My Top 10 Children’s Books


In no particular order:

  •  The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg. A book without words or plot – just a series of magical illustrations seemingly left with a publisher by the enigmatic Burdick.
  •  Be Good Gordon by Angela McAllister & Tim Archbold. The books by Angela McAllister and Grahame Baker-Smith are utterly enchanting but reading Be Good Gordon out loud is a hoot.
  •  The How And Why Wonder Book of Dinosaurs. You can fall in love with non-fiction too. Probably the most re-read book when I was little.
  •  The Flying Steamroller by Jon Chalon from 1962. Not brilliantly written or illustrated but after all these years it still leaves a warm glow.
  •  Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, preferably the 1911 edition illustrated by NC Wyeth. Marvellous storytelling and marvellous pictures.
  •  The Rabbits by John Marsden & Shaun Tan. Tan is a genius and this allegorical tale of invasion is stunning. Sad and beautiful.
  •  The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr Seuss. Another favourite from childhood. What’s not to like?
  •  Fun with a Pencil by Andrew Loomis. A how-to-draw book from 1939 and, essentially, not for children. But as a child I spent more time pouring over this dated but brilliant book than any other.
  •  The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. Like so many others, I was consumed by that other world.
  •  Our Cat Cuddles by Gervase Phinn & Amanda Montgomery-Higham. Everything a kid’s picture book should be – bouncy rhyming words and lively colourful art – but most of all, it’s just huge huge fun.
  •  Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve. When one book isn’t enough thank goodness there are four. Imagination and adventure at it’s best.

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