The common children’s books that are worth thousands - including The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Gruffalo

Countless families will have copies of old children’s books long forgotten gathering dust, most likely in the attic.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar topped the list of valuable children's books.

However, you might find yourself glad that you never threw them away.

Antiques expert David Harper has revealed that certain copies of some of the country’s best-known children’s books could be worth as much as £12,000 at auction.

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The most valuable children’s book

The Gruffalo is a more modern book on the list.

Top of the pile of books Mr Harper mentioned is the 1969 edition of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle, which was awarded a £12,085 price tag.

Other high value books included the original 1963 edition of Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are, which could fetch a sum of £5,090, and first editions of The Velveteen Rabbit and The Giving Tree, which could be worth £6,971 and £3,491 respectively.

The lowest value of any book listed by Mr Harper, who was leading research for HomeProtect, was the 1930s story The Little Engine That Could, which was expected to fetch just £130 at auction.

Modern books can be valuable too

The Velveteen Rabbit could potentially fetch thousands.

It was not just books from a long time ago that were reported to be potentially valuable.

The Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and published in 1999, could earn £161 if you have a first edition copy.

And the much-loved book The Polar Express could fetch as much as £475, and Judith Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came To Tea could be worth £640.

However, David Harper said that the books must be in excellent condition in order to be worth their maximum value.

Maurice Sendak's Where The Wild Things Are

He told the MailOnline: "Most 20th century books also need to have their original dust-jacket to be of collectable value."