BBC Culture: 100 Greatest Children's Books of All Time

Activity: Public engagement and outreachContribution to the work of non-academic organisations


I was a consultant and contributor to this poll. I was invited to vote for top 10 greatest children's books of all time and to write comments about each choice (and there were constraints in terms of what we could vote for). Some of my comments were published on the BBC Culture website:

From BBC Culture website:

All in felt like the right time to do our bit to both give children's literature its due and consider what has made and continues to make great children's writing. And so, in order to do that, we have decided to ask many experts a very simple question: what is the greatest children's book of all time?

While of course far from definitive, the answers we have gleaned are fascinating – and we hope will make readers both wistful for the books they loved in their youth and ready to try out titles that passed them by, or were published after they came of age; for there is no reason that the greatest children's literature shouldn't be equally nourishing to an adult. In total, 1050 different books were voted for by 177 experts – critics, authors and publishing figures – who came from 56 countries, from Austria to Uzbekistan. Of these voters, 133 were female, 41 were male and three preferred not to say. Each voter listed their 10 greatest children's books, which we scored and ranked to produce the top 100 listed below.

Estimated audience numbers (if applicable)

International reach of millions
Period23 May 2023
Held atBBC , United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational