World Book Day, 5th March 2020, is a wonderful celebration of books, reading, authors and illustrators. We’ve asked some of the talented Meri Meri team to reveal which books they adored when they were kids and why, and the books their kids are loving now.
Meredithe Stuart-Smith, Founder, President and Creative Director.
Favorite book: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
(This book has had various illustrators over the years, although the first edition was originally illustrated by Louisa’s sister May). “I probably read it 4 or 5 times. Even though the book was written in 1868 I could deeply connect with the family and all the characters. I was also obsessed with biographies on women. Amelia Earhart being a favorite.”
Natalie Davies, Designer.
Favorite book: All of Roald Dahl’s books
Impossible to pick just one! “We had them on cassette tape (I’m glad Apps like Audible now exist so a new generation of children can have the same magical experience I did!) and paperback, so l would read along through the day and fall asleep listening to them most nights. I loved the gruesome and fantastical images. Also the way he described small details, how something puckered for example, or a person being “bald as a boiled egg” made it all the more vivid and believable. I also loved the way his characters spoke. The BFG’s perfectly understandable Gobblefunk, The Grand High Witch’s devastating insults and the wise Norwegian grandmother who knew many secrets and folk tales.”
Sara Hughes-Williams, Private Label Art Director and Senior Designer.
Favorite book: The Worst Witch, written and illustrated by Jill Murphy
“I just loved how scruffy and clumsy she was, and always getting into trouble. She was the oddball who saved the day in the end. I haven’t looked at the book for a long time, but I can remember the illustrations vividly.”
Kids’ favorite books: “My daughter Bethan, 13, loves fantasy/adventure stories and has aspirations to be a writer herself. She really enjoyed the Harry Potter books and her favorites at the moment are the Shadowhunters books by Cassandra Clare. My son Ed, 8, has just finished reading 'The Lord of the Rings'”
Heidi Walker, Design Studio Manager & Senior Designer.
Favorite book: Revolting Rhymes, written by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake.
“I loved the books by Roald Dahl and I can’t wait to read them to my son. I’m sure I’ve read most of them a few times, but I read 'Revolting Rhymes' over and over in the reading corner at school. I loved the way Dahl flipped traditional fairy stories on their head with comical outcomes. I chuckled at the unpredictable naughtiness and silliness of it all! I also really enjoyed Quentin Blake’s brilliant illustrations.”
Kid’s favorite book: “My son Jack, 5, loves all of the strange stories by Dr.Seuss, especially ‘Green Eggs and Ham’. I think he particularly enjoys watching myself and his dad squirm with the torturous, tongue twisting alliteration after a long day at work!”
Paul Ratcliffe, Private Label Manager.
Favorite book: The Asterix collections, created by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
“One of my favourite book collections that I have fond memories of was Asterix. The tales of magic and adventure really appealed to me as little boy. Whenever we went to the local library I would get a different book out from the collection.”
Kids’ favorite books: “I now have 2 boys who are 8 and 4. We have started reading Harry Potter with the eldest and he has also just read Roald Dahl’s BFG at school. My youngest son loves the ‘Oi Frog!’ collection of books, 'Super Worm' by Julia Donaldson and the Pip and Posy books.”
Anneliesa Lacey, Designer.
Favorite book: My Naughty Little Sister, written by Dorothy Edwards, illustrated by Shirley Hughes
“When I was young I loved having these stories read to me. I still love reading them to my own daughter at bedtimes now! The stories are pretty simple in their content, yet written in a way that was very relatable when I was young. There are some very good lessons in there! I definitely remember some of the games I played were directly influenced by some of the imaginative play that the main character did in the stories (albeit less naughty!). These books were illustrated by Shirley Hughes who I have always loved as an illustrator and writer. I often found that illustrations influenced me a lot in determining what I read.”
Kid’s favorite books: “My daughter, 8, currently loves all the David Walliams books (`Gangster Granny’ being a favorite), and the ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ collection by Jeff Kinny. She loves books that make her laugh a lot! She’s also recently read ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ and has already been drawn deeply into the wizarding world. She can’t wait to start the next one!”
10 all time classic kid’s books:
1. The Little Engine That Could, written and illustrated by Watty Piper.
“I think I can, I think I can.” A fabulous tale of self-motivation and optimism that has been loved ever since it was published in the 30s.
2. Where The Wild Things Are, written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak.
An imaginative adventure where Max escapes boredom by visiting an island of wild creatures. The fabulous illustrations will stay on in little people’s minds for years to come.
3. The Snowy Day, written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats.
Peter goes on an exciting snowy journey through New York City. The collage illustrations are just beautiful.
4. Cars and Trucks and Things that Go, written and illustrated by Richard Scarry.
There is so much to look at in this book, and the illustrations are such fun! Perfect for little people who adore all things with an engine.
5. The Lorax, written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss.
A thought-provoking tale about the environment, which is as current now as when it was written.
6. Pippy Longstocking, written and illustrated by Astrid Lindgren.
Pippy, a fearless and impulsive girl, has lots of mischievous fun.
7. A Bear called Paddington, written by Michael Bond, illustrated by Peggy Fortnum.
Kids will love to read about this adorable clumsy bear and the chaos he causes.
8. Winnie The Pooh, written by A.A.Milne, illustrated by Ernest H. Shephard.
This famous slow-moving bear, and his friends Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore and others, enjoy lots of adventures – often involving looking for ‘hunny’!
9. The Tale of Peter Rabbit, written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter.
Your kids will be charmed by this iconic rabbit, and his friends, who lead very cheeky and busy lives. The well-known illustrations are just fantastic (We at Meri Meri love them so much we’ve created a fabulous party supply range for you! Check it out here.
10. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, written and illustrated by Eric Carle.
The story of a caterpillar chomping his way through lots of different foods, before he transforms into a beautiful butterfly. Eric Carle’s bright illustrations are a real joy.
For more ideas check out TIME’s best 100 children’s book list.