Puffin nominates its 70 best children’s books

Everyone loves a list story and The Guardian delivers here as Puffin celebrates its 70th birthday by nominating 70 of the best children’s books.

Based on my quick glance at the categories, the only Aussie author to make the grade is Morris Gleitzman, who scores two mentions. Then again, this is a UK list, making Mr Gleitzman’s inclusion all the more impressive. And Paul Jennings does get a guernsey in the Puffin 70th birthday catalogue. Is it a coincidence that both these brilliant writers were born in the UK?

There are certainly some of our family favourites on the list. Lauren’s Child’s Lola is one of the most excellent and best characters ever. I’ll also admit to being surprised that a recent reading of Milly Molly Mandy was a big hit at my house, even though MMM is generations removed from the world my kids know. Simple stories of childhood are clearly timeless.

Last but not least, I doff my cap to Eric Carle. Wow. I love The Very Hungry Caterpillar but who’d have thought a copy would be sold somewhere on the planet every 30 seconds? That is phenomenal.

8 thoughts on “Puffin nominates its 70 best children’s books”

  1. As a former bookseller, I am not surprised at all about the Very Hungry Caterpillar. I loved it but it never ceased to amaze me how well it sells.

    In my house, the big thing was always The Magic Faraway Tree and The Enchanted Wood. That always surprised me because like with MMM it is SO far removed from their own lives.

    Lola…Ah how we adore Lola in this house. My heart goes out to Charlie though, for putting up with so much! “I have this little sister Lola, she is small but very funny.”
    They always make me do the accent when we read Lauren Child’s.

    One day…far into the future wouldn’t it be great if YOUR books showed up on one of these lists?!

  2. Yes, just tackling the Faraway tree with the Little Monkey. The Little Dragon loved it way back when.

    As for the future, before I’m dead would be good!

  3. Cam (aged 8) recently discovered MMM and has just devoured them whole. Had to explain quite a bit to her, such as what a ha’penny is, or a thatched roof, or bathing (as in swimming at the sea) but have been interested how little all these things mattered to her sheer enjoyment of the stories. is nwo reading “Because of Winn Dixie’ which is also an oldie, but she loves it… good writing is clearly timeless.

  4. Hi K-Ladd, sounds like I’m explaining all the same MMM words. What surprised me most was that L didn’t mind sitting in on these stories either. I mean, this was my Mum’s fave book when she was a kid. As you say, good stories/writing live on.

    Enjoying the sea-change reports – and don’t say I didn’t warn you about the all-hungry Twitter beast!


  5. Twitter is a modern-day succubus, robbing me of hours in what feels like minutes. I do love it though- and it’s in my US contract that I have a social media presence 🙂
    All going beautifully here- kids are blooming and I’m loving the change of pace. Not sure if you saw my tweet (!) but ATF is currently on the Amazon home page as a recommended summer read. Pretty chuffed. How long till 5PD is out now?

  6. Now that is a VERY good get. Well done you uber-author.

    I plead guilty to missing that tweet. Have been striving to resist the succubus lately.

    Very envious of the seachange!

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