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Harry Potter beats the Gruffalo in children’s vote for best character

Poll for International Children’s Book Day also sees Roald Dahl declared best author

The magic of Harry Potter has narrowly edged out the charms of the Gruffalo to see the boy wizard named the best ever fictional character by children. In fact the boy wizard was chosen by parents too as the best book character.

Harry Potter and the Gruffalo


JK Rowling’s creation won 38% of kids’ votes in a survey of 1,037 parents and their children, with Julia Donaldson’s monster picking up 34%, and the Cat in the Hat 28%. But Rowling missed out in the competition to be named best ever children’s author, with kids voting instead for Roald Dahl. Dahl took half of children’s votes, with Rowling voted for by 30%. A surprise success for Beatrix Potter saw the Peter Rabbit creator come in third, with 20% of the vote from children.

Roald Dahl has beaten Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling to be named best children’s author of all time by parents and their children.

The much-loved writer remains a firm favourite of children today, more than 50 years since the publication of James and The Giant Peach – Dahl’s first major children’s book.

Parents and children were asked to list their top three children’s authors and top three characters for a survey to mark International Children’s Book Day today.

Children listed Dahl first, followed by J.K. Rowling and Beatrix Potter.

Their parents also picked Dahl as first choice, with Enid Blyton second and Rowling third.

The Gruffalo and The Cat in the Hat were second and third choice for children, while their parents picked Blyton’s Famous Five and Dahl’s BFG.

The survey was carried out by discount book chain The Works to mark International Children’s Book Day. “It’s great to see classic children’s books and characters are still holding favour with kids throughout Britain, with parents’ own preferences presumably swaying their little ones’ reading habits,” said chief executive Kevin Keaney. “More than half (51%) of the parents polled said their children read the same books as they did, showing tastes haven’t changed and classics remain popular.”

Keaney revealed that 29% of parents surveyed said their children owned e-readers, but 88% still read paper books. “It’s also great to see that ebooks aren’t taking over,” said Keaney.

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