Within the interviews in this category, you’ll find children’s books, childhood favourites, and tales that have withstood the test of time and become classics of children’s and young adult literature—and more than a few lost treasures that deserve a wider audience today than they received when they were first published. They have invariably been chosen because they resonated with the expert or author being interviewed—so you can be sure that these are really good books you want your kids to read.
We have a number of eminent authors making recommendations. Cressida Cowell chooses her best magical stories for kids, Michael Morpurgo his favourite children’s books and Audrey Penn her favourite teenage books. M G Leonard chooses the best nature books for kids. Journalist Sarah Franklin chooses her best books on outsiders. Igreth the Elf, great-great-great-grandson of Ilbereth the Elf and one of the North Pole’s most senior elves, chooses his best books on elves.
From wizards to alchemy and fairies to folklore, Cressida Cowell reveals the magical stories that were most important to her as a child (and which she now delights in sharing with her own children), and her own inspirations for writing about magic and magical worlds today.
Elves are often misunderstood or misrepresented over the Christmas period – Christmas cracker jokes have never been kind to these tiny heroes of the festive season. Here Igreth the Elf, great-great-great-grandson of Ilbereth the Elf, sets the record straight and introduces five children’s books that celebrate the extraordinary contribution these diminutive creatures make to Christmas itself.
Whatever your age, play is how we test ideas, define rules and see if they hold. New York-based artist and author Jon Burgerman talks to Five Books about his favourite titles that encourage kids to have fun and be playful, without worry or fear of failure, and simply enjoy the limitless possibilities of imagination.