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Kiwi authors and books about emotions find favour with our kids

By October 1, 2021 No Comments

Every year, Kiwi kids get the chance to vote for their favourite books and Whitcoulls proudly publish the results. Now in its 23rd year, the 2021 Kids’ Top 50 Books List announced today (Friday, October 1, 05:00am) shows the huge popularity of Kiwi authors, books about emotions and those in aseries.

Whitcoulls received more votes than ever this year – over 34,000 in total – and local authors comprised nearly one quarter of the Top 50. Four books by Kiwi authors came near the top of the List, including Rebekah Lip and Craig Phillips’ bestselling Aroha Series (#2) and their latest book How Do I Feel? (#4), which they wrote to help children improve their emotional literacy.

Whitcoulls Book Manager Joan Mackenzie says, “Books with a focus on helping children understand their emotions is a strong theme this year and most of them are by homegrown authors, including The Rainbow in My Heart (#26) by Jessica Urlichs and Rebekah Ballagh, and Kiwicorn (#48) by Kat Merewether.”

While the Harry Potter Series once again claimed the number one spot, following hot on the heels of the boy wizard are book series with broad appeal, not least Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man Series (#3); Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series (#6); and local author James Russell with his Dragon Defenders Series (#10). Nearly half the books voted into the Top 50 in 2021 were part of a series and close to 38 percent are new to the List.

“Happily, a significant number of books in the Kids’ Top 50 are by New Zealand authors and illustrators, and young readers will be spoilt for choice with 15 exciting new books to read and enjoy on this year’s List,” says Mackenzie.

Not surprisingly, classic books both old and new, are a mainstay of the Top 50 List. This year, Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar is at #8; Dr Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat was voted into the #21 spot; and books by Roald Dahl came in at #27 and #28.

Beloved Kiwi books Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy appeared at #5 and The Little Yellow Digger at #15. These timeless books rub shoulders with modern day classics and include a body of work by scores of hugely popular writers, such as Andy Griffiths, Dav Pilkey and David Walliams.

The Whitcoulls Kids’ Top 50 Books List reflects the reading habits of the nation’s children and Whitcoulls is proud to share what they love to read. In challenging times, it is heartening to know Kiwi kids’ affection for books is as strong as ever.

The List for 2021 will be published online at www.whitcoulls.co.nz when the embargo lifts on Friday, October 1, 2021 at 5:00am.