Sorry, never read Ronald Dahl or Nancy Drew or Robert Munsch (I had a deprived childhood).
Never heard of most of those other authors you all have mentioned (that's why I said "enlightened"). Danielle Steele? I wouldn't exactly call her "mushy". I can't believe the pain and suffering she puts her heroines through!
Sometimes I think she seriously hates them! I liked her books, don't get me wrong. They're just some of the gloomiest things I've ever read, until the very last couple of pages. The only "children's books" I'd be able to survive with on a desert island would be the Harry Potter series.