series.

  • Comment number 8.

    As a child I can remember reading The Hobbit (or there and back again).
    Even to this day I can still remember the journey of Bilbo Baggins
    In later years I also read the Lord of The Rings.

  • Comment number 9.

    I loved the Famous Five series. There was also a book called the 'Magic Faraway Tree' I think, where some children climbed a tree with characters who lived there and a different land arrived at the top of the tree every now and again. Brilliant tales - may hunt down a copy now actually!

    Fantastic Mr Fox was also a favourite, and the Witches by Dahl too. Pity most kids now would probably mainly know the movie versions of these (but that said I don't remember the films being particularly bad adaptations in those cases).

  • Comment number 10.

    Enid Blyton - the Famous 5 series were great books, they actually made you think as a child that there are things in the world that are worth defending.

    Hugh Walters - Childrens Science Fiction about space travel, more aimed at young boys, however two of my sisters also became fans after reading Blast Off at Woomera - I read every book he ever wrote in that series.

  • Comment number 11.

    I loved the 'Ant & Bee' books when I was very young. Getting older, the Cat In The Hat books, Moomintroll and when a grown-up kid, Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' trilogy.

  • Comment number 12.

    The Dr Who Novelisations are truly wonderful too. Terrence Dicks did a fantastic job of converting the favourite episodes and stories over to the book format. It certainly spruced up my interest between seasons.

  • Comment number 13.

    I liked Enid Blyton's "Five find-outers and dog" series, which were a milestone on my way to becoming a bookworm, journalist and news junkie. Richmal Crompton's "William" series were another milestone.

  • Comment number 14.

    Tom's Midnight Garden. Philippa Pearce

    All children should be given the chance to read this book. It was the favourite story of my childhood. It is a beautiful, haunting evocative story of childhood, growing up, adulthood and old age. It's also sad, in a happy kind of way, if that makes sense. It's a story of life. It's beautifully written, and a haunting evocation of a place, a garden, long ago - so powerfully drawn you feel you know every area of it - the nut stubbs, the greenhouse, the meadow, the sundial wall and the stream and so forth, that it comes alive in your mind - the old fir tree, that Hatty used to like to stand under in a high wind, and feel the roots "pulling like muscles" under her feet - so wonderfully drawn you'll not want to leave it's world. It's a part of my life, forever.

  • Comment number 15.

    The Bobby Brewster books by HE Todd. Which I cant remember a thing about now other than the name of the writer and the main character and the fact that I loved them.

    Anything by enid blyton.

    And I was very fond of a science fiction series by a writer called Hugh Walters which had a multi national space crew voyaging to all the other planets in the solar system one by one.

  • Comment number 16.

    My children and grandchildren all loved Chicken Licken and of course The Gingerbread Man.

    I loved the Famous Five series and couldn't wait for Xmas and birthdays to come round so that I could get the next volume.

    My sister had a copy of a book called The Little Blue Lamb (or something like that) and could not be parted from it for years. If anyone else has heard of this story I would be interested.

  • Comment number 17.

    As A small child definitely the Wind in the Willows

  • Comment number 18.

    1. At 11:07am on 06 May 2010, Sue Denim wrote:
    10 points to the first poster who claims the bible is their favourite fictional children's book.

    ---

    Or you could just reccomend Phillip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' trilogy which makes almost the same point.

    Though an enjoyable read i did find myself wondering just why it's regarded as a children's series, as some of the content is pretty philosophically complex.

  • Comment number 19.

    Mine is Richard Scarry's Busy Busy World, a delightful book beautifully illustrated with animals around the world and lots of short stories. I started school with a basic knowledge of where different countries were thanks to that book. I don't have children but I bought it for all my nieces and nephews. And I still have my own dog eared copy today.

  • Comment number 20.

    9. At 11:33am on 06 May 2010, Tom Dolan wrote:
    I loved the Famous Five series. There was also a book called the 'Magic Faraway Tree' I think, where some children climbed a tree with characters who lived there and a different land arrived at the top of the tree every now and again. Brilliant tales - may hunt down a copy now actually!

    I remember reading those ones as well, they were good fun. They have re-printed them because I saw them in my local library recently. Although the reprints have changed the names of a couple of the children in it! I wonder why that could be.....

  • Comment number 21.

    Enid Blyton's Magic Faraway Tree Series

    1. The Enchanted Wood
    2. The Magic Faraway Tree
    3. The Folk of the Faraway Tree

    And the Malory Towers Series

    That's what I wanted as a child... to live in the Enchanted Woods.

    And when I was older I wanted to be one of the Famous Fives and also and go to school at Malory Towers :-)

  • Comment number 22.

    Swallows and Amazons by Arther Ransome are my favourite books.I still read them at 70.

  • Comment number 23.

    I too loved The Faraway Tree stories..... so much so that I am now reading them to my children.

  • Comment number 24.

    16. At 11:42am on 06 May 2010, thomas wrote:

    "My sister had a copy of a book called The Little Blue Lamb (or something like that) and could not be parted from it for years. If anyone else has heard of this story I would be interested."

    The Little Blue Lamb
    by Wayne F. Maxwell Jr. (Author) Jane M. McCabe (Foreword)
    ISBN-10: 097470234X
    ISBN-13: 978-0974702346

    I hope this helps, thomas :)

  • Comment number 25.

    I think Roald Dahl wins hands-down. The Twits, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Matilda, George's Marvellous Medicine, the BFG, the Witches....need I go on?

  • Comment number 26.

    Anyone remember "The Borribles" by Michael De Larrabeiti? Excellent books, dark and fascinating for kids.

    Other than that, the classics by Enid Blyton, CS Lewis and Roald Dahl are always great. Ursula Le Guin also deserves honourable mention for her "Earthsea" novels.

  • Comment number 27.

    The Enid Blyton books, I used to spend my two and six pocket money on a new one every week. Little Women, the first book that made me cry. Then outstanding - the Narnia books, which I still love. Also horsy books like Black Beauty. Still to this day, it is one of the pleasures of my life to curl up with a good book!

  • Comment number 28.

    The Swallows and Amazon books were great.

    I have a very vivid memory of being read 'The Phantom Tollbooth' and loving it, but tried reading it again recently and couldn't get through.

  • Comment number 29.

    'Angus and the Geese' was my favourite book as a small child. I'm sure my mother was stick and tired of reading it to me! I also loved 'Fungus the Bogeyman'. As I got a bit older I enjoyed Enid Blyton's Famous Five, Mallory Towers and St Clare's stories. The most beautifully illustrated books I recall from my childhood were Hilda Boswell's Treasury of Childrens' Poetry and her Treasury of Stories. I don't know if they are still available. I would love to find a copy of each as my own were lost many years ago in a house-move.

  • Comment number 30.

    The Secret Seven
    The Three Investigators
    Doctor Who novelizations (classic Target ones, not the new Welsh soap).

  • Comment number 31.

    I didn't read too many "childrens books" as they didn't interest me that much so I was late in getting in to reading for lesiure. When I did I quickly moved on to my dads dad's sci fi collection Azimov, HG Wells, Heinlein etc.

    But I did read quite a lot of the "Three Investigators" series and the Fighting Fantasy game books if they count!

  • Comment number 32.

    'Children on the Oregon Trail' by A.Rutgers Van Der Loeff

    Read it when I was 10. One of the few books I remember many years later!

  • Comment number 33.

    20. At 11:45am on 06 May 2010, Bart Littlebird wrote:

    "I remember reading those ones as well, they were good fun. They have re-printed them because I saw them in my local library recently. Although the reprints have changed the names of a couple of the children in it! I wonder why that could be....."

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Pssh with women called Dame Slap, Moon Face and protagonists called Dick and Fanny, whatever could the PC brigade be so offended about - heheh!






  • Comment number 34.

    It obvious changes as you get older. However if pushed I would say the Hobbit, as I have reread this several times as an adult.

  • Comment number 35.

    Has to be Nicholas Stuart Gray's Down In The Cellar. I took it out of the school library and kept it for months on end.

    I bought a copy recently on Amazon and still enjoy reading it now.

  • Comment number 36.

    Favourite books from when I was a child were the Biggles and other books by Captain W E Johns.

    My other favourite book which I've just looked up at Amazon and found was published by Puffin was Wheelie in the Stars.

    Reading was a passion that I developed early on in life and as a teenager I managed to get through the entire science fiction section in the local library.

  • Comment number 37.

    'I liked Enid Blyton's "Five find-outers and dog" series, which were a milestone on my way to becoming a bookworm, journalist and news junkie.'
    Actually, technically it was 'Four find outers and a dog'. Typical journalist - overstating the facts as usual! :-)

  • Comment number 38.

    As a 8 year old it was The Three Golliwogs.
    As a 10 year old, it was The Time Machine.
    As a 15 year old, it was The Dogs of War.

  • Comment number 39.

    As a young child I remember Roger Red Hat, Billy Blue Hat and Jenny Yellow Hat. As I got older I loved Enid Blyton:

    1. The Enchanted Wood
    2. The Magic Faraway Tree
    3. The Folk of the Faraway Tree

    Also the Malory Towers and St Clare's books. All of her books I read and re-read. There was also a series entitled "The Naughtiest Girl".

    Roald Dahl was also a favourite, I read The Witches and Matilda time and time again.

    Reading is really important and I think kids should be read to every night and encouraged to read themselves in their spare time, it's a great hobby that only adds to and enhances learning.

  • Comment number 40.

    Too many to mention but the first book that was mine was 'Twinky' the story of a winged horse, a prize from Primary School when I was almost five, I had measles at the time. I also remembr my father reading me 'Lassie come Home' later made into films by the Americans, the Lassie in the book was Scottish.
    Enid Blyton.
    Monica Edwards.
    The Pullein Thompson sisters.
    because my mother belonged to a book club, I graduated to adult books early.
    Nevil Shute.
    Howard Spring.
    The 'Jalna' novels.

    As I said too many to mention except to say that the 'Winnie the Pooh' books were never, ever read, thoroughly stupid and extremely irritating.

  • Comment number 41.

    So many of them were great to me as a child, But Treasure Island ,was the best boys book at that time.

  • Comment number 42.

    Being an humongous nerd, I mostly read science books when I was a kid. When I was in infants school there was a prize of jelly watches and the like for the first to finish a book, which set me on course for a love of reading and bad dental hygeine. Can't remember a single title I read then, though!

    I did read Ballard's "Crash" when I was 13, which the librarians allowed as I'd read all of the books in the children's section, and led to the kind of literature I love now.
    I think the best contemporary children's books are "His Dark Materials"; when reading them I didn't feel like I was reading books meant for kids.
    With the Lemony Snicket books in close 2nd place.

  • Comment number 43.

    Were the colour coded dragons series of books Puffin? Or was that Armada? And are they the same company? And am I showing my age? I read lots of those - mostly horse/pony stories. However my love of reading came form the Famous Five, Specifically Five fall into Adventure. I really struggled learning to read, but once I discovered that book, you couldn't stop me, though for a long time I was afraid to read any other book in case it wasn't as good as that one!

    I don't remember early books. My mother taught me to read on the Ladybird Reading Scheme out of frustration when the school couldn't manage it.

    Otherwise I devoured either sci fi,adventure books,or school stories both past and modern.

    Happy birthday Puffin, you and your kind made me who I am today and rescued me from being labelled thick for the rest of my life.

  • Comment number 44.

    There were a lot of them. The Roald Dahl books were probably my favourites. Danny Champion of the World sticks in my mind. The Hobbit was also pretty hard to beat.

    Before that, it was Richard Scarry's "What do people do all day" which had fantastic illustrations. I also really enjoyed Aesop's fables.

  • Comment number 45.

    The Sword in the Stone, begging for a decent film of it - not the Disney attrocity.

    Asterix, so many levels of humour.

  • Comment number 46.

    I was a kid in the 50s and early 60s, and grew up in East Lancashire, so soft southern mardy-kid stuff like Winnie-the-Pooh and Enid Blyton was definitely out.
    My Dad gave me his own childhood reading matter - Kidnapped, Treasure Island and Ivanhoe, which I read with terrific enjoyment. But at thirteen, I read William Golding's Lord of the Flies, which remains the great read of my childhood.

  • Comment number 47.

    What was your favourite children's book?
    “Beautuful Joe”.
    Beautiful Joe was a dog whose story inspired the bestselling 1893 novel Beautiful Joe; this book brought attention to animal cruelty.
    Beautiful Joe was originally owned by a local Meaford man, who abused the dog to the point of near death, and even cut off his ears and tail. Walter Moore, father of Louise Moore, rescued the dog. Margaret Marshall Saunders first learned about Beautiful Joe when she visited her brother and his wife, Louise Moore. Saunders was so touched by Joe's story that she wrote a novel-length, fictionalized, autobiographical version of it, entitled “Beautiful Joe”.
    After Beautiful Joe came Treasure Island and Robin Hood, but it was Beautiful Joe that touched my heart, opened my tears, and left me unable to bring cruelty to any living thing.

  • Comment number 48.

    The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner. It lead me on to the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

    I also loved Herge's Adventures of Tintin. Captain Haddock was brilliant!

  • Comment number 49.

    Another vote for the Three Investigators. Also, the Target range of Doctor Who books which I read well into my teens (there were an awful lot of them).

  • Comment number 50.

    I never had any real favourites when I was a child as my parents weren’t great readers but when it came to reading to my own children Wind in the Willows became a regular. This was due mainly to the Piper at the Gates of Dawn chapter which is a little nocturnal adventure that closes with Ratty and Mole drifting down river homeward in Ratty’s boat as the sun comes up. As they drift along Ratty falls asleep and by this time both I and, hopefully, the children had too.

  • Comment number 51.

    The Wind in the Willows. Oh bliss.
    Came across a book some years ago called, " The bear that wasn't". Anyone else read this ?

  • Comment number 52.

    My most read book was 'Biggles and the Black Peril'. Biggles really was my superhero!

  • Comment number 53.

    Far too many to list, even now you have removed the word-count restriction from HYS! But early memories include:

    Treasure Island
    Robinson Crusoe
    Swiss Family Robinson
    The Hobbit
    My Side of the Mountain
    The Moonstone

    I read voraciously from an early age, the back of the cereal packet included! A couple of weeks after I started at primary school, the reception class teacher told my mother off for having taught me to read before I got there and spoiling her lessons! (My mother protested I'd done it all by myself.) By 7 I had a reading age of 14.

    And I'm still a bookworm today.

  • Comment number 54.

    "Tamara and the Sea Witch" was a childhood favourite of mine.

    These days a favourite to give to friends is "The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it Was None of His Business".

    At junior school I remember being a member of the Puffin book club.

  • Comment number 55.

    The Hobbit, Charlotte sometimes...and Charles and Mary Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare.

    Oh and Wind in the Willows and Winnie the Pooh of course. Then there is the Swallows and Amazon series...all the Noel Streatfield books, Secret garden... the list goes on and on. Reading was and still is a huge part of my life, it is the nearest we can get to being inside someone else's head and so gives a wider perspective on life...go on folks, kids and adults...get off your computer, switch off the TV and read a book!

  • Comment number 56.

    Enid blighty, famous five,less famous three,.... Zeus!! DR. SEUSS !!

    Maybe there should be an 'Infamous Five'' ( for ''Just Not It'' girls and boys)children's book...

  • Comment number 57.

    Moondial by Helen Cresswell.

    It was based about 5 miles from where I lived and was made into a tv series when I was 10. Helen Cresswell visited our school and signed my book.

    It made my final year at primary school and is a life long memory.

  • Comment number 58.

    it definately has to be Enid Blyton - the Famous Five and The Secret Seven. I was transported each time a new adventure commenced so much so that my parents had to throw me out of the house to get fresh air. I remember almost tasting the picnics they had with ginger beer and sandwiches although to this day I still don't actually like the taste of it i could almost taste it, such was the great descriptive style that Ms Blyton had. I think J K Rowling is a close contender but perhaps appeals to the older children.

  • Comment number 59.

    I was into comic books and their annuals. For example, Beano, Dandy, Beezer, Topper.

  • Comment number 60.

    I adored Enid Blyton's magical 'Mr Pinkwhistle' series where he put his magic to good use by teaching bad children how to be good children! And that bad never prevails. I sat for hours getting lost in these books as a child.

  • Comment number 61.

    I loved reading as a child. One of the earliest books I remember is what I thought was called "Remus and the Tramp", but I now realise must have been "Rasmus and the Tramp" by Astrid Lindgren, now usually titled "Rasmus and the Vagabond".

    When I got to about 10 I loved the Willard Price "Adventure" books and the Geoffrey Trease historical novels.

  • Comment number 62.

    Favourite childrens books were Famous Five and Mallory Towers (I tried to persuade my parents to send me to boarding school but to no avail!)
    As I got older I devoured all the horsey books by the Pullein-Thompson sisters and I loved a book called Pony Club Cup.
    However my ultimate favourite was a book whose title and author escapes me (but I'd love to read it again). It was about a girl who wanted to be a jockey and went to work at a trainers stables and all the ups and downs that went on and while she did achieve her ambition to be a race rider, it was the horses name Gobbledygook that stuck with me. Still to this day some 20 odd years later, if I ever own a horse, his name will be Gobledygook. If anyone can tell me the name and author of the book I would be most grateful!

  • Comment number 63.

    As a child, I really enjoyed John Christopher's Tripod trilogy, and John Wyndham's Chocky.

    As a teen, I was reading adult literature.

    Now as a 40-something adult, I've really enjoyed the Harry Potter books and His Dark Materials. Funny how things come full circle...

  • Comment number 64.

    The Ladybird books, particularly The Bill Goats Gruff and The Magic Porridge Pot. Anyone who read the Goats will probably remember the gut-clenching horror that was the troll. I read that with my boy when he was small and now he is terrified of the troll too. As is one of my 30 year-old mates...

    Those Ladybird books seem to strike a chord with everyone- I've got loads of them and, whenever I have visitors, am often rewarded by cries of "Oh! I used to have that when I was small!" *looks through book* "My GOD, that troll is foul!"

  • Comment number 65.

    I always remember Eva Ibbottson's The Great Ghost Rescue from school. I lost my copy so had to buy another!!

  • Comment number 66.

    Island of the Blue Dolphins

  • Comment number 67.

    I had a book called "Oliver Ostridge" and another called "Everybody said No" both of which I loved as a small child - although I believe my mother fell out of love with them when I made her read them for the hundredth time!

    Later, the animals of Farthing wood, the far way tree and Treasure Island - which gave me a carear ambition to be an old style pirate for several years

  • Comment number 68.

    In my memory my favourite children's book was Wind in the Willows but when I read it to my 7 year old we found the language really difficult. Still a lovely story but not written for young children. My son (and I) love Anthony Browne's books and we're working our way through the Alex Rider series now.

  • Comment number 69.

    33. At 12:14pm on 06 May 2010, Tom Dolan wrote:
    20. At 11:45am on 06 May 2010, Bart Littlebird wrote:

    "I remember reading those ones as well, they were good fun. They have re-printed them because I saw them in my local library recently. Although the reprints have changed the names of a couple of the children in it! I wonder why that could be....."

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Pssh with women called Dame Slap, Moon Face and protagonists called Dick and Fanny, whatever could the PC brigade be so offended about - heheh!

    Hehe, Precisely! Dame Slap became 'Dame Snap', Dick became 'Rick' and Fanny became 'Frannie'. I think Moon Face has kept his name though...lol

  • Comment number 70.

    The Adventures of Captain Underpants... And yes, I am old wnough to know better.

    Roald Dahl FTW

  • Comment number 71.

    #4 "Also being horse daft I loved any sort of pony story, especially the not very well know Jinny Series by Patricia Leitch about a girl who owns an Arab Horse that she rescued from a circus. I'd be interested to know if anyone else on here read those ones."

    I used to LOVE those books and dreamed about a 'Horse of Fire' of my own!

    Others favourites across various age ranges included Famous Five, Spot the Dog, lots of the Janet and Allan Ahlberg books, in particular Each Peach Pear Plum - a rhyming book which is firmly etched in to my memory!

  • Comment number 72.

    Stig of the Dump by Clive King. Utterly fantastic. I was convinced for a while that there were feral people living in quarries. The TV series was a little disappointing, but only because it wasn't the same as my minds eye.
    Narnia Chronicles, they were our Harry Potter really weren't they?

    And I don't know if anybody remembers them, but I had two books, in a series, 'How big is big' and 'How small is small', fascinating.

    Commando Comics and because we were a forces family, a steady supply of American comics with wierd ads in them!!

  • Comment number 73.

    Swallows and Amazons for me - I was never an Enid Blyton fan. Progressed early on to Rider Haggard & John Buchan and my favourite of all in early teens - Arthur Conan Doyle, not just Sherlock Holmes but 'The White Company' and 'Sir Nigel'. I have them to this day.

  • Comment number 74.

    Mark and Mandy Go To Market by Lornie Leete-Hodge - although my mother (who had to read it to me repeatedly until I learnt to read for myself) would probably violently disagree!

  • Comment number 75.

    I am tempted to say the Mr Men books as I read them to my children now and they love them.

    It's almost anything by Roald Dahl as his stories contain just about everything you need for a good read. My personal favourite is George's Marvelous Medicine.

  • Comment number 76.

    Farmyard Tales by Heather Amery and S. Cartwright

    This is Apple Tree Farm.
    This is Mrs. Boot, the farmer.
    She has two children called Poppy and Sam and a dog called Rusty.

    Simple stories.
    Brilliant illustrations.
    Find the duck on every page.

    Sixteen years later, unforgettable.

  • Comment number 77.

    Beatrix Potter series (very small)
    The 'Golden Books' series (age 5-7)
    Enid Blyton (age 7-10)
    The Baby-Sitters Club series (11+)

    I also remember loving my Sesame Street and Muppet Babies book & tape sets!

  • Comment number 78.

    My favourite book was a story called "Dogger", about a beloved, worn toy dog who is lost at a fete. Nobody else has heard of it, but I remember loving it as a child. I'm 18 now, and if I feel down I still read it to bring back the memories of feeling safe.

    I also loved having books like "A Little Princess", "The Secret Garden" and "Heidi" read to me, and then, when I was a little older (I started reading on my own at 5) I enjoyed reading them to myself all the more. Roald Dahl was an obvious favourite; I had made my way through all his books by the age of 7, but "George's Marvellous Medicine" always remained enthralling to me and is one of my firm favourites.

    My dad's an amateur archeologist, so I was heavily encouraged to read "Horrible Histories", so perhaps a little oddly these are on my list of favourite books as well. They are perhaps the most read books of my collection (which is now rather large), and I still dip into them now as a fun and educational journey.

  • Comment number 79.

    My favourite book when I was a child was 'The Starlight Barking' by Dodie Smith. It was the sequel to the 101 Dalmatians and I was utterly enchanted by the thought of flying dogs and all humans and other animals being asleep and not knowing a thing about what was going on.

    I borrowed the book from the library and read it over and over again.

    It's just a shame that hardly anyone seems to have heard of it.

  • Comment number 80.

    Cat in the Hat -- by "Dr Seuss"

  • Comment number 81.

    'The Velveteen Rabbit' by Margery Williams.
    I'm not entirely sure how popular this one is, but it was always my favourite bedtime story.

    Also, definitely the 'Harry Potter' series, the 'Chronicles of Ancient Darkness' series and also the 'His Dark Materials' series.

  • Comment number 82.

    ..it's a toss up between Charlotte's Web - because it is just such a charming tale, or Fungus the Bogeyman, for the art,humour and depth. I happened to stumble across the 'Barf-o-rama' books by Pat Pollari a few years ago and whilst they are pitched at children, the humour in them is clearly intended to amuse us adults: gross, descriptive and very, very silly (Dog Doo Afternoon)

  • Comment number 83.

    My parents encouraged us to read from as early as possible, in fact I was given my very own library ticket many years before I was officially old enough to join the public library. The librarian noticed that my mother always brought me to the library with her, and always took out a book for me on her own tickets - apparently she was so impressed with the fact that I could read at such an early age, she wanted to encourage it so full marks to her!

    My favourite early books were "Plop, the owl who was afraid of the dark" by Jill Tomlinson and "Orlando the marmalade cat" by Kathleen Hale. There were a series of books about Orlando and I vividly remember the cat on the front cover. Many years later, I adopted a stray kitten who was the very same colour as that cat and (despite being female) it made perfect sense to call her "Orlando".

  • Comment number 84.

    Oooh, I had lots of favourite books as I was growing up, and lots more now - I was pretty lucky in that I already knew how to read before I started school. My mum kept my reading record from reception class (she still has them, I went through 3 of them in my first term).

    My favourite books before I started school, my mum always tells me was "Not Now Bernard" and "The Tiger Who Came To Tea".

    I stil remember the first books I picked out for myself in a bookfair my school was holding, shortly after I started, it was called "Oink and Pearl" and "Mooch the Messy", I still have them, and love them dearly. By the time I reached secondary school, I was reading To Kill A Mockingbird (primarily because my mother left it lying around) and Jane Eyre, I believe I was very lucky to live in a household where reading was actively encouraged and I was allowed to read whatever I fancied during "reading time" at school (after my mother complained that she felt the books they were offering my class to read were for babies).

    But the ultimate storyteller has to be Roald Dahl, I still giggle at George's Marvellous Medicine and Fantastic Mr Fox, and I hope they will make many more generations of people smile as much as they made me :o)

  • Comment number 85.

    You'd be spoilt for choice today, of course, but - with the Biggles books - the Just William stories, the Kemlo series, Billy Bunter and of course The Famous Five/Secret Seven Society novels were all firm favourites with me during my junior school days.

  • Comment number 86.

    There were so many great children's books when I was growing up. Hungry Caterpillar, Tom's Secret Garden, Stig of the Dump, The Fantastic Mr Fox, the Laura Ingalls Wilder collection (Little House on the Prairie), The Ghost of Thomas Kempe, The Dolls House, The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark, Milly Molly Mandy, anything by Joan Aitken.... the list goes on. My dad was a bookseller so I was lucky to live above the shop and take my pick!!

  • Comment number 87.

    As a girl I loved the Chalet School books and the Famous Five. I used to dream of being like George and wish I had an older cousin to look after me like Julian.

  • Comment number 88.

    I loved reading The Secret Garden, William Mayne's books, and a special favourite was 'Millions of Cats' by Wanda Gag. I introduced this last one to my own children and they too loved the words...'hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats!'
    Great memories!

  • Comment number 89.

    My personal children’s favourites have always been the "Redwall" series by Brian Jacques. John Christopher's "Tripod Trilogy" was another I had fond memories of, I quite recently read them again actually.

  • Comment number 90.

    I loved the books in the Three Investigators and Hardy Boys series.

  • Comment number 91.

    My grandpa read a book called Scupper the Sailor Dog to me and my brother. It was before we learned to read but I remember Scupper walking on his hind legs with a red and white spotted hankerchieg tied to a stick over his shoulder. His boat was a galleon with a big hole in the bow repaired by 2 bits of wood in an x. What nostalgia.

    Pity there are no recs anymore - we could have had a vote on this

  • Comment number 92.

    Where to start?? The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a little Ladybird book called Smoke and Fluff, Famous Five (ginger beer and tongue sandwiches, anyone??), Malory Towers, Rupert the Bear, Winnie-the-Pooh, anything Roald Dahl, the Old Bear series by Jane Hissey, particularly Jolly Tall - I don't know anyone else who has read these.

    I read voraciously as a child, learning by the time I was 3, and got into trouble at school for not reading when teachers had failed to notice I could read to myself while the other children were still sounding out their syllables. I found it very strange when I discovered that as there were no books in my husband's house as a child, he hadn't learned to read until he learned at school aged five!

    Thanks to Puffin, Penguin and all the others for some great years' reading!

  • Comment number 93.

    ...So I've just bought it on Amazon. Not the same picture as I remember but...

  • Comment number 94.

    I loved the Famous Five but was a bit concerned that they never went to the loo. I also enjoyed 'The Tale of Mr Prettimouse' but haven't noticed it on the shelves these days. My daughter loved 'Black Beauty' and 'The Silver Brumby' series; my son loved 'Where the Wild Things Are'; both loved 'Tom Sawyer' and Huckleberry Finn' read to them at bathtime!

  • Comment number 95.

    No-one's voted for Andy Stanton's Mr Gum books yet and that's just plain wrong, so 'fill yer boots' - there are seven of them and my seven year old son loves them.

    PS The truth is a lemon meringue!

  • Comment number 96.

    The LadyBird How To Build a Radio book that i was given for my 6th birthday and built by my self in the early 70's. The first broadcast I picked up was the "archers" theam music using the crystal set first stage of the project.

  • Comment number 97.

    The first books I read at about age 4 years were the Ladybird books such as the Peter and Jane reading books and later books like the Ladybird book of flight. I loved these books and then I graduated to the Griffin and Pirate books which featured pirates called Roderick the Red pirate, Gregory the Green pirate and Benjamin the Blue pirate and had amazing colourful artwork. I then read classics such as Black Beauty, the Three Musketeers and the Man in the Iron Mask but what I loved the most was a series of American encyclopaedias produced by Art Linkletter of which I still possess one today. I loved the Commando war comics, the Beano, Dandy, Topper, Whizzer and Chips, the Beezer, Cor and Sparky and American comics such as the Sad Sack, Beetle Baily, Richie Rich, Little Lotta, Marvel and DC...and all of this before I hit age 10 years in the early 1970s. Does anybody out there in Have Your Say land remember any of these wonderful publications or is it just me in my own little world of childhood memories?

  • Comment number 98.

    Favourites were Wind in the Willows - still is - scene where Rat and Mole find baby Otter safe and sheltered by
    the Great God Pan still makes me want to cry ,and Fairy Folk and Fairies - can only remember the title, haven't
    a clue about the contents. From about 7 years old I read every night with a torch under the bedclothes. When
    it was confiscated I would manage to get hold of another - by fair means or foul. Grandmother said "That child doesn't read books - she devours them"', She used to take them and ask me questions about them. I could borrow them from the Childrens' Library. I always asked for a book or an Annual for a Birthday or Christmas present. Nothing has changed, I spend far too much time reading books and much more than I can afford buying them. My most recent favourite 'Children's' author is Philip Pullman, who wrote His dark Materials. One of my happiest jobs was working in a Public Library in New Zealand. I need to be surrounded by books. I'm sorry for those who miss out on one of life's greatest pleasures - reading a book.

  • Comment number 99.

    The Famous Five of course, anything else by Enid Blyton and I seem to remember some books at primary school called 'my naughty little sister' or something like that which were good.

  • Comment number 100.

    Oh-I forgot 'Pinochio', which was the first hard backed book I remember being given. I was 6, and was told not to take it to school but disobeyed, and was discovered as it rained and watermarked the red-dyed edges. One's sins do find one out!!

 

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