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The kids’ books on BBC’s “Top 100” list that no Catholic family should miss


Tatiana Bobkova

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 05/30/23

The BBC asked experts a simple question: What is the greatest children's book of all time? Here are our top picks from their list.

As a Catholic parent, I know it can be hard to find great books to share with my children, books that are uplifting and character-building as well as really good reads.

Recently I enjoyed reading the results of a BBC poll on the 100 greatest children’s books of all time. The poll is just one in a long line of BBC polls to find the “100 greatest” of various cultural touchstones. The BBC article says:

Over the years, BBC Culture has conducted major polls of film and TV critics, experts and industry figures from around the world to decide on the greatest films and TV shows in a particular category … However, for this year’s poll, we felt we needed to finally turn our attention to another art form so deeply embedded in all our lives – books. 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 … We have decided to ask many experts a very simple question: What is the greatest children’s book of all time?

You might have seen this list and wondered, “Which of these books are can’t-miss classics for my family?” Here are our top picks from the list. These books are a delight and well worth reading.

Picture Books

Goodnight Moon (Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd, 1947)

The Snowy Day (Ezra Jack Keats, 1962)

The Tiger Who Came to Tea (Judith Kerr, 1968)

The Story of Ferdinand (Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson, 1936)

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, 1989)

The Gruffalo (Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, 1999)

The Snowman (Raymond Briggs, 1978)

The Velveteen Rabbit (Margery Williams, 1921)

Chapter Books

Pippi Longstocking (Astrid Lindgren, 1945)

The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, 1943)

The Hobbit (JRR Tolkien, 1937)

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (CS Lewis, 1950)

Winnie-the-Pooh (AA Milne and EH Shepard, 1926)

Charlotte’s Web (EB White and Garth Williams, 1952)

Anne of Green Gables (LM Montgomery, 1908)

Little Women (Louisa May Alcott, 1868)

Heidi (Johanna Spyri, 1880)

The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1911

A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L’Engle, 1962)

Tom’s Midnight Garden (Philippa Pearce, 1958)

The Lord of the Rings (JRR Tolkien, 1954)

Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson, 1883)

Ballet Shoes (Noel Streafield, 1936)

A Bear Called Paddington (Michael Bond, 1958)

The Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame, 1908)

Peter and Wendy (JM Barrie, 1911)

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (Judith Kerr, 1971)

Black Beauty (Anna Sewell, 1877)

Little House in the Big Woods (Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1932)

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