Antiques Expert Reveals Ten Common Children’s Books That Could Make You Thousands

An antiques expert has revealed ten common children’s books that could make unsuspecting owners thousands of pounds.

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Speaking to the Mail this week, David Harper, a familiar face to Bargain Hunt and Antiques Road Show fans, listed ten valuable books that readers might have just sitting on the shelf at home.

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These include original copies of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Where the Wild Things Are and The Velveteen Rabbit.

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Also on Harper’s list are copies of The Polar Express, The Cat in the Hat and The Little Engine that Could.

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The most recent book to make the top ten is British favourite The Gruffalo, written by Julia Donaldson and first published in 1999.

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Rounding out the list are Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, Judith Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came to Tea and 1931’s French children’s book Histoire de Babar.

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The first editions of these books range in value from £127, for The Little Engine that Could, to over £12,000, for The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

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Harper told the Mail that children’s books are often overlooked when it comes to antique-hunting, with many assuming that – for example – that worn old 1963 copy of Where the Wild Things Are isn’t worth the current asking price of £5,090.

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“It could be that it’s a bit thumbed and looks valueless, so it’s likely to be thrown away or given to a local charity, only later to be discovered by an eagle-eyed collector.”

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Harper insists on caution, adding: “Any damage or missing pages can decrease value significantly. Most 20th century books also need to have their original dust-jacket to be of collectable value.”

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Here’s Harper’s full list:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (1969), £12,085

Where the Wild Things Are (1963), £5,090

The Velveteen Rabbit (1922), £6,971

The Giving Tree (1964), £3,491

The Cat in the Hat (1957), £831

The Tiger Who Came to Tea (1968), £641

Histoire de Babar (1931), £538

The Polar Express (1985), £475

The Gruffalo (1999), £161

The Little Engine that Could (1930), £127