87 books like The BFG

By Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (illustrator),

Here are 87 books that The BFG fans have personally recommended if you like The BFG. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Worst Witch

Judith Ratcliffe Author Of The Silver Shoes In The Land Of The Dinosaurs

From my list on children’s stories with fantastic heroines.

Why am I passionate about this?

As you may notice, in my own stories, I like to find the magic in everyday things and, to a greater or lesser extent, each of the books I have chosen to write about here, do that. Having worked with children as a Rainbow Guide Leader, taught children, for a brief spell, abroad, I know children and their intelligence, understanding, and kindness, amongst other things, can often be underestimated. The books I chose, show how children (girls in particular) win the day by using their intelligence, skills, and talents. Celebrating girls and their achievements is increasingly important in improving their rights and access to opportunities in life.

Judith's book list on children’s stories with fantastic heroines

Judith Ratcliffe Why did Judith love this book?

How do you survive your school days, but with your own set of ‘magic spells’ and a good friend or two to help you along the way?

The humour in Jill Murphy’s stories is second to none and many children may recognise characters within the story, in people they know.

This book also shows that it is the girl who is honest and has integrity who ‘wins the day’ and ‘saves the day’: While perhaps an unlikely heroine, since she always appears to be getting into trouble (not always through any fault of her own) thinking on your feet, honesty and integrity, would probably be just a few of the heroine’s key character traits/teaching points and never giving up, even if you are considered to be ‘The Worst Witch’ in the school...

By Jill Murphy,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Worst Witch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

'Millions of young readers have fallen under the spell of Jill Murphy's Worst Witch' - Sunday Express

Hold on to your broomstick for magical mayhem with Jill Murphy's much-loved classic The Worst Witch- the original story of life at a magical boarding school.

Mildred Hubble is a trainee at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches, but she's making an awful mess of it.

She keeps getting her spells wrong and crashing her broomstick. And when she turns Ethel, the teacher's pet into her worst enemy, chaos ensues...

Read the rest of Mildred's (mis)adventures: The Worst Witch, A Bad Spell for the…


Book cover of The Bad Beginning

Zilla Novikov Author Of Query

From my list on books where the narrator won't stay out of the story.

Why am I passionate about this?

There's no particular reason why I'm the right person to talk about intrusive narrators. I studied math, not literature, in school, though variables can be as tricky as any imaginary character. As an unpopular child, I read a developmentally unhealthy number of books, but tragic backstories are a dime a dozen. I pepper my life with ironic asides to the Reader, but anyone with a devoted Reader (better yet, a dozen of them) can do that. To be honest, you'd probably have come up with a better list than I did. You should give it a shot.

Zilla's book list on books where the narrator won't stay out of the story

Zilla Novikov Why did Zilla love this book?

When I first read this series as a child, I was surprised and delighted to find the pseudo-author Lemony Snicket breaking the fourth wall to comment on the pathos of the action, the meaning of obscure words, and the telling of stories.

Behind a veil of whimsy, Lemony gave my child-self a dark metaphor I didn't (yet) realize I needed and a new literary language. I wouldn't be the person I am without him.

By Lemony Snicket,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Bad Beginning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Lemony Snicket's The Bad Beginning is the first book in the globally bestselling series A Series of Unfortunate Events. This exclusive gold foiled 20th anniversary hardback gift edition commemorates the miserable fact that every child in the world has wanted this brilliantly funny book for twenty years.

Perfect for fans of Roald Dahl and Mr Gum, young readers of 9 to 11 will adore the mischievously dark humour. Lemony Snicket's 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' has been made into a blockbuster Hollywood film starring Jim Carrey and is also a hit Netflix TV series. Now with new anniversary blurb by…


Book cover of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

John R. Dougherty Author Of Holy Terror

From my list on Christian action books allegorical references.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have felt a spiritual call in my life from as early as I can remember having memories as a young child. Being a life-long Christian has always drawn me to try to see God in everything around me, from people I encounter, to creation itself, to songs, to movies, etc. So, reading books which contain Christian allegory – symbols, meanings, underlying Biblical references – is very exciting for me. I enjoy trying to decipher that symbolism and try to understand the undertones that the book’s author is trying to communicate indirectly. I find that to be a personal challenge as I read, but also I find it very inspiring as well!

John's book list on Christian action books allegorical references

John R. Dougherty Why did John love this book?

Honestly, I love any book written by C.S. Lewis, but this is probably the first book of his I remember ever reading–and I have read it many times throughout my life. It’s a great story, as part of the 6-book series from Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia collection, with all kinds of Christian symbolism buried throughout the storyline.

And even without considering the Christian references, it is simply storytelling at its best. I never get tired of reading this book (nor the entire collection), and the movie recreations from the mid-to-late 2000s do a good job of bringing the books to life on the big screen.

By C. S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

30 authors picked The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Lucy steps into the Professor's wardrobe - but steps out again into a snowy forest. She's stumbled upon the magical world of Narnia, land of unicorns, centaurs, fauns... and the wicked White Witch, who terrorises all. Lucy soon realises that Narnia, and in particular Aslan, the great Lion, needs her help if the country's creatures are ever going to be free again...


Funny Folk Tales for Children

By Allison Galbraith,

Book cover of Funny Folk Tales for Children

Allison Galbraith Author Of Funny Folk Tales for Children

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a storyteller and folktale collector. All my jobs have involved telling stories – as a community librarian, in theatre, in education, and since 2006 as a professional storyteller and writer. I work in schools, festivals, and outdoor education with all sorts of people and their animals. I have honed my skills to find the most enjoyable traditional tales that can be shared widely. I live in Scotland, where I encourage families to read and tell their favourite stories together. Storytelling is a living art form that belongs to everyone. More than anything, I love the natural world, and I bring the magnificence of nature into all my work.

Allison's book list on world folktales for reading to everyone over six

What is my book about?

These are the funniest folktales in the world. You will be amazed at the intelligent animals and LOL at the ridiculous scrapes the humans get themselves into in these short stories. Discover why dogs are our best friends, learn how to change a cow into a zombie, and meet a shape-shifting, cartwheeling raccoon dog.

Suitable for reading age 7+. This book is perfect for storytime & reading together at bedtime and holidays. These stories will cheer even the grumpiest grandparent up :).

Funny Folk Tales for Children

By Allison Galbraith,

What is this book about?

'It's the best present you can give. It never breaks and doesn't need batteries. What is it?'

The answer is inside THIS BOOK!

Eleven of the funniest traditional tales from around the world. Laugh your socks off as you discover why dogs are our best friends, learn how to flummox fairies, and meet a shape-shifting, cartwheeling badger.


Book cover of The Wizard of Oz

Matthew Daddona Author Of The Longitude of Grief

From my list on philosophical novels I can’t stop thinking about.

Why am I passionate about this?

Philosophical novels challenge rather than appease. They subvert. They obscure. As a former acquisitions editor at major publishing houses, I am confounded by the scarcity of chances taken on books that don’t fit the status quo or, are "difficult." I am most interested in how books—even when they meander and cavort—lead to surprising and unsettling revelations. Or how they don’t lead to revelations at all but keep the reader guessing as to when some semblance of grace will be achieved. I don’t wish to sound pessimistic; if anything, I wish to be realistic. Philosophical novels are reflections of life, which is often confusing, contradictory, and, yes, difficult. With a touch of grace for good measure.

Matthew's book list on philosophical novels I can’t stop thinking about

Matthew Daddona Why did Matthew love this book?

This one needs no plot description. If you don’t know what The Wizard of Oz is about, then I don’t know what to tell you. Watch the movie, or better yet, read the book. It’s considered a children’s classic, but like the best kid-lit, there is so much sinisterism and cynicism hiding behind the curtain (no pun intended). 

By L. Frank Baum,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Wizard of Oz as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

HarperCollins is proud to present its range of best-loved, essential classics.

'"Come along, Toto," she said. "We will go to the Emerald City and ask the Great Oz how to get back to Kansas again."'

Swept away from her home in Kansas by a tornado, Dorothy and her dog Toto find themselves stranded in the fantastical Land of Oz. As instructed by the Good Witch of the North and the Munchkins, Dorothy sets off on the yellow brick road to try and find her way to the Emerald City and the Wizard of Oz, who can help her get home.…


Book cover of Alice in Wonderland

Lance Lee Author Of Orpheus Rising: By Sam And His Father John With Some Help From A Very Wise Elephant Who Likes To Dance

From my list on YA/middle grade fantasy and their parents.

Why am I passionate about this?

I don't write within received categories: our lives aren't lived in categories, but are full of varying realities, whether of home, childhood, marriage, parenthood, fantasy, dream, work, or relaxation, and more all mixed together. I can't write in any other way, however dominant a particular strand or age may be on the surface in a given work. Orpheus Rising may have a child hero, and a fantastic, elegant Edwardian Elephant as a spirit guide, but it let me tell a story of love lost and regained, of family broken and remade, of a father in despair and remade, themes of real importance in any life.

Lance's book list on YA/middle grade fantasy and their parents

Lance Lee Why did Lance love this book?

We absorb this tale, like Peter Pan's, from childhood, and it provides us all with a leaning to light-hearted fantasy and a story pattern of leaving the real world and returning to it. An adventure may begin by going through a wardrobe as in the first Narnia novel, or into and out of Tom Bombadil's Old Forest in Tolkien. Alice goes down a rabbit hole. There are rabbit holes, wardrobes, forests, sailboats.... The world Alice gets to is full of strangeness appealed to me for Orpheus Rising whose characters have a similar variety.

By Lewis Carroll, Illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Alice in Wonderland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Alice sees the White Rabbit running by on the river bank, she follows him, tumbling down a Rabbit Hole into a magical world where nothing is ever as it seems...

Lewis Carroll's classic story has delighted children since 1865. One hundred and fifty years since its first publication, Hodder celebrates in style with this sumptuous new edition, illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer, whose dreamlike illustrations bring vibrant new life to Carroll's beloved characters. The original text appears complete and unabridged.

Rebecca Dautremer is the celebrated illustrator of The Secret Lives of Princesses.


Book cover of Best Holiday Ever

Elias Zapple Author Of The Mysterious Corridor

From my list on children’s stories to make you laugh.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child I was a reluctant reader. For Christmas, I was given A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh, which didn’t interest me at all (sorry!). So off we popped to WH Smiths to choose one book. I chose Roald Dahl’s The BFG. I was hooked. Roald Dahl’s way of writing enthralled me, and made me laugh. I felt like Dahl was a friend of my age, not an adult, and a very funny one at that! I’ve always been drawn to that kind of zany humour, such as TV shows like Dangermouse to The Simpsons then British comedies such as Blackadder. Laughter is good for the soul and I’m passionately laughing about it.

Elias' book list on children’s stories to make you laugh

Elias Zapple Why did Elias love this book?

A children’s book that adults can enjoy too. And, I have to say, the humour is right up my cabbage patch. If you don't find this funny then your funny bone needs looking at. It's like a series of comedy sketches with the overall arc of memories of a child's holiday, of course, seen through the innocent eyes of a rather (perhaps dry-witted) child. We're taken through different pivotal memories of the holiday when hilarious moments took place, for example, dad's parking at the airport, and the episode with diarrhea. The funniest, laugh-out-loud moment came towards the end at airport security - I shan't give it away. It resonates with me and probably most people when reminiscing of their own childhoods, and for kids currently going through their own best holidays ever.

By Celia Carlile, Orison Carlile,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Best Holiday Ever as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This unique book for six to eight year olds, tells two stories at the same time. The boy describes his best holiday ever but the illustrations reveal a series of hilarious disasters. Enjoy how children and parents sometimes see things differently.


Book cover of The Wonky Donkey

Hayley Rose Author Of Gomer the Gassy Goat

From my list on to inspire a love of reading.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a chocolate loving writer, goat yoga enthusiast, and author of several successful children’s books specializing in early learning, along with an award-winning line of gratitude coloring journals. I hope to inspire a love of reading through education and laughter. My latest book, Gomer the Gassy Goat has sold over 21,000 units since 2021, and was recently referenced in The New York Times about the importance of using humor in books for kids to inspire a love of reading. “Not every book has to reach a lesson. Sometimes it can just be fun.” - Mr. Price

Hayley's book list on to inspire a love of reading

Hayley Rose Why did Hayley love this book?

I love a book that makes me laugh and The Wonky Donkey does not disappoint! Like so many others, I discovered this book from a viral video of a Scottish grandmother reading to her grandson. She couldn’t stop laughing... I knew I had to have this book! 

Bonus... expressive illustrations, repetitive sentences, and a tongue-twister, this book is educational and great for beginning readers. A must-have for any home library.

By Craig Smith, Katz Cowley (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Wonky Donkey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 2, 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

The Wonky Donkey picture book has sold over two million copies worldwide - it's the perfect gift! Who ever heard of a spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey? This hilarious book will have children - and adults - braying with laughter! Lyrical, laugh-out-loud story and beautiful illustrations Bright colours and a shiny, glossy cover 


Book cover of Clever Polly And the Stupid Wolf

Judith Ratcliffe Author Of The Silver Shoes In The Land Of The Dinosaurs

From my list on children’s stories with fantastic heroines.

Why am I passionate about this?

As you may notice, in my own stories, I like to find the magic in everyday things and, to a greater or lesser extent, each of the books I have chosen to write about here, do that. Having worked with children as a Rainbow Guide Leader, taught children, for a brief spell, abroad, I know children and their intelligence, understanding, and kindness, amongst other things, can often be underestimated. The books I chose, show how children (girls in particular) win the day by using their intelligence, skills, and talents. Celebrating girls and their achievements is increasingly important in improving their rights and access to opportunities in life.

Judith's book list on children’s stories with fantastic heroines

Judith Ratcliffe Why did Judith love this book?

A childhood favourite of mine and still a favourite now – this set of stories turns traditional fairytales on their heads and the person who might traditionally (sometimes still) be viewed as the weaker person and the more vulnerable person, actually wins the day and they win through using their wits.

Always a happy ending and shows how intelligent, not just clever, children and girls, in particular, can be.

By Catherine Storr, Marjorie-Ann Watts (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Clever Polly And the Stupid Wolf as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

CLEVER POLLY AND THE STUPID WOLF by Catherine Storr has delighted generations of young children.

Twelve stories written for the author's daughter, who was scared of the wolf under the bed! Drawing occasionally on well-known fairy tales, and skilfully blending fantasy and reality, these stories are bursting with humour, originality and charm. And Polly, not scared at all, outwits the wolf on each and every occasion!
Also in A Puffin Book, the sequel: POLLY AND THE WOLF AGAIN.


Book cover of Oliver Twist

Tim Pritchard Author Of Street Boys: 7 Kids. 1 Estate. No Way Out. The True Story of a Lost Childhood

From my list on how street gangs develop and why they fall apart.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a filmmaker and writer who made a TV series about street gangs around the world with actor and presenter Ross Kemp. But it was one London street gang, the PDC, that particularly caught my attention. The newspaper reports were full of overblown headlines, terrifying statistics, and quotes from police forces. That’s when I decided to head down to the PDC’s “turf” in a small corner of south London because if you are going to try and tackle this crimewave it’s best to find out who is doing it and why. Right? I spoke to PDC gang members, their friends and families and the surprising truth behind the headlines is revealed in my book.

Tim's book list on how street gangs develop and why they fall apart

Tim Pritchard Why did Tim love this book?

As a young kid reading Dickens for the first time I was mesmerised by this journey into the underworld of Victorian London. I would go on my own imaginary adventures with the Artful Dodger and his gang of thieving street urchins. Years later, when writing my own book about modern street gang members I had the same sense of going on a thrilling journey of discovery and escapades.

By Charles Dickens,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Oliver Twist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

'The power of Dickens is so amazing, that the reader at once becomes his captive' WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY

The story of the orphan Oliver, who runs away from the workhouse to be taken in by a den of thieves, shocked readers with its depiction of a dark criminal underworld peopled by vivid and memorable characters - the arch-villain Fagin, the artful Dodger, the menacing Bill Sikes and the prostitute Nancy. Combining elements of Gothic romance, the Newgate novel and popular melodrama, Oliver Twist created an entirely new kind of fiction, scathing in its indictment of a cruel society and pervaded…


Book cover of The Ruby in the Smoke: A Sally Lockhart Mystery

Bridget Walsh Author Of The Tumbling Girl

From my list on crime set in the nineteenth century.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a lover of all things Victorian and an obsessive researcher. Academic libraries are my favourite places in the world and I like nothing more than uncovering some weird nugget of information that forces me to reappraise what I thought I knew. With a PhD in Victorian domestic murder and a fascination with the weirder elements of Victorian life, it was almost inevitable I’d turn my hand to writing crime fiction set in that era. The five books I’ve recommended are some of the best crime novels set in the nineteenth century, but written more recently.

Bridget's book list on crime set in the nineteenth century

Bridget Walsh Why did Bridget love this book?

Do not be put off by the fact this book, and the others in the Sally Lockhart quartet, are often marketed as children’s/YA literature. Like the best of fiction, they transcend categorisation.

The Ruby in the Smoke introduces us to the indomitable Sally Lockhart, orphaned and forced to uncover the secret behind her father’s death. She’s feisty and fiercely independent, navigating her way in a world where the chips are stacked against her. Pullman provides us with an impeccably researched foray into the 1870s, all wrapped up in a hugely entertaining read. 

By Philip Pullman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Ruby in the Smoke as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

The first book in Philip Pullman's classic SALLY LOCKHART quartet
in a beautiful new edition to celebrate the 30 year anniversary.

Soon after Sally Lockhart's father drowns at sea, she receives an
anonymous letter. The dire warning it contains makes a man die of
fear at her feet. Determined to discover the truth about her father's
death, Sally is plunged into a terrifying mystery in the dark
heart of Victorian London, at the centre of which lies a deadly
blood-soaked jewel. Philip Pullman's ever-popular, action-packed
Victorian melodramas are rejacketed for the bicentenary of Charles
Dickens in 2012.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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