Search: vintage children's classics

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Five Children and It

E Nesbit (Author)

'Don't you know a sand-fairy when you see one?'

I dare say you have often thought about what you would do if you were granted three wishes. The five children - Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane and their baby brother - had often talked about it but when they are faced with the grumpy sand-fairy they find it difficult to make up their minds. And that is just the beginning of their dilemmas. As they discover, there is nothing quite like a wish for getting you into terrible trouble.

BACKSTORY: Learn about what it was like to be a child in 1902 and try some fun activities!

Good Wives

Louisa May Alcott (Author)

'As they sat together in the twilight, talking over their small plans, the future always grew so beautiful and bright'

Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy have grown up together in Orchard House with their friend Laurie next door, and now it's time for them to go out and find their places in the big wide world, to do the great and marvellous things they've dreamed of and discover their 'castles in the air'. They each find themselves tested, and fall in love, but when tragedy strikes they find their best comfort is in each other, and home.

BACKSTORY: Learn more about the unusual author and have a go at making jam!

The Phoenix and the Carpet

E. Nesbit (Author)

‘Rain, rain, go away,’ said Anthea; ‘but it never DOES go’

I expect you know how boring it can be to stay indoors on rainy days. None of the five children meant to set the nursery carpet on fire that wet day. They only wanted to test out their fireworks… The new carpet when it arrives comes with something odd wrapped inside – an enormous glowing egg, and with it the chance for a whole new set of adventures.

Includes exclusive content: In the Backstory you can find out more about E. Nesbit and take the Phoenix's quiz

Vintage Children's Classics is a boutique list producing quality editions of the best children's books ever written designed inside and out to appeal to children and the adults in their lives

The Railway Children

E Nesbit (Author)

'"Stand firm'" said Peter, "and wave like mad!"'

They were not railway children to begin with. When their Father mysteriously leaves home Roberta (everyone calls her Bobbie), Phyllis and Peter must move to a small cottage in the countryside with Mother. It is a bitter blow to leave their London home, but soon they discover the hills and valleys, the canal and of course, the railway. But with the thrilling rush and rattle and roar of the trains comes danger too. Will the brave trio come to the rescue? And most importantly, can they solve the disappearance of their Father?

BACKSTORY: Find out all about steam trains and learn what it was really like to be a child in Edwardian times.

Heidi

Johanna Spyri (Author)

'I would rather be with my grandfather on the Alp than anywhere on earth!'

When Heidi is sent to live in the Swiss mountains with her bad-tempered old Grandfather, everyone in the village feels sorry for her. What will a little girl do in such an isolated home, and with such a grumpy companion? But Heidi soon discovers a secret: Grandfather isn't nearly as cross as he looks - plus she can play all day in the fields among the bright flowers. But then Heidi is whisked away again to be a companion to a injured girl in the city. She longs for her beautiful mountain home - how will she ever get back again?

BACKSTORY: Find out which character you most resemble and try out some Heidi-inspired activities!

Winter Holiday

Arthur Ransome (Author)

'You know what it's like. Dark at teatime and sleeping indoors: nothing ever happens in the winter holidays.'

Or so Nancy thinks. Then the lake ices over completely and the Swallows and Amazons, along with Dick and Dorothea - ‘the D’s’ - plan a race to find the North Pole. How will they reach it if they can’t sail? By sledges of course! But when a blizzard blows up and there is a mix up about signals, the D’s disappear into the Arctic night. Disaster looms. Can the Swallows and Amazons save their friends?

BACKSTORY: Crack the Swallows and Amazons' code and learn all about the real Arctic exploration that inspired this book.

The Enchanted Castle

E. Nesbit (Author)

'If we were in a book it would be an enchanted castle certain to be'

When Jerry, Jimmy and Kathleen are forced to spend their summer away from home they don't imagine they will have a particularly interesting time. But that's before they chance upon the Enchanted Castle complete with a little girl who expects them to believe she is a princess.

Includes exclusive content: In the Backstory you can find out more about the author and take the Enchanted Castle quiz

Vintage Children's Classics is a boutique list producing quality editions of the best children's books ever written designed inside and out to appeal to children and the adults in their lives

Fattypuffs and Thinifers

Andre Maurois (Author)

'Two Surface-dwellers. Two! Hes a Fattypuff and youre a Thinifer. Theres no doubt about it!

This is the tale of two brothers. Edmund is a little on the plump side and Terry is a bit of a rake. When they discover the countries under the Earth they are divided and sent to the warring kingdoms of the Fattypuffs and the Thinifers. The Fattypuffs eat hourly with light snacks in between. The Thinifers like nothing more than discipline and work six days a week. Whether you are a jolly Fattypuff or a driven Thinifer you’ll be rooting for the brothers to bring peace to the countries under the Earth.

Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can take the quiz to find out if you’re a Fattypuff or a Thinifer!

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Emil and the Three Twins

Erich Kästner (Author)

'Password Emil!'

Emil and the detectives are on holiday by the seaside when they meet the three Byrons. One Byron is the father and the other two are the sons, Mackie and Jackie. Jackie is bigger than Mackie and Byron Senior is very annoyed about it. But what is Jackie to do? When Emil and the detectives discover that the father is planning to desert poor Jackie they are determined to come to the rescue but not before they've been cast away on a desert island...

BACKSTORY: Test your knowledge of Emil and his friends and discover some fun seaside activities!

Kidnapped

R.L Stevenson (Author)

'For God's sake, hold on!'

On a stormy night off the coast of Scotland, young David Balfour faces his most terrifying test yet. He's been double-crossed by his wicked uncle, tricked into a sea voyage and sold into slavery. When the dashing Alan Breck Stewart comes aboard, he finds a brave friend at least, and the pair fight back against their treacherous, black-hearted shipmates. But then the ship hits a reef, it's every man for himself, and David must battle against the raging sea itself!

BACKSTORY: Learn about the true stories that inspired this adventurous tale!

Anne of Green Gables

L. M. Montgomery (Author)

‘It’s a million times nicer to be Anne of Green Gables than Anne of nowhere in particular, isn’t it?’

My dislikes: Being an orphan, having red hair, being called ‘carrots’ by Gilbert Blythe.

My likes: Living at the Green Gables with Marilla and Matthew, my bosom-friend Diana, dresses with puff sleeves.

My regrets: Dying my hair green. Smashing a slate over Gilbert Blythe’s head.

My dream: To tame my temper. To be good (this is an uphill struggle). To grow up to have auburn hair!

Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can find out about the real Green Gables, the plucky author and more!

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from Peter Pan and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Black Hearts in Battersea

Joan Aiken (Author)

‘Wait, wait! Save us! What’ll we do?’

Simon is determined to become a painter when he grows up so he sets off to London to make his fortune. But the city is plagued by wolves and mysterious disappearances. The Twite household, where Simon is lodging, seems particularly shifty. Before he even gets a chance to open his glistening new paints Simon stumbles right into the centre of a plot to kill the King. And worse than that Simon is kidnapped and sent to sea! Luckily there are two friendly stowaways aboard – the feisty Dido Twite and the spoiled young Justin. But when the ship catches fire things look pretty dire. Can they escape? Will they save the king in time?

BACKSTORY: Test your knowledge of Black Hearts in Battersea and play the name game.

Anne of Avonlea

L. M. Montgomery (Author)

You might think I'd have grown out of getting myself into scrapes now that I'm half past sixteen. But between being vexed by my freckles, taunted by a brazen Jersey cow and kept on my toes by the new twins, Dora and Davy, life at Green Gables is just as eventful as ever.

I do try to be a little more grown-up now that I'm a school teacher. The other day I asked the class, 'If you had three candies in one hand and two in the other, how many would you have altogether?' One of my pupil's piped up, 'A mouthful.' Could you have kept a straight face?!

Includes exclusive material: In ‘The Backstory’ you can find out about going to school in Avonlea and learn all about the real Green Gables

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

What Katy Did

Susan Coolidge (Author)

'I mean to do something grand. I don't know what, yet; but when I'm grown up I shall find out'

Katy Carr is the longest girl that was ever seen. She is all legs and elbows, and angles and joints. She tears her dress every day, hates sewing and doesn't care a button about being called 'good'. Her head is full of schemes and one day she plans to do something important. But a great deal is to happen to Katy before that time comes...

BACKSTORY: Learn some splendiferous vocabulary and find out which character you most resemble.

The King Arthur Trilogy

Rosemary Sutcliff (Author)

‘Traitor! Now is your death-time upon you!’

You may think you know all about King Arthur, the young boy who plucked the sword from the stone. You’ve probably heard stories about Merlin's magic powers and the Knights of the round table…these are the stories we learn at school.

But they are just the beginning. Here are tales of human sacrifice, dragons, sword fights to the death, noble quests, tragedy and great courage: this the real world of King Arthur.

Are you brave enough to enter?

Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can test your knowledge of the legends and find out which Knight of the Round Table you most resemble.

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The Story of Doctor Dolittle

Hugh Lofting (Author)

‘Many years ago – when our grandfathers were little children – there was a doctor and his name was Dolittle’

Dr Dolittle lives in Puddleby-on-the-Marsh with his friends Dab-Dab the duck, Jip the dog, Gub-Gub the baby pig, Too-Too the owl, the parrot Polynesia, as well as rabbits in the pantry, white mice in the piano and a crocodile in the fish pond. Why do the animals love Dolittle so? Its because he can speak their language, and because he's the best animal doctor for miles around. When the monkeys in Africa call on his aid, Doctor Dolittle sets off on an marvellous voyage, encountering bad-tempered kings, fearsome pirates and the mysterious pushmi-pullyu along the way.

Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can learn about the different ways that animals talk to each other!

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

King Matt The First

Janusz Korczak (Author)

‘Children! I, Matt the First, appeal for your help in carrying out my reforms’

Little Matt becomes King Matt when he is just a young boy. He can barely even read or write and he certainly doesn’t know anything about governing a country. What should he do? What would you do?

Ignoring his grown-up ministers, he builds the finest zoo in the world and decrees that children should be given chocolate every day. But ruling turns out to be a much trickier business than Matt ever realised.

Can the happiness of a nation depend on one small boy? Well, let’s find out…

Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can discover the life story of the brave author and put your governing skills to the test.

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Emil and the Detectives

Erich Kästner (Author)

'Password Emil!'

Emil is excited to be taking the train on his own for the first time. He doesn't like the look of his fellow passenger, the man in the bowler hat. Emil will just have to keep his wits about him and his money in his pocket. But Emil falls asleep and when he wakes up the man in the bowler hat is gone - and so is the money! Emil is determined to get it back. He teams up with a gang of young detectives and so begins a hair-raising chase across Berlin to catch the dirty rotten thief...

BACKSTORY: Learn all about the book's brave author and find out just how good a sleuth you would be.

Little Lord Fauntleroy

Frances Hodgson Burnett (Author)

‘And so this is little Lord Fauntleroy’

Ceddie is a regular little boy living in New York with his mother. That is until the day a tall, old gentleman arrives to inform him of some startling news. Ceddie, in turns out, is the child of a great, old English family. He must go to England to live with the Earl his grandfather and become a person he never knew he was: Little Lord Fauntleroy.

What the old gentleman neglects to mention is that Ceddie’s grandfather is one of the most grumpy, grouchy, gouty and feared old men in all England. Wish the new Little Lord Fauntleroy good luck…

Includes exclusive material: In The Backstory you find out more about the inspirations for the story and take the Little Lord Fauntleroy quiz!

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The Silver Sword

Ian Serraillier (Author)

'If you meet Ruth or Edek or Bronia, you must tell them I'm going to Switzerland to find their mother. Tell them to follow as soon as they can

Having lost their parents in the chaos of war, Ruth, Edek and Bronia are left alone to fend for themselves and hide from the Nazis amid the rubble and ruins of their city. They meet a ragged orphan boy, Jan, who treasures a paperknife - a silver sword - which was entrusted to him by an escaped prisoner of war. The three children realise that the escapee was their father, the silver sword a message that he is alive and searching for them. Together with Jan they begin a dangerous journey across the battlefields of Europe to find their parents.

BACKSTORY: Read a letter from the author's daughter and find out about the amazing true stories that inspired The Silver Sword.

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