Children’s literature today is patronising at best and downright shoddy at worst. Sure, there are a few exceptions to this generalisation, but on the whole the vast majority of literary works available to children these days has been ‘dumbed down’ for fear that children couldn’t possibly understand the intricacies of more complicated storylines.
Pish posh! Here I share 5 of whom I believe are the best children’s authors of all time, don’t forget to pick up some copies for your little treasures.
5. Rudyard Kipling
Kipling was a talented writer indeed, included in his notable works for children were the Just So Stories and The Jungle Book novels. Set against the backdrop of the Indian jungle, the Jungle Book stories were Rudyard’s version of a modern day Aesop Fables, aiming to provide morality tales for his daughter and subsequently the children who would read his books for generations to come.
4. Edith Nesbit
Edith Nesbit is a true gem of the literary world. Author of such works as The Railway Children, Five Children and IT and The Phoenix and the Carpet, she was an incredibly popular author in her time and, in fact, her legacy echoes on today!
Her novels were often peppered with hope, fantasy and a sense of fun, so it’s not hard to see why her work was, and still is, so popular.
3. C.S Lewis
Hands up who has taken their kiddies to see the Narnia films! Now who has actually read the original stories to them?! If not, then you definitely should.
Books are always better and far richer in detail than the films and The Chronicles of Narnia series, by C.S Lewis, is no different. There is a reason that Lewis has made it into this list, his ability to weave a tale and engage the reader is truly magical. It’s not hard to see why his works have garnered such a furore of media attention in the form of various on and off-screen adaptations.
2. Enid Blyton
Oh, I remember the long, hot summer afternoons spent reading one Enid Blyton book after another. No matter what style of writing she attempted, from the adventures of the Famous Five, to the fantasies of the Faraway Tree, she always managed to produce engaging literature for her adoring child fans.
It just a shame there aren’t more like her, although I suppose if there were, then she wouldn’t be quite as special!
1. Roald Dahl
Recently voted as Best Children’s Author of All Time in a poll conducted for International Children’s Book Day, Roald Dahl is an institution in his own right! With a national “Roald Dahl” day and a string of fanastical, scrumdiddlyumptious books to lay claim to, it’s not hard to see why.
His ability to share a variety moral tales with his readers through the trials and tribulations of the characters, stands as a testament to his literary genius. I for one intend to ensure that my children’s worlds are opened up by reading the likes of Matilda, The Twits and The BFG to name but a few.
I would love to hear from you about your favourite childhood authors! Pop a comment below and let’s have a chat!