51 ways to keep kids reading.

Learn, Read

Harry Potter tops the list of the best children’s book of all time voted by Australia’s biggest booklovers. 

Australia’s leading bookseller, Dymocks, has released its annual list of the Top 51 popular children’s books voted for by the Australian public.

A record number of over 26,500 votes were cast by Booklovers on their favourite kids book of all. 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).

Number 1 The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling The Harry Potter Series J.K. Rowling Age 8+
Number 2 The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle Age 0+
Number 3 Matilda Roald Dahl Age 8+
Number 4 The BFG Roald Dahl Age 8+
Number 5 Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy Lynley Dodd Age 0+
Number 6 Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White Charlotte’s Web E. B. White Age 7+
Number 7 Possum Magic by Mem Fox Possum Magic Mem Fox Age 4+
Number 8 Treehouse Series by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton Treehouse Series Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton Age 7+
Number 9 Where Is the Green Sheep? Mem Fox Age 0+
Number 10 The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins Age 12+
Number 11 Rainbow Fish Marcus Pfister Age 4+
Number 12 The Magic Faraway Tree Enid Blyton Age 7+
Number 13 The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas John Boyne Age 12+
Number 14 We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Michael Rosen Age 0+
Number 15 Oh, The Places You’ll Go! Dr Seuss Age 5+
Number 16 Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak Age 3+
Number 17 Diary Of A Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney Diary Of A Wimpy Kid Jeff Kinney Age 9+
Number 18 The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler The Gruffalo Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler Age 3+
Number 19 Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill Where’s Spot? Eric Hill Age 0+
Number 20 Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney Guess How Much I Love You Sam McBratney Age 0+
Number 21 The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events Book 1) Lemony Snicket Age 10+
Number 22 Dear Zoo Rod Campbell Age 0+
Number 23 The Tale of Peter Rabbit Beatrix Potter Age 0+
Number 24 Animalia Graeme Base Age 4+
Number 25 Diary of a Wombat Jackie French Age 3+
Number 26 Paddington by Michael Bond Paddington Michael Bond Age 4+
Number 27 Wombat Stew by Marcia K Vaughan Wombat Stew Marcia K Vaughan Age 4+
Number 28 Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen Who Sank the Boat? Pamela Allen Age 3+
Number 29 The Very Cranky Bear Nick Bland Age 3+
Number 30 The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth The Divergent Series Veronica Roth Age 14+
Number 31 Where’s Wally? by Martin Handford Where’s Wally? Martin Handford Age 5+
Number 32 There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake by Hazel Edwards There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake Hazel Edwards Age 3+
Number 33 The Day the Crayons Quit Oliver Jeffers Age 3+
Number 34 Wonder R. J. Palacio Age 11+
Number 35 Weirdo Series Anh Do Age 6+
Number 36 Deltora Quest: Series 1 Emily Rodda Age 8+
Number 37 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Mark Haddon Age 12+
Number 38 Gangsta Granny David Walliams Age 8+
Number 39 Tomorrow, When the War Began John Marsden Age 12+
Number 40 Once Morris Gleitzman Age 8+
Number 41 Pig the Pug Aaron Blabey Age 3+
Number 42 The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie May Gibbs Age 8+
Number 43 Are You My Mother? P. D. Eastman Age 3+
Number 44 Giraffes Can’t Dance Giles Andreae Age 3+
Number 45 Edward the Emu Sheena Knowles Age 2+
Number 46 Harry the Dirty Dog Gene Zion Age 3+
Number 47 How to Train Your Dragon Cressida Cowell Age 7+
Number 48 The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey The Adventures of Captain Underpants Dav Pilkey Age 7+
Number 49 The Bad Book Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton Age 7+
Number 50 Alice-Miranda at School Jacqueline Harvey Age 8+
Number 51 The Wonky Donkey Craig Smith Age 2+

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.

How many of the top 51 have your kids read? We’ve got 16 which is not too bad considering we’ve only got one 4 year old.

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