These are the works that informed my childhood; most are in my library. Some, alas, await purchase and, in some cases, rediscovery as reprints or as second-hand treasure trove.
Collections of Fairy Tales:
Hans Christian Andersen, The Brothers Grimm, Perrault
Andrew Lang’s Books of Fairy Tales Alas, I own only the pink and the blue.
The Arabian Nights. Really like Husain Haddawy’s translation for Norton.
Rudyard Kipling Puck of Pook’s Hill and Rewards and Fairies; C.S. Lewis, the Narnia books; The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights; J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books; George MacDonald, At the Back of the North Wind, The Princess and the Goblin, and The Princess and Curdie, E. Nesbitt, The Phoenix and the Carpet; Barbara Sleigh Carbonel and The Kingdom of Carbonel; P. L. Travers’ Mary Poppins; J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings; T. H. White, The Once and Future King and The Book of Merlyn
To the Woods and Beyond
J. M Barrie’s Peter Pan; Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, and Sylvie and Bruno; Kenneth Graham, The Wind in the Willows; Rudyard Kipling, Just So Stories and The Jungle Books
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden; Captain Marryat, The Children of the New Forest; L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
and, of course, all Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven, Famous Five, Adventure, and Mystery series books, but I don’t own any of those any more. I do own a few of Anthony Buckeridge’s Jennings books. I never owned any of Richmal Compton’s Just William books, but childhood would have been bleaker without them.
The Joys of Illustration
All of Cecily M. Barker’s Flower Fairy books and all of Beatrix Potter’s work
And then there are the Opies and The Classic Fairy Tales, The Oxford book of Children’s Verse, The Oxford Book of Nursery Rhymes, and The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes. Some time, soon, I shall try and find their book on playground games.
And we must not forget Aesop’s Fables, T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, and the 1958 edition of The Batsford Book of Children’s Verse edited by Elizabeth Jennings.