Classics for Christmas

A special edition of a well-loved classic makes for a timeless Christmas gift. Below, are some of the latest titles I’ve received which bring classic tales to life in new and surprising ways.

Please – draw me a sheep.

I blinked.

The voice belonged to a charming little prince.

The characters of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic tale have captured the hearts of generations of readers. Meet the pilot stranded in the desert. Meet the Little Prince who tends his beautiful rose on a planet of his own. Follow him as he embarks on a strange and wonderful journey to puzzling new planets and finally to Earth, where he discovers the nature of love.

This beautiful new picture book edition has been specially adapted for younger readers to enjoy. Sarah Massini’s dreamy artwork perfectly captures the magical mood of this classic fable, complimenting Greig’s text.

When Mary Lennox is sent from India to live with her uncle at gloomy Misselthwaite Manor, she is the most spoiled and contrary child you could ever meet. But she is also extremely lonely. Until one day, she discovers a walled garden that has been kept secret for years. With the help of a little robin, Mary unearths the key and unlocks the wonder that lies beyond the garden walls – and finds that making friends can be every bit life-changing as a magical garden. 

A captivating picture book retelling for young children by acclaimed author Geraldine McCaughrean.

This title is one in a series of illustrated classics published by Nosy Crow. The foiled cloth cover and lavish illustrations make this version feel really special and would be a great gift for anyone aged 6+. I was pleased to see that some of the more old-fashioned attitudes towards other ethnicities and disability have been subtly altered to make them more in-line with modern views.

Pippi Longstocking is nine years old. She has just moved into Villa Villekulla where she lives all by herself with a horse, a monkey, and a big suitcase full of gold coins. The grown-ups in the village try to make Pippi behave in ways that they think a little girl should, but Pippi has other ideas. She would much rather spend her days arranging wild, exciting adventures to enjoy with her neighbours, Tommy and Annika, or entertaining everyone she meets with her outrageous stories. Pippi thinks nothing of wrestling a circus strongman, dancing a polka with burglars, or tugging a bull’s tail.

The original girl rebel is back is this fantastically-produced new edition from Oxford Children’s. Humorously illustrated by the award-winning Lauren Child in her trademark style, one of children’s literature’s most popular characters is back! Guaranteed to remain a classic for readers aged 7+.

Reimagined by the illustrations of Kate Greenaway Medal winner Grahame Baker-Smith, this stunning new edition of a childhood favourite will transport a whole new generation of readers down the rabbit hole and into Wonderland.

Conjured one ‘golden afternoon’ in 1867, the story of Alice has charmed readers for more than 150 years. Now readers can rediscover a host of favourite characters, from the despotic Queen of Hearts to the riddling Cheshire Cat, in a world where nothing is quite as it seems.

Grahame Baker-Smith’s wonderful illustrations will introduce a whole new audience of readers to the weird and wonderful characters who inhabit Wonderland. As well as Baker-Smith’s illustrations, this edition features a very tactile foiled fabric cover.

The enduring children’s tale The Adventures of Pinocchio, retold for a new generation in this spectacular full-color deluxe gift edition, packed with beautiful artwork and seven interactive features created by the award-winning design studio behind the graphics for the Harry Potter film franchise, MinaLima.

Originally published in 1883, The Adventures of Pinocchio is one of the best known and beloved children’s classics. Written by Italian political satirist Carlo Collodi, it is the story of Geppetto, a poor puppeteer who uses an enchanted piece of wood to carve a marionette boy he calls Pinocchio. 

The impish Pinocchio does not want to be a puppet; he yearns to become a real boy. Soon, his curiosity, mischievousness, and naivete lead him away from his father’s shop and into a series of perilous encounters with vicious puppet masters, cunning animals, and other magical characters. Along this perilous journey, the magical puppet learns how much turmoil, heart, and hard work it takes to become a “real boy.” With a nose that grows larger with each lie he tells, Pinocchio has become an enduring icon in children’s literature, and now his story is brilliantly reimagined in this stunning gift edition.

This series of interactive classics bring stories to life like no other. There’s so much to explore and play with that readers will return time and time again to discover new elements and delve deeper into Pinocchio’s world. Very special and sure to be treasured.

Young and impulsive, Robinson Crusoe defies the advice of his parents and runs away to sea. He is plagued by misfortune at every turn; his first ship sinks in a violent storm, his friend and mentor dies, then he is captured by pirates and made a slave in the port of Sallee.

Through all these hardships, Crusoe’s determination and resourcefulness fills him with hope for a better life, and fate delivers him the opportunity for freedom, friendship and riches. But it is when he is shipwrecked on a deserted island that he faces his greatest test: not simply to survive but to thrive.

Book Boy actually whisked this one out of my hands before I had a chance to read it properly himself. The whole premise of adventure, and shipwreck, and pirates totally captured his imagination. This first thing he noticed were Robert Ingpen’s amazing illustrations. He immediately started flicking through the pages searching for more. And that’s what hooked him in. That’s why new editions of these stories are needed- to inspire new a generation of fans. 9+

There are lots of other titles in this beautiful series to enjoy too!

A beautiful edition of Dickens’s timeless Christmas classic. A Christmas Carol is the book that defines the Christmas spirit. Ebenezer Scrooge, a mean-spirited miser, is visited by three ghosts one Christmas Eve. The ghosts show Scrooge the true value of Christmas: charity, good humour and love for his fellow man. Quentin Blake’s colourful illustrations guide the reader through Scrooge’s lively journey to find the meaning of Christmas. This unabridged edition contains a foreword by the illustrator and is the ultimate Christmas gift book.

You really can’t go wrong with the classic Christmas tale of bad turned good. That, paired with one of our most beloved illustrators is a dream combination. Predictably, this is something rather special which will be brought out year-on-year to be enjoyed during the festive season.

The definitive retelling of the legends of King Arthur, from Carnegie Medal-winner Kevin Crossley-Holland and former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell.

Be enthralled by the world of Arthurian legend in this lavishly illustrated, masterful retelling. From King Arthur’s childhood to his final battle, the timeless tales of the sword in the stone, the quests of the Knights of the Round Table and the wizardry of Merlin are woven together into a breathtaking feat of storytelling. An extraordinary collaboration between the world-renowned Kevin Crossley-Holland and the three-time Kate Greenaway Medal-winner Chris Riddell, this is a beautiful edition to be treasured by all ages.

To read my full review solely dedicated to this stunning book, click HERE.

I hope that these glorious books have provided some Christmas inspiration. They are classics for a reason!

Library Girl.

*Many thanks to all the publishers who sent me these titles to review*

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