Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Because Flattery Will Get You Everywhere

Jaq has indicated his keen interest in my response to this list of the "greatest" children's books, as compiled by some British poll or somesuch. So then; I've bolded those I've read and italicized those I have an interest in reading.

1 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, C S Lewis
I read this so long ago (fifth grade) that I honestly couldn't say much intelligent about it. I remember liking it well enough, but not falling in love with it as I did, say, the Prydain stuff by Lloyd Alexander.

2 The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
I think I read this at some point. Probably.

3 Famous Five series, Enid Blyton
Never heard of.

4 Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
I think the girls (just about four) are almost ready for these. I might try soon. I love, more than the stories, or the characters, the prose style; it's just delightfully low-key and whimsical.

5 The BFG, Roald Dahl
There are better Dahls, although the BFG is fine enough. It's no James and the Giant Peach, though.

6 Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, J K Rowling
A great book, but, as Jaq notes, an odd choice out of the seven.

7 The Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
Never heard of.

8 The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
I may try this someday, but likely will never get around to it.

9 Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
I read these several times as a lad, and am due for a refresher. Probably on a list of my favorite novels ever; just endlessly inventive. I remember as a kid being very taken by the wordplay.

10 The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson
Never heard of.

11 The Tales of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter
Never cottoned (hah!) much to these. Not bad, but not something I'm eager to share with the girls.

12 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
There's a great Dahl. I must have read this at least 5 times as a kid. High on the list of books to get the kids to read when the time is right (although they will have to first get over their phase of not wanting anything to do with stories where people are "mean.")

13 Matilda, Roald Dahl
Don't remember much about this one.

14 The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
As a boy, I read some girl books (Judy Blume), but not this one.

15 The Cat in the Hat, Dr Seuss
My daughter brought this to show and tell. While she loves it, she does need reassuring that the cat won't actually come to our house.

16 The Twits, Roald Dahl
If memory serves, this is Dahl being meaner and crueler than usual. I remember loving it.

17 Mr Men, Roger Hargreaves
Never heard of.

18 A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
A fine book, but not really a children's book.

19 The Malory Towers Series, Enid Blyton
Damn, but the Brits love this Blyton.

20 Peter Pan, J M Barrie

21 The Railway Children, E. Nesbit
Never heard of.

22 Hans Christian Fairy Tales, H C Andersen
Don't think I've actually read any of them, but I have sung "The Ugly Duckling" to my kids.

23 The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum
I have the annotated edition, which is beautifully, deliciously dense with context, facts, ephemera, and detail.

24 The Witches, Roald Dahl
One of my favorite Dahl's. So unhesitatingly nasty. And what a great, great, uncompromising ending!

25 Stig of the Dump, Clive King
26 The Wishing Chair, Enid Blyton
27 Dear Zoo, Rod Campbell
28 The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Judith Kerr
Never heard of.

29 Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Jan Brett
A version of the classic?

30 James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
Maybe my favorite Dahl.

31 A Bear Called Paddington, Michael Bond
All I know of Paddington is the Nickelodeon series that was on ALL THE TIME when I was a kid. I hated that show.

32 Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
Not my cuppa.

33 Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
The kids like this one too. A true classic.

34 Aesop's Fables, Jerry Pinkney
I know some of the stories, of course, but that's about it.

35 The Borrowers, Mary Norton
I may have read this once. Not sure.

36 Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling
I think I had a collection of these as a kid. I really need to raid my parents' attic one day.

37 Meg and Mog, Jan Pienkowski
38 Mrs Pepperpot, Alf Proyson
39 We're Going on a Bear Hunt, Michael Rosen
40 The Gruffalo's Child, Julia Donaldson
41 Room on a Broom, Julia Donaldson
42 The Worst Witch, Jill Murphy
43 Miffy, Dick Bruna
Never heard of.

44 The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery
Another always-on adaptation, this time the movie. Hated that movie too. (I Was too young for the trippiness.)

45 Flat Stanley, Jeff Brown
46 The Snail and the Whale, Julia Donaldson
47 Ten Little Ladybirds, Melanie Gerth
48 Six Dinners Sid, Inga Moore
49 The St. Clares Series, Enid Blyton5
Never heard of.

50 Captain Underpants, Dav Pilke
After my time.

Until Whenever

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