Image c/o


Hullo, kids (or parents of kids)! When I was a child, my dad used to read me stories before bedtime each night.  He read me mythological stories and fairytales and sometimes even snippets from Indian epics–all of which, I believed until now, constituted a childhood rich in narrative.

But aha! Until now, I said. Because this morning I chanced upon a long list of picture books, handpicked by 10 UK-based illustrators, which they claim that children under 11 should have read. And guess what? I’ve read only 4 books in this list of over 50. Let us endeavour to escape the tyranny of lists, though!

Here’s the very sensible thing that one illustrator, Tim Hotwood, had to say on the subject:

“I don’t claim to be an expert on what makes a great picture book. The list I’ve put together is simply 10 books that I find inspiring and enjoyable to look at time and time again and hope others will too!

Thank you, Tim Hotwood, you’ve made me feel a little better about my reading habits. And you know what? It’s never too late to revisit some of these children’s classics, because there are few things better than a picture book to nurse the inner child. 🙂