Why the Doctor, John Lewis, Barnado’s and YouGov determined the UK’s favourite books

John Lewis, Barnado's, Story Time
John Lewis, Barnado's, Story Time

The John Lewis Partnership has teamed up with Barnado’s, an UK children’s charity, to celebrate the company’s 150th anniversary and work together for a  good cause. They have asked YouGov to provide them with the results of a poll of more than 2,500 participants on the nation’s favourite (children’s) books from the last 150 years. The winner is Winnie The Pooh  by A.A. Milne from 1926; J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit comes in fourth. And yes, Peter Capaldi, the Doctor himself, started off the party.

On June 2nd Peter Capaldi, the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor in the BBC’s massively successful series Doctor Who, started off ‘Story Time’, a “storytelling campaign which aims to highlight the importance of interaction and communication to a child’s early development whilst raising money to support the UK’s most vulnerable children.” And there is a good reason to do this:

John Lewis has partnered with the children’s charity to host a series of book readings by well-known TV personalities at John Lewis shops across the country starting Saturday 21 June and running throughout the summer. Events are free to attend but you can join Peter Capaldi in supporting the Story Time by texting ‘JL’ to 70500 to donate £5 to Barnardo’s.

Commenting on the ‘Story Time’ initiative, dedicated Barnardo’s supporter, Peter Capaldi said; ‘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.

‘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.’

To further promote this amazing campaign the partners asked YouGov to do a poll on the United Kingdom’s favourite (children’s) books of the last 150 years which has recently been published with some interesting results:

  1. Winnie The Pooh – A.A. Milne (1926)
  2. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll (1865)
  3. The Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle (1969)
  4. The Hobbit – J.R.R. 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. BFG – Roald Dahl (1982)
  10. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis (1950)
John Lewis, Barnado's, Story Time

John Lewis, Barnado’s, Story Time

A list of some obvious children’s classics and it is good to see the Professor’s marvellous tale on it.

If you happen to find the full results on this poll please tell me where to find them in the comments; at least I couldn’t find them with the YouGov UK website.

If you want to join in with this campaign do have a look at the John Lewis website. For more information on other parts of the campaign please visit Bringing Skills to Life. There is also a 2016 short video on Youtube.

Source Press release, John Lewis Partnership.

Marcel R. Bülles

Marcel R. Bülles is the author of thetolkienist.com, a specialist blog centering on worldwide Tolkien fandom, geekdom and research. He works as a freelance translator, journalist and writer and is the founder of the German Tolkien Society as well as a co-founder to RingCon, Europe's formerly biggest fantasy film convention. You can find him in cafés all over the world sipping an espresso blogging, writing, reading. At one point he was married to an extremely lovely French lady by the nickname of Sauron. Yes, that Sauron. He is also active with the International Tolkien Fellowship on Facebook and the Tolkien Folk on Instagram.