World Book Day 2023: Our best childhood book with mentions for Roald Dahl, Enid Blytn, David Walliams and Michelle Magorian
World Book Day is back for 2023 determined to inspire more young people to pick up a book and read for pleasure.
March 2, 2023 is not just about dressing up as brilliant characters - though lots of schools and nurseries will be taking part - but about getting books into the hands of young people.
In our office, and across our sister papers in Iliffe Media, World Book Day has prompted the question of what's your favourite children's book?
What do you think of our selection? Let us know in the comments below. And if you have dressed up for World Book Day we'd love to see those pictures. Send them to email@example.com along with your name, address, phone number, and a short description of the image.
Marie Bond, editor, Grantham Journal
I adore Super Duper You, by Sophy Henn and read it regularly to my five-year-old daughter, and I'll do the same with my younger son. It's a celebration of all the things that make us unique, and tells little ones that it's OK to be different and experience different emotions. To be someone who doesn't fit into a box. A line I've taken from it that I say to my daughter when she's feeling unsure is, "be bold, be proud, be brilliant". It's beautifully illustrated, too.
Eloise Gilmore, Editorial Apprentice, Newark Advertiser
My favourite children's book is The Circus Collection by Enid Blyton. The stories of Mr Galliano's famous travelling circus stick with me even years since I last opened the book. It is the perfect escapism and endless fun - who wouldn't want to have their parents' permission to ditch school and run away with the circus to make friends with elephants, clowns and acrobats. I'm sure it is not so politically correct in everything nowadays, but the simple pleasures of the story remain true and the vivid colours Blyton painted on the page are as bright as ever.
Andrea Scholes, senior reporter, Rutland & Stamford Mercury, Bourne Local and Rutland Times
One of my favourite children's books is The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson. It's the one book that sticks in my mind from primary school, having read it as a class in Year 5. The bright doodles from the front cover are etched in my mind and I was captivated by what would become of Tracy during her time in "dumping ground". As a parent, I've always wanted my children to read it too, often pointing it out during visits to the library. They haven't yet but I'm still hopeful!
Jenny Beake, reporter, Lynn News
As a child I enjoyed reading The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken. It was an exciting adventure that was also made into a film
As an adult I still enjoy reading Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne and The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse by Charlie Mackesy which both have nice messages in an adult world.
Nicola Irwin, digital news editor, Midlands
I read and re-read Back Home by Michelle Magorian when younger. I love the strong-willed Rusty who returns to England after being sent to the US as a Second World War evacuee. Teenager Rusty is much changed from the little girl who left England and is use to an independence and freedom she no longer gets, while missing her American family. Magorian is often celebrated for her other work around evacuees Goodnight Mr Tom, but for me this stands head and shoulders above it. I can't wait to share it with my daughters.
Duncan Browne, reporter, Spalding Guardian and Lincolnshire Free Press
My favourite kids' book has to be Ging Gang Goolie, It's An Alien. Bob Wilson's madcap illustrated adventure sees a group of scouts come face to face with - and are forced to thwart - an intergalactic invasion from the Grobblewockians. Think Monty Python meets Raymond Briggs. Thankfully, it's not just me, my children love the book too.
Suzanne Moon, news editor, Rutland & Stamford Mercury, Bourne Local and Rutland Times
If I have to pick a children's book
That's well worth a second look
Then it's a classic from my childhood times -
it's Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes.
Yes, grab an original copy of the 1982 'poetry' book illustrated by Quentin Blake before all its juicy references to body shape and cartoon violence have been scrubbed away by the woke brigade. These bedtime-length ditties that spice up old-fashioned fairy tales are chock-a-block with references to Goldilocks' 'fat behind' and Little Red Riding Hood's gun-toting ways. But they can't possibly be accused of sexism. After all, Miss Hood winds up not only owning two wolf-skin coats but a pig skin travelling case too. What a girl!
Jeremy Ransome - group editor Lynn News, Fenland Citizen, Spalding Guardian and Lincolnshire Free Press
Growing up, it was always Roald Dahl or Michael Bond's Paddington books for me, so it wasn't until I had children of my own that I really delved into Enid Blyton. Although my kids were also keen on Dahl, along with the books of David Walliams, which were quite similar, it was Blyton who really captured their imagination.
They loved The Famous Five, The Barney Mysteries and The Faraway Tree stories, but it was the two Wishing Chair books that I really enjoyed reading to them. The magical adventures of Mollie, Peter and Chinky the Pixie are a joy to behold and I'm sure they will thrill and entertain generations of children to come.
Sarah Cliss, senior reporter, Fenland Citizen
My girls were avid readers and we have literally hundreds of their old books in the loft. They loved Jacqueline Wilson, Roald Dahl, Harry Potter and Philip Pullman when they were old enough to read themselves. When they were little We're Going On A Bear Hunt was a firm favourite and we still quote it when we're out for family walks and come across some 'swishy swashy' grass. Another favourite, read multiple times was The Little Witch by Otfried Preussler, a lovely story, with an upbeat tone and a moral fairytale ending.
My current favourite with the grandsons is Snail And The Whale. I love Julia Donaldson and her rhymes and this story is just lovely. I loved Tom's Midnight Garden growing up. I just loved it, the story of Tom and Hatty was magical and the book transported you to their world beautifully. I also loved the adventures of Enid Blyton's Secret Seven and of course the Chronicles of Narnia - I was a little bit in love with Prince Caspian - just to show my age...