1Alice in Wonderland & Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll’s masterpieces. Among the first books ever published to entertain rather than instruct children, they’re a brilliant child’s-eye view of the nonsensical adult world. And as for the language… Twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe…
2Winnie the Pooh & the House at Pooh Corner (NOT the Disney travesties!) by A.A. Milne
Where archetypes play. My favourite read-aloud, hysterical laughter guaranteed.
3His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
Children’s books for grown-ups. About the need to resist corrupt authority, a message for everyone now.
4The Great White Man-Eating Shark by Margaret Mahy
We all feel a little sharkish sometimes.
5Dogger by Shirley Hughes
Real family, real children, real feelings
6A Baby Sister for Frances by Russell Hoban
More feelings. A baby sister? No thanks.
7Orlando Buys a Farm by Katherine Hale
Katherine Hale was some kind of genius.
8Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Glorious ode to the Wild Rumpus.
9The Mixed up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler by Claudia Kincaid
Claudia Kincaid shows us how to run away properly.
10The Tiger Rising by Kate di Camillo
An extraordinary, minimalist story about grief.
11The Red Shoe by Ursula Dubosarsky
Three sisters respond to turbulent undercurrents in their family that they are only partly aware of.
12Too Many Elephants by Ursula Dubosarsky
I must have read this to my grandson two hundred times, but I’ll happily read it again.
13Rona by Chris Szekely
A hilarious New Zealand story.