The 100 greatest children’s books of all time, according to BBC

Children in the library / Illustration: Freepik

BBC Culture surveyed 177 book experts to compile an epic list of the top 100 greatest children’s books

In total, 1050 different books were voted for by critics, authors, and publishing figures – who came from 56 countries. 133 female voters, 41 male voters, and 3 who preferred not to say, took part in the survey. 

Each voter listed their 10 top children’s books, which then BBC Culture team ranked to compile the top 100 list.

💬 And there is no variety of books more embedded in them than children’s literature – after all, whatever our pastimes as we grow older, many of us share in the joy of reading at a young age, in and out of school.

BBC’s Top 100 list is an exciting journey through the children’s literature from various time periods, highlighting its creativity, excitement, and deep messages.

Which book from your childhood is the most important to you? Now you can express it with a vintage design that you can customize with the book’s title.

BBC’s top 10 greatest children’s books of all time

1. A boy’s wild imagination comes to life in Maurice Sendak’s classic Where the Wild Things Are (1963).

2. Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) is an enduring classic of a young girl’s adventures in a magical world.

3. Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking (1945) tells the story of a spunky red-headed girl and her adventures.

4. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince (1943) is a timeless story of innocence and friendship.

5. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit (1937) is the epic fantasy adventure of a small hobbit in a big world.

6. Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights (1995) is an epic fantasy adventure set in an alternate universe.

7. C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) tells the story of four siblings and their magical journey to Narnia.

8. A.A. Milne and EH Shepard’s Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) is the classic story of a bear’s adventures with his friends.

9. E.B. White and Garth Williams’ Charlotte’s Web (1952) is a heartwarming story of friendship and loyalty between a pig and a spider.

10. Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake’s Matilda (1988) is a story of a young girl with an extraordinary mind facing off against an evil school principal.

Check out the entire list

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