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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.
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
This second collection of stories and poetry featuring Dan and Una and their adventures with the fairy, Puck, is a classic to treasure. Rewards and Fairies was originally published by Macmillan in 1910. The collection includes If, the nation's favourite poem and features original illustrations by Charles E. Brock.
These witty, inventive stories have delighted generations of children. Rudyard Kipling’s classic stories are beautifully presented in this highly attractive edition that tells the story of how different animals have come by their characteristic - How the Leopard Got his Spots, How the Whale Got His Throat, The Cat that Walked By Itself and the others remains one of the best books to read aloud to any one from 5 upwards.
The new live-action version of The Jungle Book should send lots of children to read Kipling’s stories of Mowgli, Baloo and Bagheera – let’s hope so anyway because, to quote Rosemary Sutcliffe, ‘The child who has never run with Mowgli’s wolf pack … has missed something that he will not get from any other writer.’ For invention and sheer excitement, the Mowgli stories are very hard to beat. The Second Jungle Book contains stories including The King’s Ankuss, in which Mowgli encounters a terrifying White Cobra guarding precious treasure under a ruined city, and Red Dog, possibly the most exciting of all Mowgli stories, which pits him against the red hunting dogs, feared by every other animal. Real classics, Kipling’s stories will live in readers’ memories and add colour to childhood. ~ Andrea Reece
Push, pull and slide mechanisms to bring the story of The Jungle Book to life and see favourite scenes in action. Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera and of course the fearsome tiger Shere Khan are all beautifully imagined by Miriam Bos in her bold, appealing illustrations.
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
The classic story of a remarkable dog. Buck, lives a comfortable life as top dog at the home of the Judge. Son of a handsome St Bernard, Buck too is handsome, intelligent and totally trusted by the household. But everything changes when Buck is stolen from his life of luxury and forced into the harsh labour of a sledge dog in the heart of the icy Yukon Territory. How Buck survives his savage ordeal and responds to the pull of life as a dog living in the wild is a powerful story of the reality of nature which can only partially be trained out of the dog.
‘My name is Gulliver, and I have a tale to tell that will make your hair stand up and your mouth hang open.’ So starts Mary Webb’s robust and lively retelling of Swift’s classic and it will indeed have children hanging on Gulliver’s every word. Two of his best-known adventures are included: his experience in Lilliput, where he is a giant, and in Brobdingnag, where the people are giants. It’s fantastical stuff, and often very funny. Webb doesn’t duck any of Swift’s scatological humour, and she keeps his satire fresh too – sadly many of his digs at human behaviour are as relevant today as they were in the 1700s. Lauren O’Neill’s illustrations are equally vigorous and this is a thoroughly handsome edition. ~ Andrea Reece
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