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The Classics never go out of fashion. Find new editions of old favourites, plus some abridged and re-told tales in this section.
Selma Lagerlöf’s story of Nils, the mischievous young boy shrunk to the size of a thumb when he gets on the wrong side of an elf, is a classic in Sweden and this much shortened version of his epic adventures will excite many young readers in this country. Nils and his animal friends are wonderful characters, no young reader will be able to resist Akka from Kebnekaise, the wild geese leader. Not only does the book contain 22 different episodes, perfect bedtime reading, but each is accompanied by striking, atmospheric illustrations and exquisite die-cut pages. There’s even a map at the very back so that readers can follow Nils’s journey around Sweden. An unusual and unusually beautiful book.
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | Julia Eccleshare's Book of the Month September 2016 Philippa Pearce’s classic novel of the 1950s is newly minted for today’s readers while retaining its sense of wonder and its ability to make the unbelievable – including travelling through time - ‘real’. Edith’s graphic novel version captures how Tom moves from frustration and disappointment at being cooped up in a flat with his aunt and uncle to delight when his night time adventures take him into the magical garden that once belonged to the house. Invisible to all but Hatty, a lonely little girl, Tom enjoys the most wonderful adventures with her including skating through the night to Ely. The rich imagination of the original is portrayed in a new and also stimulating way. ~ Julia Eccleshare A message from Liz Cross, Head of Publishing, Oxford Children’s Books, about this unique graphic novel edition: Like so many people working in children’s books, I am passionate about stories. Stories give us so much delight, so many characters to get to know, so many places to explore – and so much sheer entertainment. Really great stories deserve to be shared with as many different people as possible, in many different ways – as we have seen with Harry Potter in film, Matilda in musical form, Tracy Beaker on TV, and so many others. The power of the story shines through in each case, brought to life in different ways by different forms. Tom’s Midnight Garden is one of the greatest children’s stories ever written – and because of this it’s already been shared in film, TV and stage show, and in many languages around the world. So it is incredibly exciting to have a brand new way of sharing this story – in this beautiful graphic novel, adapted and illustrated by French graphic novelist Edith. Whether or not you’ve read the novel already, in this graphic adaptation there is a timeless, powerful story waiting for you. It’s a visual treat and an object of beauty – and most of all, a story you will never forget. Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for September 2016 A Poem for Every Night of the Year compliled by Allie Esiri Gruffalo Crumble and Other Recipes by Julia Donaldson A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston Beck by Mal Peet and Meg Rosoff Tom's Midnight Garden Graphic Novel by Philippa Pearce and Edith Jinks and O'Hare Funfair Repair by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntryre
This is one of the best-loved family stories of all the classics. When Roberta, Peter and Phyillis’s father is arrested their life is turned upside down. The children move to the country and the railway that runs nearby becomes their greatest source of adventure. One day, they come up with a brilliant plan to make use of the friends they’ve made through the train to prove their father’s innocence and bring him back safely. Will it work? A book to treasure and return to again and again and features the complete and unabridged text. If you love a good story, then look no further. ~ Julia Eccleshare
This lean but effective retelling of one of the greatest stories of all time is made even more lively thanks to numerous full colour illustrations. In vignettes and full page illustrations Sebastiaan Van Donnick brings to life the movers and shakers of the ancient world, men, gods and monsters, clearly relishing the chance to portray those scenes in which they are in direct combat. The sea too is a constant presence, as much a part of the story as Odysseus himself. It’s a really pleasing book for young readers and added extras including a colour map showing Odysseus’s journey and an illustrated list of dramatis personae further increase the appeal. ~ Andrea Reece
One of the best-loved stories about what makes a child’s toy ‘real’ and how becoming real is the dearest wish of all toys in the nursery. When the handsome Velveteen Rabbit, with his spotted brown and white coat and ears lined with pink sateen, arrives in the Boy’s stocking on Christmas morning he looks charming. But the Velveteen Rabbit soon discovers that looking good isn’t what really matters. What matters is to be Real. How the Velveteen Rabbit learns what real is and how he becomes real himself is a lyrically told story of the importance of make believe for children. ~ Julia Eccleshare This lavishly illustrated version of Margery Williams' classic tale is the first in a series of Nosy Crow classics, created with high production values and beautiful art, to bring old favourites to a new generation.
In a nutshell: Iconic | Outspoken | Big Issues | Difficult Truths A story about writing, this is also a wonderfully romantic story told by a young narrator trying to capture the unusual behaviour of her family and the life they lead in an unusual ruined castle as well as describing her own emotional turmoil. Cassandra is determined not to be pretentious as she tells the stories of her family and the story of her own desperate entanglement with the man who loves her sister. The result is a book that is delightfully entertaining and humorous. ~ Julia Eccleshare It is one of The Originals from Penguin - iconic, outspoken, first. The Originals are the pioneers of fiction for young adults. From political awakening, war and unrequited love to addiction, teenage pregnancy and nuclear holocaust, The Originals confront big issues and articulate difficult truths. The collection includes: The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton, I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith, Postcards from No Man's Land - Aidan Chambers, After the First Death - Robert Cormier, Dear Nobody - Berlie Doherty, The Endless Steppe - Esther Hautzig, Buddy - Nigel Hinton, Across the Barricades - Joan Lingard, The Twelfth Day of July - Joan Lingard, No Turning Back - Beverley Naidoo, Z for Zachariah - Richard C. O'Brien, The Wave - Morton Rhue, The Red Pony - John Steinbeck, The Pearl - John Steinbeck, Stone Cold - Robert Swindells.
In a nutshell: Iconic | Outspoken | Big Issues | Difficult Truths Masterful linked short stories by Nobel prizewinner John Steinbeck, author of The Grapes of Wrath. The Red Pony is one of The Originals from Penguin - iconic, outspoken, first. The Originals are the pioneers of fiction for young adults. From political awakening, war and unrequited love to addiction, teenage pregnancy and nuclear holocaust, The Originals confront big issues and articulate difficult truths. The collection includes: The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton, I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith, Postcards from No Man's Land - Aidan Chambers, After the First Death - Robert Cormier, Dear Nobody - Berlie Doherty, The Endless Steppe - Esther Hautzig, Buddy - Nigel Hinton, Across the Barricades - Joan Lingard, The Twelfth Day of July - Joan Lingard, No Turning Back - Beverley Naidoo, Z for Zachariah - Richard C. O'Brien, The Wave - Morton Rhue, The Red Pony - John Steinbeck, The Pearl - John Steinbeck, Stone Cold - Robert Swindells.
Kidnapped is less widely read than Stevenson’s other children’s classic Treasure Island but is just as thrilling and exciting a story. Indeed, the action doesn’t let up from the young hero David Balfour’s first meeting with his villainous Uncle Ebeneezer to his final triumphant return at the end of the book, after he’s endured kidnap and shipwreck amongst other adventures. This new edition is very handsome indeed, featuring full colour illustrations that are both accurate in their depiction of the landscape, characters and action (the story is set in Scotland 1751) and full of atmosphere. A fine addition to a child’s bookshelf, and a great summer read too. ~ Andrea Reece
One of the most imaginative and best-loved of all children’s books, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is as original today as it was when it was first published in 1865. The stories of the amazing things Alice finds after she falls down the rabbit hole and the incredible people she meets including the Mad Hatter and the March Hare have become touchstones for readers through the ages. Lewis Carroll’s follow-up to Alice’s Adventures through the Looking Glass includes the introduction of Tweedledum and Tweedledee those most memorable of characters who famously fought over a brand new rattle. It is here, too, that the poem Jabberwocky first appeared and the poem ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’.
Little books are somehow irresistible and this one is particularly appealing, both dainty and handsome with its cloth cover, gold sprayed edges and creamy paper. A shortened version of the original story, it contains the episodes most likely to appeal to young readers – including of course Tweedledum and Tweedledee – and also features thirty of Tenniel’s illustrations, which are just as jewel-like in this small size. The perfect thing for a child to slip into a pocket or little bag it makes an ideal first introduction to Carroll’s classic. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: The Little Folks edition is also available in the same charming format. ~ Andrea Reece
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