As a cuddly toy lover (then and now), the tale of lost and found resonated with me deeply from a young age. I knew and felt every emotion Dave was feeling – and all these years later, the story has stayed with me.
Children’s book characters are extremely clever devices. They are relatable, fun, flawed, and they teach moral lessons for life. Here are some of our all-time favourites.
From Matilda by Roald Dahl
She’s bookish and brilliant – and sometimes, she has to be a little bit naughty…
The tale of Matilda’s rebellion against the family she doesn’t fit into and her quest for happiness and to be loved is both funny and heart-wrenching. No wonder the book has inspired both a film and an award-winning musical.
From the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling
He’s loyal, funny, scatty and dopey – is there anyone out there who doesn’t love Ron Weasley? With his recognisable red hair, hole-ridden jumpers and his wonderful quirky big family, Ron is a beautifully drawn, realistic character.
And while he is brave like Harry, his fears (spiders, anyone?) give him a recognisable humanity that makes him even more lovable. Good old Ron.
From the Winnie The Pooh books by A.A. Milne
It’s impossible not to love this gloomy donkey, a firm favourite both from the original classic books and subsequent Disney adaptations. Despite his lovably downcast demeanour, Eeyore is a sweet example of the power of friendship. He even tries his hand at optimism sometimes: “It never hurts to keep looking for sunshine.”
From The Story Of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson
Tracy is the wild ten-year-old and self-proclaimed ‘star of the Dumping Ground’, the children’s home where she lives. She’s opinionated yet sensitive, a brilliant character who shows a wealth of human emotion both as a child and an adult – as we see in My Mum Tracy Beaker , the follow up written from the point of view of Tracy’s daughter, Jess.
From The Boy In The Dress by David Walliams
“Dennis was different. Why was he different, you ask? Well, a small clue might be in the title of this book.”
David Walliams’ first novel of his many brilliant books is touching and hilarious. Through the character of 12-year-old Dennis, children are introduced to a very important message: individuality should be celebrated, not shunned. It’s okay to feel different. And it doesn’t make you any less wonderful.
From the Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman
Sephy is a Cross – part of the wealthiest family in society. When she falls for Callum, a nought, she could ignore her feelings and live by her family’s expectations. But she doesn’t. Her bravery in the face of racism and classism sets an inspiring precedent for children and young adults everywhere. An important character in a very important book.
From The Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Yes, he could be seen as a “baddy” – but he’s funny and loveable too. With his love of motor cars, smart attire and rascally nature, Mr Toad is a brilliantly drawn children’s book character. Despite his flaws, you find yourself rooting for him, willing him to escape from prison because deep down, it’s clear he has a good heart.
From Charlie and The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
He’s a mad scientist who owns a giant sweet factory – what’s not to like? As a child, I longed for a golden ticket myself, the chance to explore the magnificent factory, see the swirling chocolate river and spot an Oompa Loompa. Mr Wonka makes magic real – and when it comes to children’s book characters, there’s nothing better than that.
From The Wizard Of Oz by Frank L Baum
Famously portrayed by Judy Garland in the iconic film of this classic novel, Dorothy is a timeless character who displays a wealth of evergreen emotion. She is courageous, decisive, loyal and kind, and she is a shining example of the importance of extending the hand of friendship, even in the most unlikely of places.
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