Paul Stewart is the author of a number of books for children including The Midnight Hand and The Wakening. Chris Riddell is a graphic artist who has illustrated many books for children and has won the Unesco Award for Something Else, and the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2002 for Pirate Diary. He is also the acclaimed political cartoonist for the Guardian and the Observer. Together they have co-written the successful Edge Chronicles series and also Fergus Crane, which won the Nestlé Smarties Gold Medal Award 2004 in the six- to eight-years category. Their latest book, for the same age group, is Corby Flood.
1. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
A rollicking rollercoaster of a ride full of jokes, puns and a totally skewiff take on life, it is the book that inspired me to be a writer.
2. Clockwork by Philip Pullman
This masterful tale of dark forces and darker magic could have been forged in the endless forests of Grimm’s fairy tales.
3. The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
A fast-paced story that has more wacky characters and weird incidents per page than just about any other book for this age group. If anyone tells you not to read Enid Blyton, just ignore them!
4. Varjak Paw by SF Said
A mystical martial arts tale of greed, deception and finding one’s place in the world. A fascinating modern take on ancient traditions – with cats …
5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
With its wicked humour, sweeping imagination and wealth of revolting characters, this is still one of the most enchanting books written for children.
6. The Tom Marlowe Mysteries by Chris Priestley
Fantastic historical fiction by a good friend of mine.
7. The Shrinking of Treehorn by Florence Parry Heide
Sublime tale of a boy who shrinks unnoticed, illustrated by the master of Gothic cross hatching, Edward Gorey.
8. Professor Branestaum by Norman Stone
Fabulously absurd stories of a mad inventor illustrated by my hero, William Heath Robinson.
9. Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown
When I was five, I wanted to be flat Stanley and post myself in a letter to a far off place.
10. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
A classic – John Tennel’s illustrations have never been surpassed. He was a famous political cartoonist as well!