Graphic Novels and Comic Stories Among Top 100 Best Children’s Books

David Walliams presenting Britain's Favourite Children's Books for Channel 4. Image: Channel 4

David Walliams presenting Britain’s Favourite Children’s Books for Channel 4. Image: Channel 4

One smashing show screened over the Christmas break was on Channel 4, with author and comedian David Walliams presenting Britain’s Favourite Children’s Books chosen by author, critic and broadcaster and Sunday Times  Children’s Books Reviewer Nicolette Jones.

You can watch the programme here on the Channel 4 web site (for a couple of weeks, at least, anyway), which saw Winnie the Pooh (especially The House at Pooh Corner)
by A.A. Milne (illustrated by E H Shepard) beating off all comers for the top spot, followed by The Chronicles of Narnia (especially The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) by C.S. Lewis (illustrated by Pauline Baynes), Harry Potter (especially Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone) by J.K. Rowling, Where the Wild Things are  by Maurice Sendak and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (illustrated by Quentin Blake).

Art from The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Art from The Arrival by Shaun Tan

The Sunday Times actually selected 100 books, which meant that although a number of comic heroes featured in their list, and great picture books such as Raymond Briggs The Snowman made it into the Top 50, only one “true” graphic novel – Shaun Tan’s The Arrival – made it into the show.

The delightful programme also included readings from some books by Martin Freeman and Julie Walters and fascinating interviews with author Allan Ahlberg, artist Quentin Blake, The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson and the creator of Mog the Cat Judith Kerr, who is best known for The Tiger Who Came to Tea, which made it into the Top 20.

One of the best aspects of the show was that it didn’t stint on ensuring illustrators of best-loved children’s books received deserved mentions, thanks in no small part, author Sarah McIntyre tells us, to list compiler Nicollete “who knows here illustrators”. If only some publishers gave artists such status…

How many of these have you read?

The Top 100 Britain’s Favourite Children’s Books

      1. Winnie the Pooh (especially The House at Pooh Corner)
        A.A. Milne (illustrated by E H Shepard)
      2. The Chronicles of Narnia (especially The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe)
        C.S. Lewis (illustrated by Pauline Baynes)
      3. Harry Potter (especially Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone)
        J.K. Rowling
      4. Where the Wild Things are
        Maurice Sendak
      5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
        Roald Dahl (illustrated by Quentin Blake)
      6. The Wind in the Willows
        Kenneth Grahame (illustrated by E H Shepard)
      7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
        Eric Carle
      8. A Bear Called Paddington
        Michael Bond (illustrated by Peggy Fortnum)
      9. The Gruffalo
        Julia Donaldson (illustrated by Axel Scheffler)
      10. The Hobbit
        J.R.R. Tolkien
      11. The Cat in the Hat
        Dr Seuss
      12. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
        Lewis Carroll (illustrated by John Tenniel)
      13. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
        Michael Rosen (illustrated by Helen Oxenbury)
      14. Little Women
        Louisa May Alcott
      15. Alfie and Annie Rose (especially Dogger)
        Shirley Hughes
      16. Pippi Longstocking
        Astrid Lingren (illustrated by Lauren Child)
      17. The Tiger Who Came to Tea
        Judith Kerr
      18. Finn Family Moomintroll
        Tove Jansson
      19. The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter (especially The Tale of Peter Rabbit)
        Beatrix Potter
      20. Journey to the River Sea
        Eva Ibbotson
      21. The Story of Tracy Beaker
        Jacqueline Wilson (illustrated by Nick Sharratt)
      22. Kensuke’s Kingdom
        Michael Morpurgo
      23. Goodnight Mr Tom
        Michelle Magorian
      24. Rooftoppers
        Katherine Rundell
      25. A Monster Calls
        Patrick Ness (illustrated by Jim Kay)
      26. The Railway Children
        E. Nesbitt
      27. Millions
        Frank Cottrell Boyce
      28. The Snowman
        Raymond Briggs
      29. The Arrival
        Shaun Tan
      30. The Snow Queen
        Hans Christian Andersen
      31. Black Beauty
        Anna Sewell
      32. Famous Five (especially Five on a Treasure Island)
        Enid Blyton
      33. Just William (especially Just William)
        Richmal Crompton
      34. Holes
        Louis Sachar
      35. Stig of the Dump
        Clive King
      36. The Boy in the Dress
        David Walliams (illustrated by Quentin Blake)
      37. Charlie and Lola (especially I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato)
        Lauren Child
      38. The Jolly Postman
        Allan and Janet Ahlberg
      39. Horrid Henry (especially Horrid Henry Strikes it Rich)
        Francesca Simon (illustrated by Tony Ross)
      40. How to Train your Dragon
        Cressida Cowell
      41. The Wee Free Men
        Terry Pratchett
      42. Alex Rider (especially Stormbreaker)
        Anthony Horowitz
      43. Mortal Engines (especially Mortal Engines)
        Philip Reeve
      44. The Secret Garden
        Francis Hodgson Burnett (illustrated by Inga Moore)
      45. Just So Stories
        Rudyard Kipling
      46. This is Not my Hat
        Jon Klassen
      47. Fortunately, the Milk
        Neil Gaiman (illustrated by Chris Riddell)
      48. Charlotte’s Web
        E B White (illustrated by Garth Williams)
      49. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
        Jeff Kinney
      50. Treasure Island
        Robert Louis Stevenson
      51. The Borrowers
        Mary Norton
      52. Gorilla
        Anthony Browne
      53. The Poems of Edward Lear (especially Owl and the Pussycat)
        Edward Lear
      54. Pig-Heart Boy
        Malorie Blackman
      55. Orlando the Marmalade Cat
        Kathleen Hale
      56. The Silver Sword
        Ian Serraillier
      57. Elmer (especially Elmer the Patchwork Elephant)
        David McKee
      58. Anne of Green Gables
        L.M. Montgomery
      59. Guess How Much I Love You
        Sam McBratney (illustrated by Anita Jeram)
      60. The Little White Horse
        Elizabeth Goodge
      61. Tom’s Midnight Garden
        Philippa Pearce (illustrated by Susan Einzig)
      62. The Phantom Tolbooth
        Norton Juster (illustrated by Jules Feiffer)
      63. Flour Babies
        Anne Fine
      64. Centrally Heated Knickers
        Michael Rosen (illustrated by Harry Horse)
      65. The Way Home
        Oliver Jeffers
      66. Peter Pan
        J. M. Barrie
      67. Asterix
        Uderzo and Goscinny
      68. The Family from One End Street
        Eve Garnett
      69. Mr Gum
        Andy Stanton (illustrated by David Tazzyman)
      70. Fairy Tales
        Berlie Doherty (illustrated by Jane Ray)
      71. Wolves
        Emily Gravett
      72. The Worst Witch
        Jill Murphy
      73. The Blue Kangaroo (especially I Love You, Blue Kangaroo)
        Emma Chichester Clark
      74. The Velveteen Rabbit
        Margery Williams (illustrated by William Nicholson)
      75. Ballet Shoes
        Noel Streatfeild
      76. The London Eye Mystery
        Siobhan Dowd
      77. The Sheep-Pig
        Dick King-Smith
      78. Chrestomanci (especially The Lives of Christopher Chant)
        Diana Wynne Jones
      79. The Little Prince
        Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
      80. Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats
        T S Eliot (illustrated by Nicholas Bentley)
      81. 101 Dalmations
        Dodie Smith
      82. Emil and the Detectives
        Erich Kästner
      83. A Series of Unfortunate Events
        Lemony Snicket
      84. Handa’s Surprise
        Eileen Browne
      85. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase
        Joan Aiken
      86. Babar
        Jean de Brunhoff
      87. Carrie’s War
        Nina Bawden
      88. Captain Underpants
        Dav Pilkey
      89. Mary Poppins
        P.L. Travers
      90. The Tom Gates (especially The Brilliant World of Tom Gates)
        Liz Pichon
      91. The Casson family (especially Saffy’s Angel)
        Hilary McKay
      92. The Percy Jackson (especially Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief)
        Rick Riordan
      93. Thomas the Tank Engine
        Rev W Awdry (illustrated by Peter Sam)
      94. The Wizard of Earthsea
        Ursula Le Guin
      95. The Inkworld (especially Inkheart)
        Cornelia Funke
      96. War Boy
        Michael Foreman
      97. The Wizard of Oz
        L Frank Baum
      98. Goosebumps
        R L Stine
      99. Swallows and Amazons
        Arthur Ransome
      100. Tintin
        Hergé (Georges Remi)

• You can read the full list and an interview with David Walliams on The Sunday Times website (please note, article behind subscription wall).

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