The best books to read to your grandchildren are all old titles

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  • Reading our grandchildren a bedtime story is one of the best simple pleasures there is in life.

    The simple act of imagining a world within a book, as the little ones drift off to sleep, is as fun as it is relaxing. And, of course, reading a bedtime story has endless benefits in helping our children to read themselves.

    But while there are plenty of newer popular storybooks, it turns out that the ones we all love the most, are ones written far before our grandchildren came along.

    According to a survey of 2,000 people of all ages, conducted by, our favourite books as a nation are the classic titles that stand so well against the test of time.

    The survey found that the best children’s books were all written before the 21st century even began – and all consist of books you likely remember reading yourself as a kid.

    Taking the top spot was Enid Blyton’s world-renowned Famous Five. The first in the charming tales of George, Dick, Anne and Janet and the gang may have been written back in 1942, but is still the nation’s favourite.

    So what was on the rest of the list?

    2. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, which first transported us to Narnia all the way back in 1950.

    3. 1911 book The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett

    4. The more recent The BFG (1982) by Roald Dahl

    5. The Faraway Tree, (1943) by Enid Blyton

    6. The Hobbit, released in 1937.

    7. Another Roald Dahl classic, Matilda (1988)

    8. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, written in 1964

    9. The 1962 picture book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar

    10. 1952 novel Charlotte’s Web

    It just goes to show – often, an old classic simply can not be beaten. also found that 74% of people surveyed believe learning to read is the most important skill in life. In light of the findings, they’ve launched a ‘Gift of Books’ campaign, whose aim is to reduce book poverty amongst 40,000 schoolchildren in Manchester with the help of local residents.

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