Ah the 80s, an era of funky music, big hair and questionable fashion. However, it was also a time where a lot of the world’s greatest children’s books were written and published. So, whether you were barely born or a fully-fledged , angst ridden teen, the below titles are guaranteed to take you back. Just don’t get too carried away and bring out that old Lycra leotard!
Spot the Dog
One of the most iconic ‘lift the flap’ books to have ever been published, Spot the Dog was a true bedtime classic in the 80s and remains so today. Many of us remember taking it in turns to read a line of their favourite book with their parents and the Spot series was a classic example of this.
Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy
"Schnitzel von Krumm with a very low tum, Bitzer Maloney all skinny and bony, Muffin McLay like a bundle of hay, Bottomley Potts covered in spots, Hercules Morse as big as a horse and Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy". The iconic rhyming of Hairy Maclary is as enthralling now as it was in the 1980s.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
Why go on a walk when you can go on a bear hunt? Now nearing its 30th anniversary, this story has become a literary classic and many of us will undoubtedly have fond memories of going on our very own bear hunts after reading it. It also won a Guinness World Record for being the subject of the largest ever children’s book reading.
The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters
Every child’s fairytale dream, the forever cheery postman delivers his letters to a variety of famous characters from children’s literature such as Red Riding Hood and Three Little Pigs. We all gasped in horror as he knocked on the door of the Wicked Witch and delighted at the chance to visit Cinderella in her stunning palace.
Anything Roald Dahl
The king of children’s fiction, Roald Dahl wrote classic after classic that we all lapped up with joy. From Mathilda the child genius, to the BFG and the terrifying enemy giants, each story contained a level of pure imagination that few have the ability to write with. Although long gone, Roald’s work continues to be loved generations over.
Angelina the dancing mouse has been enchanting little ballerinas for over 30 years. For those of us who took dance lessons during their childhood, these books were particularly inspiring. Plus, every little girl could relate to the regular best friend struggles that Angelina and Alice went through.
Goodnight Mister Tom
A moving story that was many an 80’s child’s first introduction to war history, Goodnight Mister Tom was a moving story about an evacuee whose life was changed for the better after an unlikely guardianship with an older country-dweller.
Not afraid to tackle more serious themes, many of us read it as part of our school curriculum and it certainly made an impact.
Many will know this as the classic film starring the legendary Robin Williams, however, 80’s kids will remember the Jumanji picture book that made many an imagination run wild. The story literally comes to life as players of the magical board game experience its effects in the real world. How many of us then went to try and replicate this afterwards with little success?
The Babysitter’s club
If you were reading these you definitely thought yourself mature. This very ‘sophisticated’ tween series dealt with the adventures of a group of friends who all babysat and was the domain of every young girl who was ‘practically an adult’. Packed full of enduringly relevant sass, friendship drama and boy troubles, The Babysitter’s Club remains a classic.