Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Monday, August 08, 2016
Top 100 books for children
Lorna Bradbury selects the perfect library of children's classics that parents can add to over time
4 Gorilla by Anthony Browne (Walker). A beautifully drawn story from the former children’s laureate about a lonely girl who finds company in a gorilla.
I’ve been so excited by the quality and the range of questions I’ve received since this column kicked off at the beginning of the year: questions concerning every age of reader, and every kind of reading problem; from parents and grandparents, librarians and teachers, and more recently, I’m pleased to say, from children themselves.
Recently I was sent a question from a grandfather – one of many I’ve had from grandparents, I should say – which asked for rather more than this column could deliver in its normal format.
“Your new column on children’s books has arrived just in time for me,” wrote Paul, in an email. “I have recently become a grandfather for the first time and, while my home is full of books, none of them were written for the under-fives. My granddaughter is only a few months old, but I would appreciate both guidance in buying books for children and a possible hit list of 50 books to own before you’re five.”
I’ve been mulling this question over for several weeks. It is clearly rather difficult – not to say a bit arbitrary – to whittle the huge terrain of children’s books down to a list of 50. But I have found it an absorbing exercise, and one that I hope will be of interest to anyone who reads with a child or, indeed, anyone who loves children’s books. MORE