The 100 Best Children’s Books of All Time According to the BBC 

The earliest books that many of us read are children’s books. There are thousands of amazing children’s books to read. Today, we will look at the 100 best children’s books of all time according to BBC. Keep reading to see which books made their list. 

books on shelves
The 100 Best Children’s Books of All Time According to the BBC 

The BBC used a lot of data to make this list. 177 book experts from 56 countries were polled to find out which book is the greatest children’s book. And while not everyone will agree with this list, most people would concede that it got it right. You can see the full list below. 

The 100 Best Children’s Books of All Time According to the BBC 

  • 1 Where the Wild Things Are (Maurice Sendak, 1963) 
    2          Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll, 1865) 
    3          Pippi Longstocking (Astrid Lindgren, 1945) 
    4          The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, 1943) 
    5          The Hobbit (JRR Tolkien, 1937) 
    6          Northern Lights (Philip Pullman, 1995) 
    7          The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (CS Lewis, 1950) 
    8          Winnie-the-Pooh (AA Milne and EH Shepard, 1926) 
    9          Charlotte’s Web (EB White and Garth Williams, 1952) 
    10        Matilda (Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake, 1988) 
    11        Anne of Green Gables (LM Montgomery, 1908) 
    12        Fairy Tales (Hans Christian Andersen, 1827) 
    13        Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (JK Rowling, 1997) 
    14        The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle, 1969) 
    15        The Dark is Rising (Susan Cooper, 1973) 
    16        The Arrival (Shaun Tan, 2006) 
    17        Little Women (Louisa May Alcott, 1868) 
    18        Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Roald Dahl, 1964) 
    19        Heidi (Johanna Spyri, 1880) 
    20        Goodnight Moon (Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd, 1947) 
    21        The Adventures of Pinocchio (Carlo Collodi, 1883) 
    22        A Wizard of Earthsea (Ursula K Le Guin, 1968) 
    23        Moominland Midwinter (Tove Jansson, 1957) 
    24        I Want My Hat Back (Jon Klassen, 2011) 
    25        The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1911) 
    26        Duck, Death and the Tulip (Wolf Erlbruch, 2007) 
    27        The Brothers Lionheart (Astrid Lindgren, 1973) 
    28        Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (JK Rowling, 1999) 
    29        Brown Girl Dreaming (Jacqueline Woodson, 2014) 
    30        The Three Robbers (Tomi Ungerer, 1961) 
    31        The Snowy Day (Ezra Jack Keats, 1962) 
    32        The Tiger Who Came to Tea (Judith Kerr, 1968) 
    33        Howl’s Moving Castle (Diana Wynne Jones, 1986) 
    34        A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L’Engle, 1962) 
    35        Watership Down (Richard Adams, 1972) 
    36        Tom’s Midnight Garden (Philippa Pearce, 1958) 
    37        Grimm’s Fairy Tales (Brothers Grimm, 1812) 
    38        The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Beatrix Potter, 1902) 
    39        The Railway Children (Edith Nesbit, 1906) 
    40        Noughts and Crosses (Malorie Blackman, 2001) 
    41        The BFG (Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake, 1982) 
    42        Rules of Summer (Shaun Tan, 2013) 
    43        Momo (Michael Ende, 1973) 
    44        The Story of Ferdinand (Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson, 1936) 
    45        The Lord of the Rings (JRR Tolkien, 1954) 
    46        The Owl Service (Alan Garner, 1967) 
    47        Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter (Astrid Lindgren, 1981) 
    48        The Neverending Story (Michael Ende, 1979) 
    49        The Panchatantra (Anonymous / folk, -200) 
    50        Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson, 1883) 
    51        Mary Poppins (PL Travers, 1934) 
    52        Ballet Shoes (Noel Streafield, 1936) 
    53        So Much! (Trish Cooke and Helen Oxenbury, 1994) 
    54        We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, 1989) 
    55        The Adventures of Cipollino (Gianni Rodari, 1951) 
    56        The Giving Tree (Shel Silverstein, 1964) 
    57        The Gruffalo (Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, 1999) 
    58        Julián Is a Mermaid (Jessica Love, 2018) 
    59        Comet in Moominland (Tove Jansson, 1946) 
    60        Finn Family Moomintroll (Tove Jansson, 1948) 
    61        The Witches (Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake, 1983) 
    62        A Bear Called Paddington (Michael Bond, 1958) 
    63        The Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame, 1908) 
    64        Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Mildred D Taylor, 1977) 
    65        Karlsson-on-the-Roof (Astrid Lindgren, 1955) 
    66        The Phantom Tollbooth (Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer, 1961) 
    67        The Cat in the Hat (Dr Seuss, 1957) 
    68        The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (Kate DiCamillo and Bagram Ibatoulline, 2006) 
    69        Peter and Wendy (JM Barrie, 1911) 
    70        One Thousand and One Nights (Anonymous / folk) 
    71        From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler (EL Konigsburg, 1967) 
    72        When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (Judith Kerr, 1971) 
    73        Shum bola (G’afur G’ulоm, 1936) 
    73        Ernest and Celestine (Gabrielle Vincent, 1981) 
    75        A Kind of Spark (Elle McNicoll, 2020) 
    76        Little Nicholas (René Goscinny and Jean-Jacques Sempé, 1959) 
    77        Black Beauty (Anna Sewell, 1877) 
    78        Daddy-Long-Legs (Jean Webster, 1912) 
    79        No Kiss for Mother (Tomi Ungerer, 1973) 
    80        My Family and Other Animals (Gerald Durrell, 1956) 
    81        Jacob Have I Loved (Katherine Paterson, 1980) 
    81        The Lorax (Dr Seuss, 1971) 
    83        Fairy Tales / The Tales of Mother Goose (Charles Perrault, 1697)  
    84        The Moomins and the Great Flood (Tove Jansson, 1945) 
    85        The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (L Frank Baum, 1900) 
    86        Just William (Richmal Crompton, 1922) 
    87        The Twits (Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake, 1980) 
    87        The Mouse and His Child (Russell Hoban, 1967) 
    87        Out of My Mind (Sharon M Draper, 2010) 
    87        Moominvalley in November (Tove Jansson, 1970) 
    87        Little House in the Big Woods (Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1932) 
    92        Danny the Champion of the World (Roald Dahl, 1975) 
    93        The Snowman (Raymond Briggs, 1978) 
    94        Wave (Suzy Lee, 2008) 
    95        The Black Brothers (Lisa Tetzner, 1940) 
    96        The Velveteen Rabbit (Margery Williams, 1921) 
    97        The Bad Beginning (Lemony Snicket, 1999) 
    98        The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman, 2008) 
    99        American Born Chinese (Gene Luen Yang and Lark Pien, 2006) 
    100      Haroun and the Sea of Stories (Salman Rushdie, 1990) 

Where the Wild Things Selected as The Best Children’s Book 

Maurice Sendak’s novel Where the Wild Things Are was chosen as the best children’s book of all time. It is hard to argue that it doesn’t deserve the top spot. It is important to note that this poll included over 50 countries so this is a more global poll. That does alter this list and rightfully so.  

Coming in second is Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It is one of the most recognizable children’s stories and one that many people hold dear. Seeing The Hobbit in the top five was a nice surprise. And yes, it is categorized as children’s literature.  

Overall, this is a solid list and I can’t find any faults in it. Some children’s books should have been higher on the list but that isn’t really an issue for me. Seeing a bunch of fantasy novels make the list is a great surprise which I wasn’t expecting.  


That wraps up the 100 best children’s books of all time according to BBC. What did you think of this list? Any children’s books that should have made the list but didn’t? Let us know in the comments below! 

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3 thoughts on “The 100 Best Children’s Books of All Time According to the BBC 

  1. Marica says:

    Do you have a link to the original BBC article on this? I’d like to see the methodology they used. Thanks!

    1. Ahaqir says:

      It’s in the last paragraph. But I don’t remember seeing any useful information about that

  2. alnessa2 says:

    Wonderful list! Perhaps Raggedy Ann, or The Little Engine That Could were omitted or overlooked, but it’s a well-rounded choice of books.


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