The Best of Children’s Literature

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[Laura Slingo | News Editor]

While living the life of a university student, we may regularly forget the true joys of carefree, unbounded reading that we once experienced as a child. Didn’t enjoy reading as a child? You missed out, my friend. Here’s a list of some of my personal favourites from back in the day. If you haven’t read them, you must! These books are fantastic no matter what your age.

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The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter (1902)

I had the entire collection of Beatrix Potter as a kid and I know for a fact that they’ve made camp in our loft at home because I refused to let my parents throw them out. The Tale of Peter Rabbit is by far the most well-known and I highly recommend settling down to discover the adventures of this mischievous rabbit in his pale blue jacket. I urge you to invest the time in reading the rest of the collection too.

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James and the Giant Peach – Roald Dahl (1990)

I’m almost certain that I have read every book Dahl has ever written, but James and his adventures within a truly enormous peach that flies across the globe by the power of seagulls is truly extraordinary.

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Funnybones – Janet and Allan Ahlberg (1980)

So everyone knows that skeletons want to scare people right? Well follow the path of a big skeleton, a little skeleton and a dog skeleton in their dark dark cellar in a dark dark house on a dark dark hill, and you’ll see what happens when the bones say boo!

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J. K. Rowling (1997)

I’m sure I don’t have to explain this children’s novel to you at all. If you’re familiar with the Harry Potter series you’ll realise they’re intended for adults as much as they’re intended for children. Ergo, never feel bad about reading a children’s book. Oh, and if you’ve never read the masterpiece that is Harry Potter, DO IT NOW. P.S. anyone else still waiting for their Hogwarts letter?

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  Credit: Puffin/PA Wire

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle (1969)

Ah, now this interactive picturebook was the highlight of my childhood and probably yours too. I can remember arguing over the book in the school library with a bundle of other kids, a wigwam of arms getting stuck as we all tried to plunge for the holes in the various food items on the page. If you have no idea what I’m talking about go and buy a copy now. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a classic!

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Vicky Angel – Jacqueline Wilson (2000)

I’d like to think that every girl of our generation was completely and utterly obsessed with Jacqueline Wilson and her powerful stories that touch on the difficulties of growing up. Vicky Angel is a compelling read as it deals with the issues of bereavement for a young teenage girl and her journey to closure. Wilson’s novels often deal with true-to-life issues that may be more cause for concern at a young age. For example, Tracy Beaker – adoption, Love Lessons – crush on a teacher, Clean Break – domestic abuse and family separation. These are just a handful of struggles that many children go through and the way that Wilson voices and addresses them is what makes her novels truly brilliant.

Children’s books are some of the most educational and engaging forms of literature out there that produce memories that last a lifetime. Want to share your best childhood books? Tweet us @TridentMediaUK

 

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The Best of Children’s Literature