Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Winnie the Pooh beats Harry Potter to top the list of Britain’s favourite children’s book characters

winnie-the-pooh.jpg

Winnie the Pooh has come out on top of a survey of Britain’s favourite characters from children’s literature, beating off competition from Harry Potter, the Famous Five and Roald Dahl’s Matilda.

A poll of 1,200 British people who read at least once a week aged 16 and up was commissioned by The Reading Agency and carried out in June 2016.

The results threw up a host of characters from some of our most treasured children’s classics including The Famous Five, the Narnia Chronicles, Charlotte’s Web, and even Spot the Dog.

Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, the stars of the Harry Potter films

Harry Potter was the second most popular children's character, perhaps owing to the success of the books' film adaptations

Unsurprisingly, Harry Potter took second place in the survey (and first place amongst the women who participated) but Winnie the Pooh came out on top for his universal appeal – and wisdom.

Potter proved most popular in the 16-24 bracket, who have grown up with JK Rowling’s bestselling novels, but Pooh was consistent across all of the age brackets surveyed suggesting that the appeal of A. A. Milne’s books is timeless.

Participants were also asked for reasons behind their choices of top children’s character. 31% of respondents said that their favourite character helped them learn how to be kind, and 27% said their chosen childhood character helped them get through a difficult time.

Winnie the Pooh and friends Christopher Robin, Piglet and Tigger

Pooh and friends playing Charades in a series of new illustrations released last Christmas

The survey was carried out by the Reading Agency, a charity that works to make reading accessible and pleasurable to people of all ages, as part of their Summer Reading Challenge which aims to get children into libraries and this year is taking the form of The Big Friendly Read, linking up with the celebrations of Roald Dahl’s 100th anniversary.  

The Big Friendly Read 2016 from the Reading Agency

Readers of the future are being inspired by this summer's Big Friendly Read campaign

The full list of  top 20 children’s characters is as follows:

1.    Winnie the Pooh

2.    Harry Potter

3.    George, The Famous Five

4.    Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit

5.    Matilda

6.    Lucy, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

7.    The Cat in the Hat

8.    Spot the Dog

9.    Charlotte, Charlotte’s Web

10.  Tracey Beaker

11.  Mog, Meg and Mog

12.  Barbar the Elephant

13.  The Little Prince

14.  Arietty, The Borrowers

15.  Willie, Goodnight Mister Tom

16.  Stanley, Flat Stanley

17.  Babe, The Sheep Pig

18.  Lyra, Northern Lights

19.  Grace, Amazing Grace

20.  Hannah, Gorilla

Related

winnie1.jpg

Winnie-the-Pooh visits Buckingham Palace

hermione.jpg

JK Rowling hits back at "racists” unhappy with casting of Hermione

1965515_771008519644345_8471209781946133314_o.jpg

The greatest ever 'Winnie the Pooh' quotes for all moments in life

hero.jpg

Wisdom taken from the pages of classic children’s books

peter pan.jpg

30 discreet and utterly magical Disney tattoos

Winnie_the_Pooh_01LR.jpg

Winnie the Pooh's bucket list of simple British pleasures

LP42009t.jpg

The greatest wisdom from Roald Dahl books for grown-up life

cornwall.jpg

Britain's most enticing literary haunts to visit

Dylan Thomas Boat House.jpg

Grab a coffee, write a book: The UK’s most inspiring literary cafes

Comments

More

Incredible quotes about mothers in literature

Tissues, at the ready...

23 Mar 2017

31 of the most uplifting lines from literature to brighten up any day

Literary pearls of wisdom for when you're despairing of the world.

by Hayley Spencer
20 Mar 2017

An eight-year-old has written a bestseller about her annoying brother

"Well, he's a little downright annoying," said Nia Mya

17 Mar 2017

Photographer depicts young girls at their most powerful

"Strength isn't always loud and feisty."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
14 Mar 2017

Bookshop makes powerful statement about the gender gap in fiction

"We’ve silenced male authors, leaving works of women in view.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
13 Mar 2017

Five beautiful poems to read when you need a good cry

Selected by Judi Dench, Elena Ferrante, Mariella Frostrup and more

by Sarah Biddlecombe
09 Mar 2017

Exclusive: JoJo Moyes is writing a third Lou Clark book

Get ready 'Me Before You' fans...

by Sarah Biddlecombe
09 Mar 2017

Meet your new booklist: The Baileys Women’s Prize For Fiction longlist

Sixteen new reads to add to your list

by Francesca Brown
08 Mar 2017

Jo Cox’s husband is writing her memoirs

Jo Cox: More in Common will be published on the eve of the first anniversary of her death.

by Moya Crockett
06 Mar 2017

The most enthralling new reads for March

From feminist novels to explorations of love

by Sarah Shaffi
03 Mar 2017