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The top 50 books every child should read: Can you guess what made number one?

Presenting the results of a children's literature research project for World Book Day 2015 - has your favourite book made the top 50 list?

Celebrate World Book Day with you and your child's favourite novel!
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What would you judge as the best children's book of all time? 

The annual World Book Day is March 5, 2015 and to celebrate, Sainsbury’s has released it's ultimate list of the top 50 books that all children should read by age 16, based on survey results.

2,000 book lovers participated in the study, and (surprise, or maybe not?) Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was voted into the top spot. Timeless stories such as Richard Adams’s Watership Down remain well-loved according to this list, but more contemporary novels such as Mark Haddon’s Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time also prove already cherished. Junior’s top children’s book, (as voted for by you, our readers) The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, places seventeenth on Sainsbury’s list.

Junior meets Eric Carle [INTERVIEW] Author of your favourite children's book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar 

Parents of young children were also surveyed in this study, and 72 per cent agreed that bedtime reading is one of the most important bonding experiences they have with their children. Mavis Sarfo of Sainsbury’s Book Team said that bedtime reading “is crucial in developing imaginations from an early age and a love of reading,” especially when funny voices are involved. Tony Robinson, an English actor who has also written sixteen children’s books, added that the research done “shows that the power of make believe is so important in the development of a child and a key role in parents bonding with their young ones.”

Need to read? Find out everything you need to know about your child’s reading… From expert tips to storybook heroes we bring you a bounty of reading materials 

Sainsbury’s has also released a list of the top 20 best-loved children’s book characters. Paddington Bear, first created by Michael Brown in 1958, is still going strong in first place. One of Junior’s featured storybook heroes, Winnie the Pooh, is the runner up. In further celebration of World Book Day, Sainsbury’s stores around the country will host Make Believe events in the hopes of fostering a lifelong love of reading in children. Take a look at the two lists below, and start reading!


1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

2. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

3. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis

4. Winnie The Pooh – A.A. Milne

5. Black Beauty – Anna Sewell

6. James and The Giant Peach – Roald Dahl

7. The BFG – Roald Dahl

8. A Bear Called Paddington – Michael Bond

9. Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson

10. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain

11. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone – J.K. Rowling

12. Matilda – Roald Dahl

13. The Railway Children – E. Nesbit

14. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

15. Five on a Treasure Island – Enid Blyton

16. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

17. The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle

18. The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling

19. Charlotte's Web – E.B. White

20. The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter

21. Watership Down – Richard Adams

22. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien

23. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling

24. Lord of the Flies – William Golding

25. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 ¾ – Sue Townsend

26. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

27. The Cat in the Hat – Dr Seuss

28. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson-Burnett

29. The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank

30. The Twits – Roald Dahl

31. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum

32. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne

33. Anne of Green Gables – Lucy Maude Montgomery

34. The Tiger Who Came to Tea – Judith Kerr

35. Green Eggs and Ham – Dr Seuss

36. The Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham

37. Bambi – Felix Salten

38. Tom's Midnight Garden – Philippa Pearce

39. Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder

40. Funny Bones – Janet and Allan Ahlberg

41. Where The Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak

42. Carrie's War – Nina Bawden

43. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon

44. The Magician's Nephew – C.S. Lewis

45. The Golden Compass – Philip Pullman

46. The Story of Doctor Dolittle – Hugh Lofting

47. The Story of Tracy Beaker – Jacqueline Wilson

48. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

49. Curious George – H.A. Rey

50. Each Peach Pear Plum – Janet and Allan Ahlberg


1. Paddington Bear

2. Winnie the Pooh

3. The Hungry Caterpillar

4. Postman Pat

5. Thomas the Tank Engine

6. The Gruffalo

7. Harry Potter

8. Cinderella

9. Mr Men

10. Peter Rabbit

11. Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

12. Peter Pan

13. The BFG

14. Alice in Wonderland

15. Noddy

16. Willy Wonka

17. Matilda

18. Mog the Cat

19. Toad from Wind in the Willows

20. Pinocchio

Read more…

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books, reading, top list, sainsbury's, world book day, charlie and the chocolate factory, paddington bear, roald dahl, tony robinson, mavis sarfo, make believe, parents, children, winnie the pooh, bedtime stories

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