The 100 Best Children's Books

by Brian Alderson

The 100 Best Children’s Books is an invaluable guide for parents and young readers in search of the crème de la crème of children’s fiction. The selection, made by eminent critic and writer, Brian Alderson, is arranged chronologically, beginning with The Pilgrim’s Progress — which is still told to children in one form or another. The reader is then taken through a mini- history of the most outstanding stories whose words have appealed to the child’s imagination. The selection ends with J. K. Rowling.

The chosen books (many with examples of their illustrations) include not just the classics of the genre, but many neglected masterpieces which may not be so familiar to the general reader. As a bonus, the author provides an additional list of recommended works drawn entirely from the 20th century.

The author’s opinions are often outspoken but always entertaining. The 100 Best Children’s Books books will doubtless become a classic volume in itself, providing a unique and indispensable reference guide to the books that have inspired and entertained countless generations.

Brian Alderson accidentally found himself among children’s books when he began working for a specialist bookseller in 1954. He was initially employed on a two-week job which turned into a lifetime occupation involving him in various

other, often accidental, activities: editing, translating, lecturing, and even occasionally writing for children ... while somewhat more often engaging in the despicable trade of being a critic. In 1969 he founded the Children’s Books History Society and in 2004 became President of the Beatrix Potter Society.

Brian is also a collector of children’s books, an interest which has led him to the study of their history and bibliography and to the organisation and cataloguing of extensive exhibitions both in Britain and the United States. At present he has an informal connection with Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books at Newcastle upon Tyne and with the Children’s Literature Unit at Newcastle University.


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