UK Telegraph 22 February 2008
The Harry Potter series has been comprehensively beaten in a poll of the best children’s books of all time by a host of traditional classics. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Winnie the Pooh and the Famous Five all finished above the only Harry Potter book to make the top 50. The results are a surprise because the last four Harry Potter stories were the fastest-selling books in history. The poll was conducted among 4,000 parents – suggesting most believe in the superiority of the books they enjoyed as children over modern stories. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, by CS Lewis, was first published in 1950. The novel, the most famous in the Narnia collection, has been made into several TV series, theatrical performances and films with the recent Disney adaptation in 2005 making almost ?400 million worldwide.
In second place was the picture book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle which is said to have sold an average of one copy every minute since it was first published in 1960. Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series, first written in 1942, came third in the poll, Winnie the Pooh by A A Milne was fourth and The BFG by Roald Dahl was fifth.