Eirlys Hunter favourite children’s books

These are some of Eirlys Hunter's favourite children’s books: "The list includes books I loved as a child, books that I read to my children, books that I have made my students read, a book by an ex-student and one of my three-year old grandson’s favourites. Caveat: this is today’s list. Next week’s list will be different."

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.




  1. Lovely to see Russell Hoban’s Frances here. Bedtime For Frances was one of my favourite books as a child.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here