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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.
November 2020 Audio Book of the Month | Like its hero, the story Peter Pan will never grow old and retains all its power to enchant, tempt and enthral readers; how wonderful that this new audiobook version should be available for Christmas, as it is magical family listening. A host of stars take turns to narrate but it’s a particular passion project for Joanna Lumley, who is directly involved in the recent transformation of author J.M. Barrie’s childhood home, Moat Brae, into a new national centre for children’s literature and storytelling. She reads the opening chapters and therefore sets the tone beautifully for the story that follows. Young listeners will be captivated by the joyful sense of freedom and rebellion, while adults will hear the strains of melancholy and loss of innocence beneath. A story to resonate with everyone, whatever their age, and especially when it is told as well as it is here. Listen to an extract, the opening chapter from Peter Pan, read by Joanna Lumley.
September 2012 Book of the Month. Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren's nine-year-old heroine, burst onto the bookshelf in 1945 and has remained a firm favourite with children the world over. Here her story is illustrated with flair and humour by Lauren Child, known to children everywhere as the creator of Charlie and Lola, and winner of the Kate Greenaway and Nestle Gold Awards. This is a beautiful small format gift edition. Find out more about Lauren Child, her books, characters and inspirations in our Guest Editor feature.
The retellings of eight great stories including E. Nesbit’s The Railway Children and Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden will whet the appetite of readers and encourage them to move onto the classic titles themselves. Each story in this bumper book is illustrated in colour throughout.
The most loveable of Bears returns with brand-new stories from some of the most beloved children's authors writing today: Paul Bright, Brian Sibley, Kate Saunders and Jeanne Willis - each will transport you back into the Hundred Acre Wood for more adventures with Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore and the rest of the gang. This selection of short stories are perfect bedtime reading for ages six and up. With decorations by Mark Burgess, in the style of the cherished illustrations by E.H. Shepard. This book will delight fans old and new.
A tiny doll, unloved by her owner, is accidentally dropped into a freezer in a shop. There she stays, bored and lonely, until another little girl spots her. This one is kind, and immediately goes home to make the doll some new clothes. Even though the little doll is now beautifully dressed, still no one notices her until at last the little girl asks if she can take her home. It’s a short, very simple story, perfect for bedtime and little girls will love the idea of the tiny doll hidden in the freezer. Edward Ardizzone’s illustrations capture a kinder, slower time, but are full of live and action nonetheless. ~ Andrea Reece
Charles Dickensâ€™s happy childhood was shattered when he father was jailed for debt leaving his family penniless. The life story of the writer is easily told in this admirably concise account which delves into Dickensâ€™s own life showing how what happened to him enabled him to write classics such as Oliver Twist and Great Expectations. Subtitled, â€˜The man who invented Christmasâ€™ in particular it tells the true story that inspired Dickensâ€™s celebrated A Christmas Carol.
The classic story of Tarzan, the jungle warrior, has been updated for a new readership. Raised by apes and living in the wilds of modern Africa, Tarzan has new challenges and makes a perfect eco-warrior tackling everything that threatens contemporary Africa from illegal logging to the poaching of endangered species. A great modern adventure paying an attractive homage to the original.
An introduction to shapes – and shopping within this classic series that is perfect for learning to read. Old friends Ant and Bee are off on a shopping trip because their friend Kind Dog is coming to supper. Ant and Bee make a careful list; they don’t want to be distracted by all the tempting things on offer in the shop. Ant buys all the round things he has listed, Bee buys things in all kinds of shapes. What will happen at the checkout? Clever use of coloured text highlights the words that young readers can manage – and teaches them the names of the different shapes.
Ant and Bee have been invited to the Zoo Games by Kind Dog and Zoo Man. Zoo Man explains that they will need to get to the zoo at a particular time. He also tells Ant and Bee about the races and how long they are. Bold clock faces with clear numbers and hands will help young readers get a sense of time and all within a great story about the wonderful Ant and Bee.
The classic stories of friends Ant and Bee are a perfect introduction to learning to read and, in this title, to count too. When poor Ant is hurt in an unfortunate accident, Bee wraps him in bandages and makes him rest in bed. But Ant is soon very bored! Bee gives Ant 1 ball of wool and 2 knitting needles. After that, Ant is soon busy counting everything around him in his hospital bed.
This a lovely hardback with ten of Shakespeare's more well known plays retold especially for younger children to enjoy. Each page is illustrated in Usborne's trademark style, with Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and Midsummer Night's Dream all brought to life in fun and lively drawings with extra things to spot on every page.
A truly timeless adventure of a horse with an unbreakable spirit and a bond that eventually goes almost full circle. Animal lovers will love the story of Black Beauty even though the tears will be almost as frequent as the smiles. An essential read. This is the paperback edition but if you’re looking for a gift purchase then look no further than the Everyman’s Library edition. We also rate very highly a new edition from Oxford Children’s Books.
What a ride. No child can fail to laugh and cry in equal measure as they jump on for the ride of a lifetime with Black Beauty. His unbreakable spirit, strong will and determination to survive in spite of all that’s thrown at him is not to be missed. With an Introduction by bestselling novelist, Meg Rosoff, who discovered the novel at the age of 11 deep in the basement of the family home. She remembers with warmth Black Beauty’s dignified voice shining through on every page. It’s book that will satisfy a child’s hunger for horse books for he or she will want to read it over and over again until as meg says, she could ‘recite whole scenes’. This terrific pocket size Puffin Classics edition there’s lots of additional material at the end of the book including an author profile, a guide to who’s who in Black Beauty plus many related activities to do beyond the book.
A classic for all horse lovers. From his simple beginnings as a foal in a meadow through the ups and downs of his life including being a riding horse on a country estate and a cab horse on the busy streets of London, Black Beauty tells his own story. This edition is part of the Vintage Children's Classics series which is aimed at and shaped by 8-12 year olds, and the adults in their lives. It is a broad, affordable selection of books that will inspire a life-long love of reading; these stories that have secured a place in the hearts of thousands. They are all unabridged. To view all the Vintage Children's Classics titles click here. They are books to be given as gifts, and passed down the generations. In addition, story hungry children often don't want the adventure to end, so why not take a look at the fully interactive website - World of Stories - which contains lots of extra material - the backstory: with quizzes, activities and fascinating facts about the books and their authors.