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The best children’s books. Gift ideas for Children’s Day [RANKING TOP 100]

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The list of the 100 best books for children was based on a survey conducted by BBC Culture among 177 experts from 56 countries. The bad news is that there was no Polish position on it. Good – that the vast majority of titles were released in our country. Lots of cult books in this list, which we also know from our own childhood.

As the initiators of the ranking emphasize, children’s literature is extremely diverse and rich, and at the same time – in comparison with literature for adults – still underestimated. Great writing for young readers doesn’t get the critical acclaim it should. Hence the idea to ask many experts a simple question: What is the greatest children’s book?

177 critics, authors and publishers from 56 countries took part in the voting. Each voter listed his 10 best books for children, in total there were 1050 titles. Among them, the “golden hundred” of children’s literature was selected.

Such a ranking is, on the one hand, a great hint on what books to read and suggest to young people. On the other – for adults – a charming return to the past. As its creators emphasize: “We hope that readers will miss the books they loved in their youth, and at the same time will be ready to reach for the titles that they missed or were published after they reached the age of majority. There is no reason that the greatest works of literature children were not valuable to an adult either.

100 best children’s books. BBC Culture ranking

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1. “Where the Wild Things Are” (Maurice Sendak, 1963) 2. “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” (Lewis Carroll, 1865) 3. “Pippi Longstocking” (Astrid Lindgren, 1945) 4. “The Little Prince” ( Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, 1943) 5. “The Hobbit” (JRR Tolkien, 1937) 6. “The Northern Lights” (Philip Pullman, 1995) 7. “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (CS Lewis, 1950) 8. ” Winnie the Pooh” (AA Milne and EH Shepard, 1926) 9. “Charlotte’s Web” (EB White and Garth Williams, 1952) 10. “Matilda” (Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake, 1988) 11. “Anne of Green Gables” ( LM Montgomery, 1908). to battle” (Susan Cooper, 1973) 16. “The Newcomer” (Shaun Tan, 2006) 17. “Little Women” (Louisa May Alcott, 1868) 18. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (Roald Dahl, 1964) 19. ” Heidi” (Johanna Spyri, 1880) 20. “Goodnight Moon” (Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd, 1947) 21. “Pinocchio” (Carlo Collodi, 1883) 22. “Wizard of Archipelago. Earthsea (Ursula K Le Guin, 1968) 23. Moomin Winter (Tove Jansson, 1957) 24. Where’s My Hat (Jon Klassen, 2011) 25. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1911) 26 “The Goose, Death and the Tulip” (Wolf Erlbruch, 2007) 27. “The Brothers Lionheart” (Astrid Lindgren, 1973) 28. “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (JK Rowling, 1999) 29. “Brown Girl Dreaming” ( Jacqueline Woodson, 2014, the book was not published in Polish translation) 30. “Three Robbers” (Tomi Ungerer, 1961) 31. “The Snowy Day” (Ezra Jack Keats, 1962, the book was not published in Polish translation) 32. ” The Tiger Who Came to Tea (Judith Kerr, 1968) 33. “Howl’s Moving Castle” (Diana Wynne Jones, 1986) 34. “The Time Trap” (Madeleine L’Engle, 1962) 35. “Aquarius Hill” (Richard Adams) , 1972) 36. “Midnight in the Secret Garden” (Philippa Pearce, 1958) 37. “The Tales of the Brothers Grimm” (Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, 1812) 38. “Peter Rabbit” (Beatrix Potter, 1902) 39. “Trains go to daddy” (Edith Nesbit, 1906) 40. “Xs and Zeros” (Malorie Blackman, 2001) 41. “BFG. Very Cool Giant (Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake, 1982) 42. “Summer Rules” (Shaun Tan, 2013) 43. “Momo” (Michael Ende, 1973) 44. “Fernando the Bull” (Munro Leaf & Robert Lawson, 1936) 45. “The Lord of the Rings” (JRR Tolkien, 1954) 46. “The Owl Service” (Alan Garner, 1967; the book was not published in Polish translation) 47. “Ronia, daughter of a robber” (Astrid Lindgren, 1981) 48 “The Neverending Story” (Michael Ende, 1979) 49. “Panchatantra” (a collection of fairy tales written in India between the 4th and 3rd centuries BC) 50. “Treasure Island” (Robert Louis Stevenson, 1883) 51. “Mary Poppins” ( Pamela L. Travers, 1934) 52. “Enchanted Ballet Shoes” (Noel Streafield, 1936) 53. “The Strongest in the World!” (Trish Cooke & Helen Oxenbury, 1994) 54. We’re Going Bear Hunting (Michael Rosen & Helen Oxenbury, 1989) 55. “The Tale of the Onion” (Gianni Rodari, 1951) 56. “The Tree of Gifts” (Shel Silverstein, 1964) 57. “The Gruffalo” (Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, 1999) 58. “Julián is a Mermaid” (Jessica Love) , 2018; the book has not been published in Polish translation) 59. “Comet over the Moominvalley” (Tove Jansson, 1946) 60. “In the Moominvalley” (Tove Jansson, 1948) 61. “The Witches” (Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake , 1983) 62. “A Bear Called Paddington” (Michael Bond, 1958) 63. “The Wind in the Willows” (Kenneth Grahame, 1908) 64. “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” (Mildred D. Taylor, 1977; the book was not published in Polish translation) 65. “Karlsson z dacha” (Astrid Lindgren, 1955) 66. “The Phantom Tollbooth” (Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer, 1961; the book was not published in Polish translation) 67. “Kot Prot (Dr. Seuss, 1957) 68. “The Marvelous Journey of Edward Tulan” (Kate DiCamillo and Bagram Ibatoulline, 2006) 69. “Peter Pan” (JM Barrie, 1911) 70. “One Thousand and One Nights” (anonymous/folk) 71. “From the Mixed Archives of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” (EL Konigsburg, 1967) 72. “When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit” (Judith Kerr, 1971) 73. “Shum bola” (G’ afur G’ulоm, 1936; the book has not been published in Polish translation) 73. “Ernest and Celestyna” (Gabrielle Vincent, 1981) 75. “Sparks in my head” (Elle McNicoll, 2020) 76. “Mikołajek” (René Goscinny and Jean-Jacques Sempé, 1959) 77. “The Black Prince” (Anna Sewell, 1877) 78. “The Secret Keeper” (Jean Webster, 1912) 79. “No Kiss for Mother” (Tomi Ungerer, 1973; book unpublished in Polish translation) 80. “My Family and Other Animals” (Gerald Durrell, 1956) 81. “Jacob Have I Loved” (Katherine Paterson, 1980; the book was not published in Polish translation) 82. “The Lorax” (Dr Seuss, 1971; the book was not published in Polish translation) 83. “Fairy Tales” (Charles Perrault, 1697) 84. “Little Trolls and a Big Flood” (Tove Jansson) , 1945) 85 “The Wizard of Oz” (L Frank Baum, 1900) 86 “Just William” (Richmal Crompton, 1922; the book was not published in Polish translation) 87. “Mr. 88. Mouse and His Child (Russell Hoban, 1967) 89. Only In My Head (Sharon M. Draper, 2010) 90. Moominvalley in November (Tove Jansson) ( Suzy Lee, 2008) 95. “The Black Brothers” (Lisa Tetzner, 1940) 96. “The Velvet Rabbit” (Margery Williams, 1921) 97. “A Bad Beginning” (Lemony Snicket, 1999) 98. “The Graveyard Book” (Neil Gaiman, 2008) 99. “American Born Chinese” (Gene Luen Yang and Lark Pien, 2006; 100. “Harun and the Sea of ​​Tales” (Salman Rushdie, 1990)

BBC Culture editors emphasize that they are aware of the “limitations” associated with the creation of such a ranking. “For example, 74 of the 100 books featured were first published in English, followed by Swedish with nine positions. Books published between the 1950s and 1970s predominate, which may be related to the age profile of people choosing, most of which were born in the 1970s. Fourteen of the top 100 books have been published this century – and it would be fascinating to see how many other, more recent books could be included if we repeated such a survey in 10 or 20 years. publishing to create a more inclusive landscape, we can also expect a further diversification of the list of authors.

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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