Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Top Children's Books Of Today

During the recent UK National Children's Book Week, a survey of the current top six books read by children was published and threw up some interesting information. It is generally accepted that children who learn through reading from an early age benefit greatly in more than just the Three R's. Through stories, children can learn about justice, empathy, love and so on. So what six books are most read by children of today?

It's a pleasing mixture of classic and contemporary, which surely has to be a good thing now that television and video games play such a large part in most children's lives these days.

Every child I know and nursery or school I've ever been in has owned a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I owned one myself and remember it fondly as I learnt to associate numbers and days of the week.

I also fondly remember the fantastic worlds I discovered in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. Both these books had, and still do, hold a certain amount of influence over me when I recall the vivid emotions of excitement and adventure they portrayed. It was always so very easy to imagine oneself as the protagonists.

I only ever saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl on the television, but it was Dahl's other books that impacted more from a literary sense for me such as The BFG and James and the Giant Peach.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling ranked high, but missed my childhood by about twenty years and this I might regret were it not been for the fact I can enjoy the Harry Potter series as an adult.

The final book on the list was The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson, which is so modern it has only held appeal to my young daughter since it is aimed at girls aged nine to twelve.

There are other books I would have liked to have seen on the list, such as The Famous Five and The Secret Seven series by Enid Blyton. They were always firm favourites while I was growing up and I could never get enough of them.

Nevertheless it is great to see that our young people of today are still being entranced and entertained by the wonderful world of children's literature.


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