The SYP Committee’s favourite children’s books
Posted on June 8, 2009 in Uncategorized
You can’t get more ingenious than a tree with different worlds at the top that change every now and then, a man covered in saucepans and a man called Moonface! An absolutely classic adventure story.
Angie Solomon, Chair: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Ok, so I’m going to pretend that my favourite children book/s weren’t the entire Sweet Valley High or Point Horror series and choose something a bit more highbrow as I’m writing to fellow publishers.
When I was younger I absolutely adored Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and the sequels that followed it. My favourite was Amy; although she was the snooty one I loved her spirit and the fact that she finally won the boy! I was never a big fan of tomboy Jo, as I didn’t really connect with the outdoorsy type; but I loved the quiet tragedy of Beth and from there decided on the name of my first daughter.
I think Little Women is a book that can be enjoyed by all girls young and old – and I’m sure boys will also sneak a read!
Nikki Dudley, InPrint Production Editor: Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
This novel turns racial issues on their head. It follows the story of Sephy (a Cross) and Callum (a nought), struggling to stay friends in a world where their origins determine their status. Callum epitomises the struggle to escape the status you are born into and Sephy the struggle to escape the guilt that is attached to unfounded superiority.
Some have hailed it a modern day Romeo and Juliet and the similarities are there – forbidden friendship, feuding families, tragedy. However, this is a fresh take on racial tensions, where those with white skin are the ones who are discriminated against, and those with black skin are superior. A real thought-provoking narrative, which may not be high-class writing throughout, but is definitely worth reading and is even more relevant in today’s society where unjust wars and terrorism are real concerns.
CJ Montague, Jobs Co-ordinator: Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
The books you read as a child have a lot to answer for: for most of us, it was where we first fell in love with books, and now we’ve persevered and moved city or even country to work with them!
It’s that simple, the essence of children’s books: they’re not just for children!
Kevin Mahoney, Web Content Editor: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
My favourite children’s book is Where the Wild Things Are, written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak, which was first published in 1963. To be honest, I can’t really remember what the story is about, as it’s the illustrations that have always grabbed me – they’re so iconic, and disturbing (in a good way). Whenever a new baby cousin arrives, I always have to buy them a copy of Where the Wild Things Are, as I think it should be a prerequisite of childhood. And if they’re really good, then I’ll buy them a copy that contains a fluffy toy of one of the wild things. Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers are currently making a movie of Where the Wild Things Are, which should be quite a challenge, as I believe the text in the book is only 10 lines long!
Bhav Mehta, Project 60 Co-ordinator: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is at the top of my list of children’s books. It’s a sheer work of genius, filled with imagination, fun, and magic.
Unlike other children’s books, the antagonists in this book aren’t adults or monsters or vampires, but rather the naughty children. These are: Augustus (who is gluttonous), Veruca (who is spoiled brat), Violet (who chews gum all day) and Mike (who is obsessed with watching TV). Charlie, the hero of the book, is the only one who doesn’t misbehave. As Willy Wonka leads the children from room to room, one child after another falls victim to his or her bad habit and is eliminated. Charlie remains, and thus inherits Willy Wonka’s factory and his fortunes!
Lucy Mitchell, InPrint Online Editor: Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones
I always loved reading when I was little but this was the first book that I fell in love with, when I was about ten or eleven, and have re-read many time since.
A photograph hanging in her childhood bedroom brings strange memories back to Polly of a life she never lived: gate-crashing a funeral, meeting the mysterious Tom Lynn and his string quartet, the stories she wrote for him becoming reality: but what was the terrible thing she did that caused Tom to be erased from her life?