The UK's favourite children's books revealed

Roald Dahl beat J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series to top the list

Chloe Best

They say a good book will stand the test of time, and that is certainly true in the case of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which has topped a list of the UK's favourite children's books. The author penned the novel some 53 years ago in 1964, and it has continued to captivate children ever since, even beating J.K. Rowling's hugely popular Harry Potter novels to take the top spot of the list, which was commissioned by the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals.

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The prestigious book awards for children and young people are 80 this year, so to celebrate they conducted research to see which books from the past 80 years had made the most impact on British families. Roald Dahl was a clear favourite, with his books Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG and Matilda all making the top three.


Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was named the UK's most popular children's book

The research found that 84% of parents actively encourage their children to read their own childhood favourite, which may explain why books such as Michael Bond's A Bear Called Paddington, C.S Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Charlotte's Web by E.B. White – all written in the 1950s – made the list. The majority of parents also agreed that distinctive covers and illustrations made a book stick in the mind, something which Roald Dahl's books had plenty of thanks to illustrator Quentin Blake.

The Top 15 children's books are:

  1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (1964)
  2. The BFG by Roald Dahl (1982)
  3. Matilda by Roald Dahl (1988)
  4. A Bear called Paddington by Michael Bond (1958)
  5. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (1969)
  6. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling (1997)
  7. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (1950)
  8. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White (1952)
  9. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss (1957)
  10. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (1937)
  11. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell (1982)
  12. The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr (1968)
  13. The Snowman by Raymond Briggs (1978)
  14. The Borrowers by Mary Norton (1952)
  15. Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs (1973)

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