Best Children's Book Characters Ever

These beloved characters from children's books have delighted generations of young readers with their engaging personalities and mischievous, magical or magnanimous acts. Take a look through this list and reminisce on some of the best children's book characters, including Matilda, Gandalf, Hagrid and more.

1. The Mad Hatter

Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

This wonderfully wacky character is one of the most distinctive personalities in children's literature. He and the poor March Hare are trapped in a perpetual 6pm tea party after Time halted for the Hatter as punishment for his alleged attempt to 'murder time' with his singing. This doesn't seem to dull his spirits, however, although perhaps it has driven him further into insanity! He is known for asking unfathomable riddles and reciting nonsensical poetry.

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2. Matilda

Roald Dahl, Matilda

Matilda Wormwood is a brilliant, intelligent little girl with a penchant for reading and a love of learning. This seriously smart character does have a naughty streak though, and carries out mischievous acts like sticking her neglectful father's hat to his head with superglue! She also has the amazing power to move objects with her mind, which comes in handy as she tries to take down her horrible headmistress, Miss Trunchbull.

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3. Hagrid

J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter

This big, huggable, hairy half-giant is one of the most loveable characters in the Harry Potter universe. He adopts a compassionate, father-like role for young Harry Potter and is a reassuring presence throughout Harry's turbulent years at Hogwarts. He is the school's Keeper of Keys and Grounds, and has a strong interest in mythical and fantastical creatures. He owns, tames and befriends various exotic creatures throughout the series, including Aragog the Acromantula and Buckbeak the hippogriff.

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4. Aslan

C. S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia

Aslan, a magnificent talking lion, is the wise, compassionate and magical King of Beasts and of Narnia. He is a kind-hearted yet mysterious character, both temporal and otherworldly, and a reassuring guide to the human children who visit Narnia. However, he is certainly 'not a tame lion', for he is powerful and has the potential to be dangerous. His followers include humans, centaurs, fauns, dryads, dwarves, mermaids, unicorns and more.

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5. Liesel Meminger

Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Set in 1939 Nazi Germany, The Book Thief follows Liesel, an avid young booklover and brave book thief, horrified by the destruction of thousands of newly-banned books under the Nazis. The intrepid young Liesel must help to hide a Jewish boy in the basement, where the power of words and books to enrich the soul is explored by both youngsters as they try to evade danger and even death. This shocking but spellbinding story features a tough and determined young female lead.

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6. Gandalf

J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Gandalf, a wise and powerful wizard who accompanies Bilbo and the dwarves on their adventures in The Hobbit, is a much-loved character in Tolkien's Middle-earth. His demeanour can be unpredictable, by turns affectionate and curt, but his strong sense of pity for the weak and vulnerable makes him care for and reward all creatures with good intentions. However, he harshly reproaches foolish behaviour.

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7. Pippi Longstocking

Astrid Lindgren, Pippi Longstocking

Pippi Longstocking is a red-haired, freckled little girl who is superhumanly strong and fiercely independent! She can cook and clean, repair her house, care for her pets and otherwise manage her affairs all by herself. She's playful and impulsive and has a deep love of animals, her best friends being her horse and monkey. Whilst she is said to have no 'proper' manners, she is sweet and outgoing, and likes to share stories about her childhood on the sea - even if they are embellished a little!

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8. Winnie-the-Pooh

A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Cuddly little bear Winnie-the-Pooh was named after the teddy bear belonging to A. A. Milne's son, Christopher Robin Milne. Whilst being 'a bear of very little brain', Pooh is a kind, friendly and loveable little character, softly-spoken and often courageous in difficult situations. He is known for his love of 'hunny', and keeps a stash of honey pots at his woodland home. A reliable and optimistic friend, Pooh Bear is often entitled 'leader of the group'. However, it might be said that he is rather forgetful!

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9. Peter Rabbit

Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Peter is a mischievous little rabbit who loves eating carrots, and is willing to go to great lengths to get them! Mr. McGregor certainly isn't happy when he spots Peter Rabbit eating as many of his carrots as he can, and chases him away, but Peter loses his shoes and jacket in the process. The rebellious rabbit tries to get them back with his friend Benjamin, but is captured by Mr. McGregor's cat! Naughty and playful, children adore this beloved bunny.

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10. Tracy Beaker

Jacqueline Wilson, The Story of Tracy Beaker

Tracy Beaker is a tough, rebellious and adventurous little girl, with curly dark hair and a wild imagination! She was placed in care at a young age as her mother wasn't able to care for her. Tracy bitterly calls the children's home the 'Dumping Ground', and likes to imagine that her mother is a glamorous Hollywood movie star who will come back for her one day. Tracy is bossy and disobedient, yet creative and likeable, with a mischievous streak that lands her in all sorts of trouble!

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  • ADDPD 7 years +
    7 years +
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    The Chronicles of Narnia have enchanted millions of readers over the last fifty years and the magical events described in C.S. Lewis's immortal prose have left many a lasting memory for adults and children alike. All seven Chronicles are bound together in this new paperback edition (rebranded with HarperCollins logo). The Chronicles of Narnia have enchanted millions of readers over the last fifty years and the magical events described in C.S. Lewis's immortal prose have left many a lasting memory. For here is a world where a witch decrees eternal winter; where there are more talking animals than people; and where battles are fought by Centaurs, Giants and Fauns.
  • AEJHN 9 years +
    9 years +
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    'I'm Tracy Beaker. This is a book all about me. I'd read it if I were you. It's the most incredible, dynamic, heart-rending story. Honest'.

    Ten-year-old Tracy is one of the most popular and well-loved children's book characters ever created. She lives in a Children's Home but would like a real home one day, with a real family. Meet feisty, funny Tracy, follow her adventures and share her hopes for the future in these three beautifully observed, hilarious and touching tales, all told in Tracy's own words.

    This book from best-loved children's author Jacqueline Wilson features three unputdownable Tracy Beaker stories plus an exclusive letter from Jacqueline Wilson about how Tracy was created.
  • MZK2 11 years +
    11 years +
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    Now a major motion picture starring Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson, The Book Thief is a moving and breathtaking novel that young readers and adults will both be sure to devour.

    Set in 1939 Nazi Germany, the country holds its breath, waiting on the brink of war. Young Liesel's life is changed forever as she stands by her brother's grave and picks up The Gravedigger's Handbook from the snow, committing her first act of book thievery and changing her life forever... So follows her love affair with books in an increasingly dangerous time. When her foster family hide a Jewish boy in their basement her world is both opened up and shut down, but the power of words and the ability for books to feed the soul is explored and enjoyed by both youngsters.

    Superbly crafted and incredibly moving, children aged 11+ simply must read this award-winning tale which has proved to be one of the most enduring and respected of recent times.
  • The World of Peter Rabbit Complete Collection - 23 Books - Collection - 9780723275923 - Beatrix Potter
    WOPR 3 years +
    3 years +
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    Beautifully presented in hardback and featuring the classic white jackets, this complete boxed collection of Beatrix Potter's beloved Peter Rabbit books is a must for every child - and will make the perfect Christmas or christening gift.

    Having enchanted young readers for generations, the timeless books in this charming set also include publisher's notes describing how she worked with her publisher to create the charming stories.

    Format: hardback
    Every hardback book in this collection has dimensions of 140 x 105mm
  • BPZ2 7 years +
    7 years +
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    Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking is a fabulously funny heroine who will delight young readers with her eccentric and outrageous adventures.

    The Best of Pippi Longstocking is a rib-tickling, unmissable collection of three books in one and is complemented by Tony Ross' brilliant black and white illustrations. Pippi lives all by herself with a horse, a monkey, a suitcase full of gold and no grown-ups to tell her what to do.

    In the three stories featured here, Pippi performs at the circus, is reunited with her long-lost father and takes her friends Tommy and Annika on a trip to the Canny Canny Islands.
  • HOI2 9 years +
    9 years +
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    Likeable and unassuming hero Bilbo Baggins is unwittingly caught up in an epic adventure in one of the most imaginative and captivating children's classics ever written.

    Although Bilbo sets out on his quest for a dragon's gold rather reluctantly, as he is a cautious hobbit who likes a quiet life, his journey helps him find courage, strength and hidden resources that are sure to inspire readers young and old.

    The Hobbit is a fantastic book for confident readers aged 9+, but it's also a great book for parents to read aloud to their child at bedtime, especially with the success of An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug - the first two of Peter Jackson's award-winning trilogy of films based on The Hobbit starring Martin Freeman as Bilbo - bringing the story to a new audience.
  • ALBSU 9 years +
    9 years +
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    When Alice follows the White Rabbit down a rabbit hole, she finds herself in an enchanted world, filled with creatures like the Mad Hatter, the disappearing Cheshire Cat, and the Queen of Hearts. Alice quickly finds out that nothing is as it seems in the wild world of Wonderland...
  • WPZ2 5 years +
    5 years +
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    Journey to Hundred Acre Wood with this quality reprint of A.A. Milne's classic stories that have been pored over for generations. Featuring the wonderful original colour illustrations from E.H. Shepard, this enjoyable collection of Winnie-the-Pooh stories is a must-have for every child's - and grown-up's - bookshelf.

    Beautifully presented, this charming book includes the timeless adventures of Pooh Bear and his much-loved friends, and this collectable edition of tales sees the Bear for All Ages get into a tight place, nearly catch a Woozle, and discover the wrong sort of honey - amongst many other things!

    A gift that is sure to be cherished by any young reader.
  • The Complete Harry Potter Collection - 7-Book Box Set - Collection - 9781408856772 - JK Rowling
    HRYP 9 years +
    9 years +
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    Head back to Platform 9 3/4, climb aboard the Hogwarts Express and enjoy the Complete Harry Potter Collection for a magical price. Presented in a gorgeous slipcase, these editions of J. K. Rowling's classics come complete with stunning cover illustrations from Jonny Duddle.

    A phenomenon like no other, Harry's incredible journey begins with The Philosopher's Stone. Unhappily living in a cupboard under the stairs at his aunt's, he's visited by a giant called Rubeus Hagrid who delivers the most astonishing news - Harry's a wizard. As he heads to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry makes friends with Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, meets oh-so-wise Professor Dumbledore and the complex Severus Snape and their incredible adventure begins. But evil in the shape of Lord Voldemort is getting ever closer - and the Dark Lord has his sights set firmly on Harry.

    Throughout the seven books, Harry learns what it means to be a Gryffindor student and the value of friendship and trust. The eight films starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were a record-breaking success and now you can relive the stories where it all began time and time again with this amazing Harry Potter box set - Expecto Patronum!

    Format: paperback
  • MTV2 9 years +
    Roald Dahl
    9 years +
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    From the genius mind of Roald Dahl, Matilda Wormwood is a heroine with a love of books and some truly magical powers. Her parents may call her terrible things all the time, but the truth is she's a very special little girl.

    Forming a special bond with her caring teacher Miss Honey, both her parents and the angry, spiteful headmistress Miss Trunchbull soon find out they were wrong to underestimate Matilda so much...

    In 1996, this magical book was adapted into a popular film directed by and starring Danny DeVito and it's also now an award-winning musical across the world. Complete with Quentin Blake's illustrations, Matilda is a timeless classic that will be returned to again and again.