What's your favourite children's book? Twitter teachers debate

Is it Harry Potter? Or something by Roald Dahl? Or perhaps an old classic. Teachers are finding plenty of scope for discussion

Children need to read books that make them feel uncomfortable - here are a few suggestions, says Aidan Severs

Ah, nostalgia. There is little that sparks off a conversation between strangers quite as effectively as harking back to shared childhood memories.

There is the inevitable ice-breaker of children’s television. Or, in the case of a newly trending hashtag on Twitter, beloved children’s books.

Simon Smith, headteacher of East Whitby Academy in North Yorkshire, began it all, with a call to Twitter users to tweet their favourite children’s books under the hashtag #favechildrenslit:

 

#favechildrenslit today is the day. Let's celebrate the brilliance of children's books. Please retweet and share your favourites. pic.twitter.com/lDRt0vogBt

— Fave Children's Lit (@fave_kid_lit) 1 August 2017

 

Immediately, Twitter users – most of them teachers – were volunteering the obvious choices:  

 

This pretty much sums it up. #favechildrenslit pic.twitter.com/e25FFZvJVd

— Amy Andrews (@AmyJAndrews) 1 August 2017

 

Fair to say I was a pretty keen on these. #famousfive #favechildrenslit pic.twitter.com/tVRxKoblwG

— Me on the Hill (@cbradbee) 1 August 2017

 

And then there were the equally obvious – but more parent-pleasingly literary – choices:

 

My #favechildrenslit
1. Treasure Island
2. Watership Down
3. The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe

— Stefan Livesey (@StefanLivesey) 1 August 2017

 

As quickly became clear, books can be loved not merely in the abstract – words on a page, any page – but also in very specific, well-thumbed editions:

 

#favechildrenslit has to be The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark #memories pic.twitter.com/PhLxn5mwSK

— waseem wazaldinho (@hudDESIfield) 1 August 2017

 

After all, for teachers of a certain vintage, nothing says “Edwardian classic” quite like a 1980s cover design:

 

#favechildrenslit Got to add a No.11. It would be *tragical* to forget Anne Shirley, and her "scope for the imagination?". A Kindred spirit! pic.twitter.com/igXufF0xa9

— James Mayhew (@mayhewjames) 1 August 2017

 

But books have sentimental value not only because of when and where we read them, but also because they may have been read before by people we love:

 

Something old: the copy of Little Women at the bottom was my mum's; she got it for Christmas in 1958. #favechildrenslit pic.twitter.com/AHJdtL9rjC

— Katharine Corr (@katharinecorr) 1 August 2017

 

In fact, with so much influencing their choices, many teachers found there was no shortage of books about which to wax lyrical: one tweeted 11 entries in her list of top-10 books. Instead, they were faced with another problem:

 

How are we supposed to choose just ONE?! #favechildrenslit pic.twitter.com/py6FLKgvcF

— Fingley World (@FingleyWorld) 1 August 2017

 

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