Australia’s leading bookseller, Dymocks, has released it’s annual list of the Top 51 favourite children’s books as voted by the Australian public. Topping the 2017 list is classic picture book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. First published in 1969 this deceptively simple story with its clever cut-outs and colourful collage illustrations has sold over 30 million copies worldwide.
Australia’s favourite author is Mem Fox whose books feature a record 4 times in the list. Imogen Neely, Dymocks Category Manager said that Mem’s beloved picture book Possum Magic is the highest ranking Australian book at no. 3. Dymocks has sold over 60,000 copies in the last decade alone.
“This timeless classic hasn’t been out of print since it was first published over 30 years ago. Possum Magic’s lovable characters Grandma Poss and Little Hush continue to captivate generations of new readers. Adults love Grandma Poss’s special blend of bush magic just as much as the little ones. It’s easy to see why Mem Fox is our favourite Australian author,” Imogen said.
The enduring power of a great picture book is highlighted in this year’s list with 9 of the top 10 and 70% of the Top 51 being picture books, making it the most popular category overall. Books for middle readers and books for young adults are split evenly at 7 titles each. Surprisingly the Harry Potter series has slipped to no. 8 having held the no. 1 spot for the last 3 years.
Classics dominate the list with We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Green Eggs and Ham, Where the Wild Things Are and The Gruffalo all in the top 10. Best-selling author Roald Dahl has three books in the list and Julia Donaldson and Dr Seuss each have two. Animals are a common theme with two in five books featuring an animal of some kind in their title.
Eighteen Australian authors made this year’s list including Jackie French, Hazel Edwards, Sheena Knowles, Craig Smith, Nick Bland, Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton, Dick Roughsey, John Marsden and Jacqueline Harvey. Local writers who are listed twice include Aaron Blabey’s Pig the Pug (no. 28) Piranhas Don’t Eat Bananas (no. 48) and Alison Lester’s Magic Beach (no. 35) and Imagine (no. 37).
Although children’s classics remain a favourite with Dymocks Booklovers, the list changes year to year. Of the 51 titles represented, there are 14 books that weren’t on last year’s list.
Film tie-ins remain popular with young adult readers including the Hunger Games series (no. 24) The Fault in our Stars (no. 42) Tomorrow, When the War Began (no. 48), and the Divergent series (no. 50).
Ms Neely said, “Teen readers love to see their treasured characters brought to life on the screen. Sarah J Maas fans are eagerly awaiting the adaptation of her hugely successful Throne of Glass series (no. 45 on the list) which is currently in development. We expect significant interest in this one when it’s released.”
The full list is available online at https://www.dymocks.com.au/kids-top-51