Favourite Children’s Books – part 2

I will let you in on a little secret – I enjoy writing to authors and love receiving their responses, so the next two writers both share their favourite children’s books. The Museum of Mary child, Clair de Lune and The Three Loves of Persimmon are written by Cassandra Golds, who is an Australian children’s author. Born in Sydney, Cassandra grew up reading Hans Christian Anderson, C.S.Lewis and Nicholas Stuart. It is the second one, Clair de Lune that captivated my grand daughter’s attention each night when her mother read to her. At 7 years old, the beauty and power of the story remained with her, as the language is poetical and fairytale like. Emotion runs high with her adorable characters making the reader fall in love with them. I was fortunate that Cassandra responded to my email. She writes.


Dear Marg,

So pleased that your family liked my letter, and delighted to hear that you are reading The Three Loves of Persimmon. I do hope you enjoy it. I must tell you, before I go on, that although I came up with Epiphany myself, I borrowed the idea of the Infant Phenomenon from Dickens! (There is a marvellous character in Nicholas Nickleby who goes by that name.) My Infant Phenomenon, Daisy, also owes something to a very funny character in Huckleberry Finn, who writes maudlin poetry. I collect things from all over the place!

My five favourite children’s books are:

Down in the Cellar by Nicholas Stuart Gray

The Stone Cage by Nicholas Stuart Gray

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (I’m counting them as one book)

Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairy Tales

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

My favourite children’s illustrator is Edward Ardizzone. Why? There is something so gentle and loving about his drawings—they are so evocative, and they also have a certain delicate mystery. They somehow look like how I feel!

Good luck with your blog!

With kindest regards from



My next Australian author, Michael Gerard Bauer recently won the prestigious Picture Book of the Year with Rodney Loses it about a rabbit who loses his pen while working at his drawing desk. The search to find the missing pen is what drives the story. Hilarious, down to earth and contagious in its narrative. The Running Man has been so popular in schools as it won the CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers and his comedy book about a grade 5 boy called Eric Vale is also a winner.

Like Cassandra, Michael believes you should write the stories that you would like to read.

Hi Marg

You know every reader and writer hates questions like these! Narrowing down favourite books is near impossible and even if you do manage it, you just know that right after you send them in, you’re going to think of other ones you wished you’d mentioned.  But I’ll have a go. And I’m going to stick to books for younger readers and mainly picture books, rather than YA.

My favourite children’s book when I was a child was Wind in the Willows. Brilliant range of totally believable, lovable and eccentric characters, plus an exciting adventure story. And who wouldn’t love messing about on boats with Moley and Ratty?

When our kids were little two of the picture books my wife and I loved to read with them were Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox and Julie Vivas and Bruno’s Band by Benedict Blathwayt. Even today whenever we’re feeling particularly happy or grateful one of us might quote part of the last lines of Bruno’s Band, “There is no better life than this,” said Bruno.


My all time favourite picture book for adults or children is Shaun Tan’s The Arrival. A masterpiece.

And recently I’m a fan of anything by Caroline Magerl particularly Hasel and Rose. I love her artwork. I think she’s a genius.

Picking a favourite international writer and illustrator is a bit tricky for me. All my favourites tend to be Australian. So I’ll just go for Roald Dahl for the originality and surprising nature of his stories and Oliver Jeffers for the simplicity and innocence of his drawing style.

So that’s a few of my favourites – plus of course all the other ones I’ll think of immediately after I press SEND!



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