I love lists. Top 10 lists. Top 20 lists. Lists that tell you the best restaurant to go to (I never agree with them) and lists that inform you of what the best movies of the year are (I can't agree with them because I rarely go to the movies). So when I saw this article on The 11 Greatest Children's Books, I of course had to stop everything and read it.
The BBC complied the list: "In search of a collective critical assessment, BBC Culture’s Jane
Ciabattari polled dozens of critics around the world, including NPR’s
Maureen Corrigan; Nicolette Jones, children’s books editor of the Sunday
Times; Nicole Lamy of the Boston Globe; Time magazine's books editor
Lev Grossman; Daniel Hahn, author of the new Oxford Companion to
Children's Literature; and Beirut-based critic Rayyan Al-Shawaf. We
asked each to name the best children’s books (for ages 10 and under)
ever published in English."
The poll collected 151 books, and the titles that came up again and again were ranked at the top. Any idea what the top book is? (No cheating here, please.) I'm pleased to say that this list is one I can agree with. With the exception of number 9 (A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K Le Guin), I've read and enjoyed every title. And the number 1 spot? It's held by good old Charlotte's Web, by EB White.
Finally, a list I won't complain about.