Winnie The Pooh Most Loved Children's Book. Really?

14/08/2014 17:02 | Updated 20 May 2015

Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne  beats Harry Potter to title of best-loved children's book

Winnie the Pooh is the surprise winner of a favourite children's books poll, which saw nostalgic reads battling off competition from modern titles such Harry Potter and His Dark Materials.

It was a shock result that even Pooh Bear himself was unlikely to have foreseen, as he says:

"For I am a bear of very little brain and long words bother me."

Not a single title published since 2000 made it into the list of the top 10 best-loved titles, which makes us think that - as in all good children's tales - all is not quite as it seems with the results.

AA Milne's classic tale, published in 1926, was followed in the poll by an even more ancient volume: Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which was published in 1865.

Slightly more modern was the third place title The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle - however even that is 45 years old.

The most contemporary book in the list is The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, which was published in 1999 and made it to fifth place.

The winning books are generally all considered to be classics, but it's hard to believe that children would really pick them over current blockbusters such as Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.

All becomes clear when you take into account the age of the 'children' YouGov asked in its survey of children's books.

The Gruffalo and The Very Hungry Caterpillar making it into the top 10 would lead you to believe that they questioned toddlers, but then again we can't imagine many three-year-olds sitting through tomes like Treasure Island.

It turns out the poll asked 2,652 adults and not a single child - which explains why the winners smack of nostalgia!

The survey results were published as Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi joined children's charity Barnado's and John Lewis to launch an initiative called Story Time, to promote reading and support vulnerable children in the UK.

"Being read to as a child is something most of us take for granted but for many of the children Barnardo's supports, storytelling and communicating are skills that their parents don't have," said Peter.

"I would encourage people across the country to embrace storytelling, bury your head in a good book and donate as much as you can through Story Time in aid of Barnardo's.

"You'll be helping the charity reach out to parents of some of the UK's most vulnerable children and ensuring they build the confidence and knowledge to help their little one thrive."

Britain's best-loved children's books (according to the Story Time survey)

1. Winnie The Pooh - AA Milne (1926)

2. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (1865)

3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle (1969)

4. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (1937)

5. The Gruffalo - Julia Donaldson (1999)

6. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (1964)

7. Black Beauty - Anna Sewell (1877)

8. Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson (1883)

9. The BFG - Roald Dahl (1982)

10. The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (1950)

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