We invited a panel of teachers, literacy and reading experts, book reviewers and editors – see right – to choose their top 11 best books for under 11s. From picture books to older fiction, together they make an exciting and varied list of recommended reads for children from three to 11.

Tracy Kewley, Springboard Stories

Peace at Last

by Jill Murphy (Macmillan)

My favourite book to read aloud to young children, with lots of sound effects, repeating lines and opportunities for little ones to join in.

Clarice Bean, that’s me

by Lauren Child (Orchard)

Lauren Child has that rare skill of being able to create something brilliant out of the banal. Featuring characters familiar to most families, the Beans are The Royle Family of children’s books.


by Shirley Hughes (Red Fox)

The most charming, heart-warming story ever written for children? For me, it has to be Dogger.

The Snail and the Whale

by Julia Donaldson (Macmillan)

A rhyming classic by one of the most successful partnerships in children’s literature. A reminder that you don’t have to be big to make a big impact, with a clear environmental message.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

by J.K. Rowling (Bloomsbury)

For me, the pinnacle of the Harry Potter series. A beautifully crafted plot that convinced me of JK Rowling’s pure genius.

Mrs Armitage on Wheels

by Quentin Blake (Red Fox)

As a big Quentin Blake fan, one of his books had to feature in my list. Mrs Armitage is great fun – quirky, creative and unconventional but a great role model for children. (Lots of ‘joining in’ lines in this story too.)

The Day the Crayons Quit

by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins)

One of those books that stopped me in my tracks because it was so wonderfully different and original. The Day the Crayons Quit is hilarious and charming – don’t miss it!


by Ian Falconer (Simon and Schuster)

Fabulous, characterful illustrations bring this cheeky and mischievous little pig to life. Olivia is adorable!


by Roald Dahl (Puffin)

If I had to choose my favourite children’s book character, I’d pick Matilda without a moment’s hesitation. A book I’ll never tire of reading and the one children’s book I’d take to a desert island.

Pippi Longstocking

by Astrid Lindgren (OUP)

One of my favourite books as a child, given a new lease of life in the new edition by Lauren Child’s illustrations, which capture this larger-than-life character perfectly.

Charlotte’s Web

by EB White (Puffin)

A classic tale of love, loyalty and friendship.

Look for resources...

Wide Miss Whacky Top

Wide Miss Whacky Middle

Wide Miss Whacky Bottom

paid annually

Call or fax 248