1. Watership Down by Richard Adams

For Brian Stovold, Watership Down, the much-loved children’s story that follows a band of rabbits on their journey to find a safe new home, was his most treasured book. ‘In 1973 I went on a Puffin Club special event where I met Richard Adams and toured around some of the locations in the book. I also remember walking alongside and chatting with the legendary Puffin books editor Kaye Webb. Fascinating.’

2. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Joanne Myatt loved L. M. Montgomery’s fiery redhead Anne Shirley. ‘I remember my mum reading it to me and my brother over 30 years ago. My brother still remembers Anne’s love for puffed sleeves!’

3. Heidi by Johanna Spyri

Heidi had such an impact on Annie Berkeley-White, she named her daughter after the young orphan who was sent to live with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps. ‘My firstborn is called Heidi because of Johanna Spyri’s book. I used to love the 80s TV adaptation too.’

4. My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

Gerald Durrell’s bewitching account of his childhood on the island of Corfu has stuck with Anna Palmer; ‘As an 11-year-old I fell in love with My Family and Other Animals. And as a 42-year-old my favourite place is Jersey Zoo. Books found at this young age do shape hopes, dreams and lives.’

5. Dogger by Shirley Hughes

Simone Harris loved Alfie creator Shirley Hughes’ book about a little boy who loses his beloved toy dog. ‘My favourite book was and still is Dogger by Shirley Hughes. It's like my childhood wonderfully drawn. I even had a toy brown sausage dog which I named after it. My kids love it too.’

6. Matilda by Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl’s magical story about a girl genius with remarkable abilities had a profound effect on Iffat Mirza; ‘Matilda was the book that made me fall in love with reading.’ Helena Parrott was also a huge fan of Matilda’s creator; ‘I loved Roald Dahl books as a child. My dad would read them to and with me. It was always such a special time in the day.’

7. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The story of Ratty, Badger, Mole and the incorrigible Mr. Toad was a bedtime favourite of Suzanne Horton’s when she was younger, ‘I remember my dad reading me and my sister a chapter every night.’

8. The Family from One End Street by Eve Garnett

The first book in Eve Garnett’s series about the Ruggles family is still with Lucy Brazier even after all these years. ‘I was a member of the Puffin Club and loved the events. I now have a big bookcase full of all my old books that my children dip into like The Family from One End Street.’

9. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

The journey through that magical wardrobe has enormous sentimental value to Jane Willis; ‘My gran bought me a boxed set in 1963 and I have treasured it ever since until I recently passed it onto my oldest granddaughter.’

Books ranked in no particular order. Some answers have been edited for clarity and style.

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