The15 best chil­dren’s books

FROM PETER RAB­BIT TO NOUGHTS AND CROSSES, WE BRING YOU THE 15 BEST CHIL­DREN’S BOOKS

The Gulf Today - Panorama - - COVER STORY - By Philip Wo­mack

We all have cher­ished mem­o­ries of the books we read and shared as chil­dren. Big friendly gi­ants, honey-lov­ing bears, hun­gry cater­pil­lars, iron men: th­ese fig­ures pop­u­late the vivid imag­i­nary land­scapes of our child­hoods. Ev­ery­body will re­mem­ber the book that made them laugh and cry, the one that they turn to again and again. Like totems, we pass them on to our own chil­dren, each book a spell in it­self.

But there isn’t room in this list for ev­ery­thing. I’m sure that ev­ery sin­gle reader will gasp at omis­sions and query the or­der. There are many per­sonal favourites that I’ve left out, and many more 20th- and 21st-cen­tury writ­ers whom I would have liked to in­clude.

This isn’t in­tended as a de­fin­i­tive rank­ing; but as an over­view, and a guide. You’ll recog­nise many; a few per­haps will be not so well known, but de­serve more at­ten­tion. I’ve con­sid­ered in­flu­ence as well as orig­i­nal­ity; but cru­cially, all of the books here have stood the tests of time, taste and, most im­por­tantly, read­ers. Each one, when­ever it was pub­lished, can be read and en­joyed by a child to­day as much as it was by the chil­dren of the past.

I hope too that this will en­cour­age many adult read­ers to turn back to their child­hood shelves, take up that long-for­got­ten gem, and find won­der and magic once more.

So — are you sit­ting com­fort­ably? Then let us be­gin.

1. The Alice books by Lewis Car­roll (19th cen­tury)

Alice’s Ad­ven­tures in Won­der­land, and Through the Look­ing Glass, and What Alice Found There, are an

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.