Parents are most likely to choose The Gruffalo as a bedtime story

The Gruffalo beats off competition from The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Winnie the Pooh as the first story parents would choose to read to their children

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It’s the childhood classic about a plucky mouse who outwits a hungry monster. And clearly it’s not just young readers who enjoy devouring The Gruffalo.

For parents say the picture book is the first story they would choose to read to their children.

Julia Donaldson’s tale, which has sold 13 million copies since it was published in 1999, was named the most popular first read.

Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar was the second most popular book to read to children, followed by Fiona Watt’s That’s Not My… series.

Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney’s classic about two hares, came fourth in the poll of 2,000 adults. Spot, Winnie the Pooh and The Tale Of Peter Rabbit also featured in the top ten.

Julia Donaldson’s tale, which has sold 13 million copies since it was published in 1999, was named the most popular first read

The survey, commissioned by retailer The Works, also asked parents to name the first book they remember reading.

READ MORE: Where The Wild Things Are tops the list of the 100 greatest children’s books of all time

JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series came out on top – despite the first book being released in 1997.

Enid Blyton’s The Faraway Tree came second followed by The Famous Five books.

The survey also looked at what age parents started reading to their children, with 44 per cent saying they read to their children from birth and 27 per cent beginning at the age of one.

It also found that parents who had been introduced to books later in life were more likely to read to their own children later in their development.

The Gruffalo, which features illustrations from Axel Scheffler, has often been named one of parents’ favourite reads. Last year it came top in an Aldi poll of parents’ best-loved bedtime stories.

Yet, in a recent BBC poll of the best children’s books of all time, The Gruffalo came in 57th place. Older classics Where The Wild Things Are, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland and Pippi Longstocking made up the top three.

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