Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Old favourites stand the test of time

Media release Top 50 – 1 September 24, 2012

Old favourites stand the test of time

Classic stories and much-loved authors continue to take pride of place in Kiwi kids’ book bags.

New Zealanders have revealed their favourite children’s books in the Whitcoulls Kids’ Top 50 of 2012-13. Announced today (Sept. 24), the list is compiled from thousands of votes made by families across the country.

The top spot this year goes to The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, a trilogy that also proved its popularity with adult readers after it came in at number 2 on the Whitcoulls Top 100 list.

The much-loved Harry Potter series takes out second place with The Diary of a Wimpy Kid stories by Jeff Kinney coming in at number three.

While these top three reads may come as no surprise due to the reputation of their on-screen counterparts, Whitcoulls book manager Joan Mackenzie says it’s the on-going popularity of classic stories that’s most pleasing to see.

“A number of timeless books have made the list this year, including titles by Dr Seuss, Roald Dahl, Margaret Mahy and Enid Blyton, which just goes to show the enduring popularity of these authors.

“The old favourites truly stand the test of time and it’s gratifying to know that a good book is as valued today as it ever was,” Joan says.

Rounding out the top five are two popular stories perfect for sharing with little ones – Hairy McClary from Donaldson’s Dairy by NZ favourite Lynley Dodd and The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

This year, voters were also asked to pick their favourite children’s author. Further proving the popularity of classic storytellers, Roald Dahl, author of infamous books like The Twits, The BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, took out the number one spot. J K Rowling came in second place closely followed by NZ author Margaret Mahy.

Other interesting facts about the Top 50:
- The release of The Hunger Games movie in early 2012 has had a marked impact on the popularity of the book series. The Hunger Games went from #5 on the list last year to #1 this year.
- Twelve new titles turned up on the list this year
- Adults are also reading books popular with their children – Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Twilight, The Lord of The Rings & The Hobbit all made both the Top 100 and the Kids’ Top 50 lists.
- Nine of the titles are by New Zealand writers.

The Kids’ Top 50 books are available now at Whitcoulls stores nationwide and the full list is available online at

About Whitcoulls
Whitcoulls is a major national retailer with 59 stores around the country, offering a wide selection of books, e-Readers, stationery, DVD’s, educational toys, puzzles, games, gifts, greeting cards and wrap. Whitcoulls was founded 130 years ago when George Tombs, a printer and bookbinder, and George Whitcombe, a publisher and bookseller, combined their businesses to create a national publishing company. In 1971, Whitcombe & Tombs merged with key competitor Coull Somerville Wilke, and was renamed Whitcoulls in 1973. Whitcoulls is now proudly New Zealand owned by the James Pascoe Group which includes The Farmers Trading Co, Stevens, Pascoes the Jewellers, Stewart Dawson’s and Goldmark.


Issued by Pead PR for Whitcoulls Limited

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: 1917's 1,000 Yard Stare

Sam Mendes has created a terrible and barbarous trek, one that we appreciate all the more for being catapulted right into the midst of this ear-splitting melee from the film's opening sequence. More>>

Floorball: NZ To Host World Cup Of Floorball In 2022

In a major coup for a minnow nation in the European-dominated sport of floorball, New Zealand has won the rights to host one of the sport’s marque international events. More>>

National Voyage Continues: Tuia 250 Ends

Tuia 250 has unleashed an unstoppable desire to keep moving forward and continue the kōrero about who we are, say the co-chairs of the Tuia 250 National Coordinating Committee, Dame Jenny Shipley and Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr. More>>


Te Papa: New Chief Executive From Its Own Staff

Courtney Johnston has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Te Papa. Ms Johnston will take up the role in December 2019. Since its founding, Te Papa has had a dual leadership model, and as Tumu Whakarae|Chief Executive, Johnston will share the leadership with Kaihautū Dr Arapata Hakiwai. More>>


Over 150 Productions: NZ Fringe 2020 Has Launched

The upcoming festival will be held at 40 venues all over Wellington Region from 28 February to 21 March, and includes every genre possible—theatre, comedy, dance, music, clowning, cabaret, visual art, children’s shows and more! More>>





  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland