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What are the 'classics' of children's lit?

By / April 29, 2009

When British bookseller Waterstone's asked the nation's Children laureates to name the "greatest children's books of all time," Harry Potter did not make the list.  Instead, most of the authors reached farther back into the past.

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In fact, reports, "only five of the 35 books selected were published during the last 20 years."

The list of best children's books of all time (selected by Children's laureates Quentin Blake, Anne Fine, Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Rosen) includes:

Stuart Little by E.B. White (1945)

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken (1963)

A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson (1885)

Sword in the Stone by T.H. White (1938)

Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton (1939)

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (1838)

Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling (1902)

A Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear (1846)

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (1883)

The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde (1888)

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868-9)

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1905)

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild (1936)

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers (1934)

You can see the full list of all 35 titles at

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