Endlessly surprising and inventive … She is also simply the funniest writer we have ever had Frank Cottrell-Boyce Nesbit belongs with those writers of childrens books who are successful because of their skills as storytellers. Indeed, she was one of the first. She speaks to the reader, and its almost as though you can hear her voice Quentin Blake No matter how hard the Bastable children try to be good, they almost always fail spectacularly. Whether making a disastrous Christmas pudding for charity, spending a dark night in an empty windmill or fortune-telling at a fete, the Bastables cannot help getting into all sorts of mischief. Edith Nesbit was one of the most influential childrens writers ever to have lived, and her timeless books include The Railway Children and Five Children and It. A collection that will be coveted by children and adults alike, this list is the best in childrens literature, curated by Virago. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carries War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), L. M. Montgomery (The Anne of Green Gables series) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Childrens Classics.