I really would have liked to have chosen a 'super seven' so that I could have included a couple more books! These are:
Tales of a One-Way Street by Joan Aiken and Jan Pienkowski
I loved both this and A Necklace of Raindrops by the same duo. I found Jan Pienkowski's illustrations totally magical and as someone who didn't easily make the transition from picture books to chapter books these were a great way to bridge the gap.
The Early Bird by Richard Scarry
Although I have already included one Richard Scarry book in my list, this certainly deserves an honourable mention. Not only is it a great story of friendship with all the funny details you'd expect, it is also a beautifully produced book which I still enjoy looking through. The edition I have is a 1970 Collins Early Bird Book printed on thick, matt paper with a cloth texture cover. It does bear the scars of being well loved as you can see from the picture!