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Children's books for today?

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Nicholas Kristof, presumably at loose ends for a column, puts together a list of best-ever children’s books. These are classics, sure, but they’re also on the older side, and there are some notable omissions. Which books would you add to the list? And are there more contemporary titles from the last couple of decades or so that are great reads for kids?

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I'd add E. Nesbit's The Five Children and It and The Story of the Amulet. She wrote other well known children's novels, but these are the two I remember reading over and over and over.

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There's an old thread on this, but I'll repeat myself to add again:

Enid Blyton's collection.

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When I saw this I thought "where is the Louisa May Alcott" but perhaps she is too old-fashioned for this list. My son and his cohort (now 15) all zoomed through the Alex Rider books -- if you like those you might look at Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series.

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I must add that I totally agree with Kristoff's #1 choice. As a kid my first encounter with "Charlotte's Web" wasn't through the book, but the old cartoon/movie, and I still have beautiful memories of it.

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Kristof's list is for older kids. Here are some for the preschool set.

The Olivia books by Ian Falconer She is a little diva pig. She has pictures of Eleanor Roosevelt and Martha Graham on her walls!

Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, Pierre, and everything else Maurice Sendak has ever written for children.

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I firmly believe that a classic remains a classic and I tend to 'feed' my children the books I grew up on, from Mother Goose through Dr Suess to CS Lewis.

That said, some really great contemporary books are:

Preschool: In addition to LiLing's books, anything by Alan Ahlberg (Each Peach Pear Plum) and most anything by Julia Donaldson (The Gruffalo, The Snail and the Whale).

Grade school: Harry Potter obviously, and also Eva Ibbotson (Which Witch, The Secret of Platform 13).

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