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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.
Interest Age Teen Reading Age 9 | Tanya Landman’s storytelling skills shine bright in this potent re-telling of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. Specially written to engage reluctant and dyslexic readers, this soars with passion, pinches with the pain of tragic love and brings Brontë’s commentary on social class to the fore. “It just wasn't in me to be the obedient, devoted daughter my father craved,” Cathy states near the start of her story, shortly before her father takes-in beggar boy Heathcliff, with whom she forms a soulful bond that will last a lifetime - and beyond. “The two of us together were bigger than the sky and freer than the wind”, she effuses. They’re wild, and united in their loathing of Cathy’s cruel brother who demotes Heathcliff from family member to servant (and later labourer) when their father dies. When Cathy agrees to marry a well-off suitor, hoping to use his wealth to free Heathcliff from the hellhole Wuthering Heights has become, misfortune after misfortune strikes. But theirs is a love that endures everything, and Landman’s re-telling does a remarkable job of conveying the conflicts and tragedy of the original.
A recommendation from our Guest Editor, September 2020, Michael Morpurgo, MBE | This is a much-loved favourite classic. Here are the thoughts of three favourite authors: Michael Morpurgo, September 2020, Guest Editor : 'A terrifically exciting tale of a dead man’s map, mutinous pirates, skulduggery and buried treasure that will be thoroughly enjoyed by a child if read aloud to them from the age of 5 upwards. It’s such a gripping adventure that children are sure to pick it up again to read alone when they’re a little older. It’s the story of Jim Hawkins who discovers a map in an old sea chest but little does he know of the danger and excitement which lie ahead when sets sail for Treasure Island in search of treasure. 'This was the first proper book I read for myself. Jim Hawkins was the first character in a book I identified with totally. I was Jim Hawkins. I lived Treasure Island as I read it. And I loved it. Still do. I wish I'd written it.' Tim Bowler, February 2011 Guest Editor: "All right, another sea story, but it's one of the best ever. I first read it at the age of ten and I've read it countless times since. It's a book I would love to have written myself. It's got everything – pirates, treasure, a sea voyage, a desert island, danger, treachery, courage, comradeship, humour, and a cast that includes some of the most memorable characters in fiction: Jim Hawkins, Squire Trelawney, Ben Gunn and Long John Silver. Every time I read this novel, it gets better. There are very few books you can say that about." March 2010 Guest Editor Michael Foreman's special memories of this book: "One of our teachers, Oscar Outlaw, realised that most of the class had no books at home. He started bringing in his own books and reading to us on Friday afternoons if it was too wet for games. First he read The Wind in the Willows. And then, Treasure Island. What a treat! We looked forward to rain." Treasure Island in a nutshell: Black spot moment. Sea dog dies. Jim finds map. Ship sets sail. Pirates on board. Island is found. Madman in cave. Two rival camps. Battle for map. Dig up chest. Treasure is gone. Gunn has gold. Head back home. Silver runs off.Jim writes book. Just click here to view our range of Children’s Classics.
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.
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. Just click here to view our range of Children’s Classics, then click on the Hardback tab to view all the Oxford Children’s Classics.
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.