World Book Day: Favourite childhood books

The Voice team reflect on some of their favourite childhood reading

World Book Day is a charity funded by publishers & booksellers in the UK & Ireland. Their mission is to give every child and young person a book of their own.

This year, some of the Voice team have decided to look back on their own childhood favourites, both as a indulgent act of nostalgia, and also to give you some recommendations for 'must-read' books!


Lynley Dodd - Slinky Malinki

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This book was read to me when I was very young, but this cheeky little feline captured my imagination. A black cat who goes round in the night stealing stuff from people isn’t the best message for kids, but he gets his messy comeuppance in the end. Nevertheless I loved the little scamp, especially when he captures a string of glossy sausages, which to this day still makes me really hungry.

Sheona Mountford

Marcus Pfister - The Rainbow Fish

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I remember picking this book up in the school library (mainly for the shiny scales, not going to lie). It taught me the classic moral that sharing with others can give you happiness. I do remember thinking that sharing glittery fish scales in exchange for friendship was quite suspicious, some may say an extreme measure, like he genuinely ended up with one shiny scale left at the end? However, the Rainbow Fish did end up happy in the end (so I guess that’s all that matters). Bonus points for a really cool octopus showing up.

Flo Cornal

Roald Dahl - The Twits

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Roald Dahl wrote not just one of but many of my personal favourite childhood books. The Twits however is my pick not just because of the writing, humour or illustrations, but because it taught me a valuable lesson without being condescending about it. The famous line in The Twits - “a person who has good thoughts cannot be ugly”, makes the book not just a joy to read but offers surprising wisdom for a child’s book.

Dheeraj Chutani

A.A. Milne - Winnie the Pooh

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There are few things in this world that can give me comfort in the way that Winnie the Pooh can. Many fond childhood memories were spent exploring the Hundred Acre Wood with friends such as Piglet and Tigger, and even to this day my bedroom is adorned with subtle nods to the stories. The books provided endless adventures and even allowed me to gain precious vocabulary that allowed me to express my emotions from a young age, and I try to carry with me that gentle graciousness that Milne taught so effortlessly. Thank you, Pooh and friends.

Lucy Evans

Jeff Kinney - Diary of a Wimpy Kid

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Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series firmly anchored itself as my favourite book throughout childhood. Even now I  struggle with my attention span when it comes to sitting quietly but, there was something about an average lad called Greg Haffley with just as average a life that engrossed me so deeply – the quick wit and cartoon illustrations had me spend hours trying to finish the book in one day whilst I so patiently waited for the next instalment. The book series encapsulates humour and the feelings of growing up so beautifully that even after 15 years since it first debuted many children still find so much enjoyment from it.  

Faith Martin

Nick Butterworth - Percy the Park Keeper

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Some of my fondest childhood memories were when my dad would read me the Percy the Park Keeper books before bed. Looking back, most of the appeal was because of the funny voices my dad would do for each of the characters; Percy himself had a very strong Norfolk accent. But, the stories were just as enjoyable not only because of their purity and great animal characters but also because of the subtle life lessons worked into them, making for a great balance of a fun yet somewhat educational bedtime story that always left a smile on my face. 

Lauren Johnson

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