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.