Brits have been urged to check their bookshelves since these first editions of popular Children's books could earn you thousands. 

Whether they have been passed down as heirlooms from loved ones or they have been kept due to the cherished childhood memories they evoke, early and special editions of classic novels can go for a hefty sum.

50% of Brits have confessed that they struggle with decluttering due to sentimental attachment and 26% of homeowners are clueless about what is in their attic - we could be sitting on a goldmine and not even know it.

“It’s amazing to see how much the value of these novels has increased, and during tough financial times, it may inspire a lot of us to dig through our garages, attics, and storage units for hidden treasures that may be worth far more than expected, " said David Joyson, Chief Customer Officer at home insurance specialist, Homeprotect.

Mr Joyson added: "First edition books are a highly collectable and often overlooked and underestimated item of value, so before you give away or donate your old children’s books, do your research to ensure you aren’t throwing away a small fortune!

"If you have any of these valuable items lying around your home, or if you come across an item you think may have a high value, get them professionally valued, so you know if they are worth insuring and to avoid underinsuring.

"Rare or antique books may be covered by your contents insurance, but it’s always worth checking the specific policy terms with your insurer and to confirm that you have an adequate amount of contents cover.”

The Northern Echo: Pride and Prejudice is considered the most valuable Children's Book. ( Homeprotect)Pride and Prejudice is considered the most valuable Children's Book. ( Homeprotect) (Image: Homeprotect)

With that in mind, Homeprotect has conducted a study to identify the most valuable first-edition listings of classic children’s books that, if sold, could earn you extra money.

The biggest literary hidden treasure according to the study is Jane Austen’s beloved young adult classic Pride and Prejudice.

Incredibly, some first-edition copies have been listed for £139,356.

Originally published in 1813, early editions of the story sold for 18 shillings - this works out as £52 in today’s money which is a value increase of 267,892%.

The classic adventure novel Robinson Crusoe by 18th-century writer Daniel Defoe comes in second.

Often considered ‘the first English novel,’ Robinson Crusoe was published in 1719 at an estimated price of five shillings.

In 2023, this would cost £36.89 which is a 106,219% price increase over 200 years.

Meanwhile,  J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit first edition is the third most valuable, with an average listing value of £27,174.

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When it was initially published in 1937, just 1500 copies were released and each novel was sold for roughly £17.81 (when adjusted for inflation), an increase of 142,329%.

Other classics to be included in the list include Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, with first edition listings averaging at £20,381 and £18,735, respectively.

Completing the top 10 most valuable first-edition children’s books are The Velveteen Rabbit at £16,953, Swallows and Amazons at £15,133, The Diary of a Young Girl at £13,353, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea at £12,383, and finally, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, recently listed for £10,008.