Saturday, March 06, 2010

Caterpillar Munches its Way to Top of the List

As part of World Book Day on Thursday 4,000 parents with children aged 2-1 were surveyed to find out the UK's best children's story writers, The Telegraph reports.  

 The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle was voted the best bedtime story :
First published in 1969, it is now available in 47 languages and still sells one copy every minute around the world.
Arts editor Sarah Crompton writes :
It is the simplicity of the conception that makes it such a hit: a book a small child can hold, a hole in the page, and the colourful glory of Carle’s illustrations, at once simple and yet gratifyingly detailed. There is nothing to it, yet it is a classic learning story, a brilliant starting point for a conversation between parent and child. You can point out the scenery as you read, discuss the tastes of the different foods, talk about the cleverness of nature and the way those chubby caterpillars grow up into butterflies who live only for a day.
It was followed on the list by :
2. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis

3. BFG - Roald Dahl

4. Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne

5. The Gruffalo - Julia Donaldson

6. Famous Five - Enid Blyton

7. Matilda - Roald Dahl

8. The Tales of Peter Rabbit - Beatrix Potter

9. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

10. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

11. Peter Pan - J.M. Barrie

12. Mr Men - Roger Hargreaves

13. The Witches- Roald Dahl

14. The Twits - Roald Dahl

15. James and the Giant Peach - Roald Dahl

16. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

17. The Cat in the Hat - Dr Seuss

18. Hans Christian Fairy Tales - H.C. Andersen

19. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - J.K.Rowling

20. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
The survey also turned up the interesting fact that three-quarters of the parents surveyed read to their kids.

Ah nostalgia - I remember my dad reading Alice in Wonderland, Wind in the Willows, and The Secret Garden to me.  Quite a number of these books weren't written when I was a kid, but thankfully we never grow up too much to enjoy them!

Now then, those of you with kids to read to, which stories have gone down the best, and which do you remember your parents reading to you?


gnute said...

Enid Blyton stories. I particularly remember how my mother read to me a story about some animal characters who discover a strange pool on the ground (a mirror).

XMOCHA said...

Caterpillar- Max's favourite book for the longest time..

Now it's anything with firefighters or fire trucks..

Syigim said...

my 4yr old boy LOVE dr seuss' the cat in the hat - it's his first book that he tried to read independently.

my 9yr old sis in law has been reading enid blyton so i introduced her to roald dahl for a change, and glad to find that the ONLY 3 roald dahl's books that i recommended to her (bcoz they're my fav!) are actually his top 3 most voted works - BFG, matilda & the witches!

Eni said...

I am glad to learn that Enid Blyton's Famous Five came in fifth on your list. In fact, I have published a book on Enid Blyton, titled, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage (
Stephen Isabirye

sri said...

considering the age of the children whose parents were surveyed, this is such a sad sad sad list.

i'm sad that some of my favourite picture books didn't make it - in fact caterpillar, the gruffalo and mr men seem to be the only picture books there.

no david shannon or his brilliant duck on a bike.

and none of these absolutely brilliant books -

1.don't let the pigeon drive the bus

2.where the wild things are

3.goodnight moon clack moo


6.the little mouse, the red ripe strawberry and the VERY HUNGRY BEAR (i adore this book)

7.Harriet Harris! you'll drive me wild!

and this are just some off the top of my head.

so this is a really wrong list if you ask me - it seems to be what the parents remember reading, rather than what they actually should be reading to their little one. Famous Five indeed!

Lordy! Lordy! and Sheezamageeza! as Henrietta (by Martine Murray) would say.

sri said...

sorry - just realised the author has to be british. but still, what a list!

what happened to terry pratchett's where's my cow?