Australia's leading bookseller, Dymocks, has released its annual list of the Top 51 favourite children's books voted for by the Australian public.
A record number of over 26,500 votes were cast by Booklovers on their favourite children's book of all time. This significant number of votes shows how passionate Australians are about their favourite childhood stories. The Dymocks Kids' Top 51 survey provides a unique snapshot into the reading habits of our nation's kids (and kidults).
Topping the list again this year was the Harry Potter series. Imogen McNamara, Dymocks Category Manager, said the appeal of the boy wizard is as strong as ever, nearly twenty years after the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
'The Harry Potter series has a special place in the hearts of children, coming in at first place six times over the last eight years. The enduring popularity of JK Rowling's characters shows no signs of slowing".
This year has been a big one for Harry Potter fans with the release of the Harry Potter and The Cursed Child script book at the end of July, which has sold over 75,000 copies at Dymocks. Ms McNamara says there is more good news for fans this year. 'We are already taking pre-orders for JK Rowling's screenplay of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Nov pub) which is top of many fans' wishlist this Christmas."
Books that make kids laugh are always popular and a significant number of votes in the middle primary range were for humorous series like Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton's madcap Treehouse series (no. 8), Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid series (no. 17) and the hilariously funny Weirdo series (no. 35), by Anh Do.
Imogen McNamara said that The 78 Storey Treehouse was the fastest selling Australian book of the last ten years with over 25,000 sold through the Dymocks network, which is testament to the popularity of the fun, illustrated format of books in the 8-12 age group. 'Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton know how to tickle kids' funny bones, with The Bad Book also on the list at no. 49."
Dystopian stories were popular with young adult readers including Tomorrow, When the War Began (no. 39), Hunger Games Series (no. 10) and the Divergent series. All three titles have been hugely successful films, and nine other titles on the list have also been made into films. Ms McNamara said, 'There is even a movie in the works for our number 23, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, which is set to be released on 2018."
Fifteen Australian authors made the list this year including two appearances from Mem Fox with classic Possum Magic (no. 7) and Where Is the Green Sheep? (no. 9). Other Australian favourites on the list are Jackie French's Diary of a Wombat (no. 25) and The Very Cranky Bear (no. 29), by Nick Bland, bringing the total number of books featuring animals in their titles to 22.
Matilda (no. 3) and The BFG (no. 4) were in the top 5 this year and the resurgence of Roald Dahl's popularity seems fitting considering September marked his 100th birthday. The popularity of these two Dahl classics is reflected in the success of the Matilda stage show and The BFG film, both released this year.
The children's picture book category featured many nostalgia reads, no doubt enjoyed by parents and grandparents the first time round including Enid Blyton's The Magic Faraway Tree (no. 12) Dr. Seuss' Oh, the Places You'll Go! (no. 15), Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Diary (no. 5), Where the Wild Things Are (no. 16) and Where's Spot (no. 19). The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie (no. 42), characters first introduced in 1918, and Harry the Dirty Dog (no. 46), originally published in 1956, show the love and lasting power of a great children's book, and will be remembered by many readers, still young at heart.
The full list is available online at https://www.dymocks.com.au/kids-top-51