Monday, February 23, 2015

Which books would make today's list of 100 greatest children's novels?

Top authors and former poets laureate have been nominating their favourite children’s books – 

Child reading a book
Top writers revealed which of the books they read as children they have enjoyed again as adults. Photograph: Alamy
Two events this week have set me thinking about what makes a great children’s book and what a canonical list might look like in the early years of the 21st century. On Monday, as part of a widely appreciated feature on the rereading of children’s books, SF Said asked seven writers for the ones they liked to reread. The results were as follows:

Philip Pullman:The Magic Pudding. Anything by Arthur Ransome. Tove Jansson’s Moomins.

Neil Gaiman:The Narnia books. The Mary Poppins books. Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind In the Willows.

Francesca Simon:Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Half Magic by Edward Eager. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

Andrew Motion (former poet laureate and Man Booker prize jury chair):
Treasure Island and other books by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Erica Wagner (former Times literary editor and Man Booker prize judge):
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K Le Guin. The Owl Service by Alan Garner. Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban. All of George and Martha by James Marshall. All of Maurice Sendak. Watership Down by Richard Adams.

Daniel Hahn (translator and chair of the Society of Authors):

Charlotte Higgins (Guardian chief culture writer)
The Dark Is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper. Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff. The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge. A Traveller in Time by Alison Uttley.


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