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Narnia tops favourite children’s books

7 April 2010

In a recent poll C.S. Lewis’s The lion, the witch and the wardrobe, the first of his series of Narnia books, was the overall favourite.

Harry Potter straggles in a ‘disappointing’ sixth in children’s books poll | Mail Online: “The poll of 4,000 respondents was conducted by the charity Booktrust, which runs the Governmentbacked Bookstart initiative giving free packs of books to children.

Viv Bird, director of Booktrust, said: ‘It’s wonderful to see the enduring popularity of these books which are loved by generation after generation.’

:: Top 50 Best Children’s Books

1. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis
2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
3. Famous Five, Enid Blyton
4. Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne
5. The BFG, Roald Dahl
6. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling
7. The Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
8. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
9. Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
10. The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson”

There are some interesting things about this. One is that in spite of the attempts by publishers to stress the chronological story order, making The magician’s nephew the first of the series, the public seems to prefer the original publication order, which also makes more sense when one is reading them. But among the Harry Potter books it was the sixth, rather than the first, that was the favourite.

I find the publishers’ attempts to change the order of the Narnia books as irritating as the attempts by diary publishers to change the first day of the week to Monday, and if I want a set of the Narnia books, or a new diary, I always look for ones in the “proper” order, though it is becoming increasingly difficult to find printed appointment diaries that begin the week on Sunday. Fortunately electronic ones usually allow one to choose.

It’s a pity, though, that the article says nothing about the age of the people polled.

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