Happy World Book Day – test your children’s books knowledge!

We are very excited about World Book Day here at OUP Children’s Books – it’s such a brilliant way to share a love of great stories and the children’s authors and illustrators behind them. In the spirit of the occasion, we asked some of our fantastic authors and illustrators to share their favourite children’s books (a very tough choice indeed).

They’ve come up with a lovely list of books, and as a bit of fun we thought we’d add an element of competition, and see if you can correctly match the author/illustrator to their favourite book.

Answers will be posted tomorrow, so in the meantime, leave your answers in the comments section – good luck!

The authors

Ian Beck

Ian Beck

tom trueheart the hidden kingdom

Richard Byrne


aye-aye really big dinosaur

Ross Collins:

ross collins

switch billy monster's daymare

Julia Golding


secret of the sirens young knights

Julia Green

Julia Green

tilly's moonlight fox sylvie and star

William Hussey

New Image


Gill Lewis

Gill Lewis

white dolphinsky hawk

Layn Marlow

Layn Colour - copyright Tom Greenwood

 puddle's big steptoo small for my big bed

Sarah McIntyre


oliver and the seawigs titus

Korky Paul

World Book Day

 winnie's dinosaur daythe fish who could wish

David Roberts

david roberts

wind in the willows

Ali Sparkes


shapeshifter frozen in time

The favourite books

A. The House at Pooh Corner, by A. A. Milne, illustrated by E. H. Shepard

  • The house at pooh corner

They said:

“I have always loved the gentle humour, the English landscape, the endearingly imperfect characters and most of all, the way Shepard’s illustrations seek and reveal these with every sensitive line.”

B. Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

tom's midnight garden

They said:

“I loved it as a child: I could imagine it all perfectly. I wanted to hear a clock strike thirteen, to open a door and find a garden that wasn’t there in the daytime, to meet a girl from the past. My favourite scene was when Tom skates down the frozen river with Hatty, and the chapter when you find out WHY Tom can go back in the past. As an author now, I appreciate so much the actual writing of the story, the structure, the layers of emotion and the simple way it talks about that most complex of ideas: time.”

C. Angry Arthur by Hiawyn Oram & Satoshi Kitamura

angry arthur

They said:

“This was Satoshi Kitamura’s first book, which for an illustrator is kind of depressing because it’s just SO GOOD. I never tire of the beautiful escalation of chaos as Arthur gets angrier and angrier and ANGRIER. Satoshi has since gone on to create many beautiful books but his first one was a classic.”

D. The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it Was None of His Business by Werner Holzwarth, illustrated by Wolf Erlbruch

the story of the little mole

They said:

“Because moles are cool and it made me laugh (plus it has a veterinary slant!)”

E. Breathe by Cliff McNish


They said:

“There are so many wonderful children’s books, I couldn’t possibly choose just one, so I drew up a long list and jabbed a finger randomly at the page. The result was the phenomenal Breathe – one the finest ghost stories I’ve ever encountered. Both thought-provoking and chilling, it examines the powerful bond between a mother and her child as well as painting one of the most original visions of the afterlife in fiction. As ever with McNish, the writing is powerful and lyrical. This tale, which creeps the flesh, tugs the heart and stirs the spirit, will stay with you long after the night light is extinguished…”

F. A Hundred Million Francs by Paul Berna

a hundred million francs

They said:

“I must have first read this in the early 1960s when an Art Student and I loved it and also the line illustrations. I liked the fact that it was set in Paris, not posh Paris but rough working class Paris, and with a very lively cast of rough child characters. It still reads well now. There is a film of the book made by Disney which is also excellent but oddly elusive and was scripted by T E B Clarke the famous writer of the Ealing Comedies.”

G. The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois

the 21 balloons

They said:

“A teacher runs away from his job to spend a year travelling by hot air balloon, but crash-lands on a volcanic island full of vast diamond mines and quirky inventors. The bizarre society they created fascinates me, and makes me wonder what kind of island world I could dream up!”

H. The Cat in the Hat Comes Back by Dr. Seuss

the cat in the hat comes back

They said:

“I’ve loved this book ever since I was knee high to Little Cat C. It’s full of mischief, mayhem and silliness and a delight to read aloud. I remember marvelling at the ever decreasing cats under their hats and the ensuing chaos which comes to a suitably mad end. And all drawn with Dr. Seuss’s beautifully bold line and distinctive use of colour. I only wish I had some Voom to tidy up my studio sometimes!”

I. A Hole Is To Dig: A First Book of First Definitions by Ruth Krauss & Maurice Sendak

a hole is to dig

They said:

“This is the first book I ever bought. I was about 8 years old and I bought it from a book club at school. I fell in love with the simplicity and the beautiful line drawings. The expressive drawings go perfectly with the text. Things like ‘mashed potatoes are to give everybody enough’; ‘toes are to dance on’ and my all-time favourite ‘mud is to jump in and slide in and yell doodleedoodleedoo!’”

J. Struwwel Peter (Shocked-haired Peter) by Dr Heinrich Hoffmann


They said:

“I love this book for its dark macabre illustrations and layouts, and the hard edged, unsentimental rhyme that deals so memorably with children’s fears and foibles.”

K. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

my side of the mountain

They said:

“It’s just fab! About a boy call Sam Gribley who runs away from his family (thinking they are too poor to feed him) and learns to survive alone in the mountains, aided by a trained peregrine falcon called Frightful, who hunts for him. Full of notes and drawings on survival in the wild, I read it aged eight or nine and then again in my 30s and it was still just as good.”

L. The Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce

song of the lioness

They said:

“It’s about a girl who pretends to be her brother to train as a knight in a fantasy world of magic and mythical creatures.  I love the adventure and the knife edge tension of whether her true identity will be revealed.”

Please note there have been many editions of these books, and jacket images used may not be the most current edition. They have been used as visual aid only.

2 thoughts on “Happy World Book Day – test your children’s books knowledge!

  1. OK; I’ll have a go…and most of these are pure guess work so please don’t be offended if I’m wrong 🙂
    Ian Beck – A Hundred Million Francs
    Richard Byrne – The House at Pooh Corner
    Ross Collins – Angry Arthur
    Julia Golding – Breathe
    Julia Green – The Story of the Little Mole
    William Hussey – J Stuwwel Peter
    Gill Lewis – My Side of the Mountain
    Layn Marlow – The Song of the Lioness
    Sarah McIntyre – The Cat in the Hat Comes Back
    Korky Paul – The Twenty-One Balloons
    David Roberts – A Hole is to Dig
    Ali Sparkes – Tom’s Midnight Garden

  2. […] ← Happy World Book Day – test your children’s books knowledge! […]

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