1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up

edited by Julia Eccleshare

Hodder

9781844036714

October 2009

This lovely whopper of a reference book weighs in at just under 1000 pages. The first thing to be said about it is that has been splendidly designed and presented, as well as printed to a high quality. The typeface is sharp and easy on the eye. The page layouts are straightforward and uniform throughout the book. For the most part the illustrations used are the book jackets from a title’s first edition. Indeed, much pleasure can be derived from 1001 Children’s Books without reading a single entry; just admiring the book jacket designs and (for an older consumer such as I am) taking a trip down memory lane is delight enough.
Of course there are omissions. That goes without saying. Each of us might have found room for titles not included here if we had been the book’s editor. I would have wanted a place for Robert O’Brien’s Z for Zachariah (in addition to his Mrs Frisby and the Rats Of Nimh, which IS included here), for Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff, for at least one book by Joan Bauer. But to be honest a couple of dozen changes out of the 1001 would probably be sufficient to bring the selection closer into line with my own editorial preferences, and I daresay the same would be true for everyone. Achieving a 98% satisfaction level should more than please Julia Eccleshare.
A fine book currently available at a cutdown price.

1 thought on “1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up

  1. alisondo

    This is a terrific reference work and it was interesting to see books from a wide range of different countries. Some of the age banding seems eccentric to me: why have ‘Wizard of Earthsea’ and the (very violent) ‘Sterkarm Handshake’ in the 8+ category and ‘The Dark is Rising’ and ‘Mister Monday’ in 12+, for example. I was also unreasonably irritated by the review of ‘ Guess How Much I Love You’- the reviewer describes the big hare as ‘Mother’ which tells me he hasn’t actually read the book! Some of the Americanisms grate a bit, too. But overall a great selection with lots of new things to try.

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