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Children's Book Week

In honor of Children's Book Week, the New York Public Library posted its list of 100 Great Children's Books. So did the U.K.'s Book Trust. The two lists have a few titles in common.

  1. The Arrival by Shaun Tan.

  2. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White.

  3. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss.

  4. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

  5. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.

  6. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

  7. Matilda by Roald Dahl.

  8. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren.

  9. The True Story of the Three Pigs by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith.

  10. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

  11. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

  12. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne.

  13. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling.

  14. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.

  15. The Borrowers by Mary Norton.

The thing that strikes me is that while the common titles are fairly well distributed across age groups through about age 12 or 14, the one thing most of them have in common is some degree of belonging to the fantastic, from outright fantasy to something more like magic realism.

The other thought that occurs is that 15 books is not too many--if every child read these 15 books, it would make for an enjoyable shared common ground, which as far as I'm concerned is one of the nicest things that reading does.

I'm pleased to say that I have read every one of these fifteen books, and most of the others in the two different "100 best --" lists. The biggest gap in my book knowledge is Enid Blyton, and it's one I intend to fill post-haste. How about you? How many have you read and which ones do you want to read?



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 22nd, 2013 01:39 am (UTC)
Well, now I know that my own tastes are vastly different from most people's. ;) I've read 11 of the intersected list, 18 from the British list, and 42 of the American list. I'm not in a huge hurry to read the rest, I will admit.
Oct. 23rd, 2013 11:31 pm (UTC)
That's a pretty good cross-section. I think I've read most of the American list, between my own reading, reading to my daughter, and reading for various book lists. The British list is a different story, although I've usually read other titles by the same authors.
Oct. 23rd, 2013 08:21 pm (UTC)
I can't believe the left out The Little House in The Big Woods. I hated the stupid TV series, but the books are written for the age Laura is in each book and enchanted me. they are also beautifully written, educational, and hard to put down.
Oct. 23rd, 2013 11:30 pm (UTC)
The Little House in the Big Woods was on the New York Public Library's list, but not the British one. I find that understandable, because while they are--as you say--beautifully written, educational, and for me as well, hard to put down, they are also very American.

It works the other way as well. Works by Enid Blyton that I know most British readers value as highly as you and I value LTitBW weren't on the New York Public Library's list.

I agree, too, that the TV series was a travesty to those who love the books.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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