David Walliams’ run-down of the Top 50 Children’s Books (as compiled by the Sunday Times) on Channel 4 on Boxing Day was fascinating viewing. The mix of old classics such as Wind in the Willows, Alice in Wonderland and Charlotte’s Web alongside new books that have captured children’s imaginations, such as Jon Klassen’s This Is Not My Hat and Charlie and Lola in I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato, shows how books that are decades old can still hold their own. I was particularly delighted that The House at Pooh Corner took the top spot and that Paddington was in the top 10 (although I’d have put him higher). Perhaps that shows my own preference for stories featuring lovable bears. The children who gave their views on the books were hilarious – we particularly loved the girl who said that Mr Toad was her favourite character because she loves a rich man.
It was good to see several children’s authors who support us, including Michael Bond, Quentin Blake, Jacqueline Wilson, Julia Donaldson, Judith Kerr and Michael Rosen, chatting to David and sharing their anecdotes. Who would have thought that Michael Bond crept into bookshops and moved his titles to the front of the displays!
There are many books from the list which we have adapted for blind and partially sighted children. These include The Very Hungry Caterpillar, I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato, Where the Wild Things Are, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and The Tiger Who Came to Tea. You can browse the full Sunday Times list on the Channel 4 website and then visit our online library to check out what you can borrow in Touch to See for your children to enjoy.