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The Little Prince

Antoine De Saint-Exupery (Author)

Written during World War II, The Little Prince tells of the friendship between the narrator, an aviator stranded in the Sahara desert, and a mysterious boy whom he encounters there. Ruler of a tiny asteroid of which he is the only inhabitant, the Little Prince chats disarmingly about his curious adventures in space and since arriving on earth; of his distant home and of his love for a beautiful and capricious rose, to whom he longs to return. A moving and deceptively simple tale, it was described by Saint-Exupéry as a children's story for adults, and it works on several levels as an allegory of his own life, or of the human condition. Children love it for its deadpan fantasy, for its sense of amused bafflement at the grown-up world and for the author's attractive watercolour illustrations which are an integral part of the book.

The Little Prince

Antoine De Saint-Exupery (Author)

Written during World War II, The Little Prince tells of the friendship between the narrator, an aviator stranded in the Sahara desert, and a mysterious boy whom he encounters there. Ruler of a tiny asteroid of which he is the only inhabitant, the Little Prince chats disarmingly about his curious adventures in space and since arriving on earth; of his distant home and of his love for a beautiful and capricious rose, to whom he longs to return. A moving and deceptively simple tale, it was described by Saint-Exupéry as a children's story for adults, and it works on several levels as an allegory of his own life, or of the human condition. Children love it for its deadpan fantasy, for its sense of amused bafflement at the grown-up world and for the author's attractive watercolour illustrations which are an integral part of the book.

The Scarlet Pimpernel

Baroness Orczy (Author)

The exotically named Baroness Orczy was the daughter of a Hungarian aristocrat who came to London at the age of fifteen. first published in 1905, her historical novel The Scarlet Pimpernel became almost as famous as the French Revolution itself. It tells of the escapades of Sir Percy Blakeney, whose mission is to help the innocent victims of the Reign of Terror escape the guillotine. Assuming ever more daring and ingenious disguises he suceeds in both outwitting his opponents and in keeping his activities a secret from his English friends. Everyman's Library Children's Classics publishes the novel in a new and up-to-date edition to tie in with the BBC production to be screened this Christmas.

Little Lord Fauntleroy

Frances Hodgson Burnett (Author)

Originally published as a serial in the children's monthly magazine ST NICHOLAS, LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY was Frances Hodgson Burnett's first children's novel and on its publication in book form in October 1866 it became at once an astonishing success. Reprinted before publication (even though its first printing was 10, 000 copies), the book went on the bestseller lists alongside Tolstoy's WAR AND PEACE and Rider Haggards's KING SOLOMON'S MINES. Marghanita Laski described the novel as 'the best vesion on the Cinderella story in modern idiom that exists', and this tale of an arrogant English aristocrat reformed by his grandson, brought up in the classless society of New York, has retained its popularity over the years. Charles Brock, the PUNCH artist who epitomized the stereotype of the reserved, shy Englishman, illustrated the book with eight watercolours and forty-five pen-and-ink sketches for an edition first published by Warne in 1925.

Kidnapped

Robert Louis Stevenson (Author)

First published as a serial in YOUNG FOLKS between May and July 1886 and now reprinted in an Everyman edition on the centenary of Stevenson's death. KIDNAPPED is an adventure story that has become the model for any thriller of escape and suspense. Set in 1751, the flight of David Balfour and Alan Breck across the Highlands of Scotland is based on real events. Through he wrote the book to make money, while living as an invalid in Bournemouth. Stevenson was proud of it; he inscribed a presentation copy with the couplet. Here is the one sound page of all my writing. The one I'm proud of and that I delight in. Rowland Hilder is famous for his paintings of the English countryside but his work in book illustration covered a much wider canvas. His drawing for KIDNAPPED were first published in 1930 and have undesevedly, been long out of print.

The Railway Children

E Nesbit (Author)

Although E. Nesbit regarded her poetry as her most important work, it is her children's books (written 'to keep the house going') that ensured her lasting fame and which are still enjoyed with such affection today. Her readers have their oen favourites, but the film version of THE RAILWAY CHILDREN, with Jenny Agutter as Roberta, the eldest daughter of the man unjustly sent to prison, and the Bernard Cribbins as the friendly railway porter, brought the book to a new generation of readers who love it for Roberta's courage and the satisfaction of the ending when her father is vindicated and restored to his family. The film is regularly shown on British Television.

Cinderella

C S Evans (Author)

This most beloved of all fairy tales is told in many versions and found in many different cultures - from the Italian CENERANTOLA to the Russian CHERNUSHKA For this edition, first published in 1919, Charles Sedon Evans, a schoolmaster turned publisher, used the features of the tale as told by Charles Perrault - the pumpkin coach the mice horses, the rat coachman, the lizard footmen and the glass slipper - but expanded it to a full-length story so as to offer Arthur Rackham maximum opportunity to illustrate every step of the drama with his exquisite silhouette drawings. This is one of the most beautiful and delightful children's book ever published.

Russian Fairy Tales

Gillian Avery (Author)

The famous stage-designer Ivan Bilibin was a self-taught artist who was lucky enough to be offered the commission of a lifetime at the very start of his career. In 1899 the Department for the Production of State Documents asked this young Russian artist to illustrate a series of fairy tales, a task that took him four years to complete and inspired his finest work, reflecting his deep love for his country and his passionate interest in its national dress and wooden architecture. This, with ten other traditional tales, make up the collection for which all Bilibin's original artwork has been faithfully reproduced. Gillian Avery has provided a retelling of the texts which admirably complements Bilibin's distinctive illustration, itself rooted in the stylized forms of Russian folk and medieval art.

The Secret Garden

Frances Hodgson Burnett (Author)

This story of two spoilt and lonely children, whose happiness is regained as they bring to life a neglected garden, has become the best-loved of all Mrs. Burnett's books, but it did not acquire universal popularity until long after its first publication in 1911 Although set in Yorkshire, it was inspired by the rose garden at Great Maytham Hall in Kent (which still flourishes) where its much-travelled author lived from 1898 to 1907. The story has many illustrators, bur none has surpassed Charles Robinson who first created in his pictures the romantic and mysterious atmosphere of Misselthwaite Manor and the locked, forgotten garden.

Fables

Jean de La Fontaine (Author), Edward Marsh (Translator), R. de la Nézière (Illustrator)

Seventeenth-century Frenchman Jean de La Fontaine happily plundered Aesop and other classical writers as a source for his witty, elegant fables, as well as inventing a number of his own. Seeking to expose the weaknesses of human nature, he offered vivid perspectives on greed and flattery, envy and avarice, love and friendship, old age and death. The sixty fables collected here – from 'The Crow and the Fox' and 'The Cock and the Pearl' to 'The Grasshopper and the Ant' and 'The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse' – are illustrated with more than a hundred drawings by R. de La Nezière which which charmingly capture La Fontaine’s unforgettable cast of animal personalities.

Ride A Cock Horse And Other Rhymes And Stories

Randolph Caldecott (Author)

'The very essence of all illustration for children's books' said The Times on Christmas Eve, 1878, shortly after the publication of Caldecott's first two picture books, or Toy Books as they were called, John Gilpin and The House that Jack Built. They were an immediate success, and in Caldecott's special talent for juxtaposing words and pictures, he created a tradition of children's picture-book making that continues to the present day and has influenced many artists, in particular, Maurice Sendak. Between 1878 and 1886 Cldecott produced sixteen picture books, taking as texts traditional rhymes and songs, and illustrating them in sepia colour with great humour and feeling for the English countryside which so often provides the background. The collection reproduces eight of his books, including The Babes in the Wood, Oliver Goldsmith's Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog, The Great Panjandrum Himself, The Queen of Hearts, Ride a Cock-Horse to Banbury Cross, and Sing a Song Of Sixpence.

King Arthur And His Knights Of The Round Table

Roger Lancelyn Green (Author)

The legends of King Arthur - the most revered hero of British Mythology - have been retold many times, but Roger Lancelyn Green's version has become a classic since its first publication in 1953. Using as his sources not only Malory's MORTE D'ARTHUR but other chronicles, poems and romances, he has made each adventure of Arthur's knights part of an overall pattern - the struggle of Arthur's kingdom, the realm of Logress, the model of chivalry and right, against the barbarism and evil that surrounded and at length engulfed it. So here are the stories of the sword in the stone, of the Green Knight, of the fatal love between Launcelot and Guinevere, of the quest for the Holy Grail, and of the final departing of Arthur to the Vale of Avalon. The illustrations are taken from an edition of MORTE D'ARTHUR published in 1893 with which Aubrey Beardsley first made a name for himself at the age of twenty.

Mother Goose's Nursery Rhymes

Walter Jerrold (Author)

Every child's bookshelf should start with a collection of nursery rhymes so that these fantastic and nonsensical verses (some so old their meaning is long forgotten) are among the first magical words to sound in a child's ear. This collection of over two hundred rhymes was assembled in 1903 with the family in mind ('Tradition in the nursery has acted as a severe editor'). and each page is illustrated each verse decorated, with the imcomparable drawing of Charles Robinson.

The Bfg

Roald Dahl (Author) , Quentin Blake (Illustrator)

Master storyteller Roald Dahl is by far the most popular children's writer of the late twentieth century, and The BFG (the Big Friendly Giant), recently adapted for the stage with great success, is set to become a claasic of its period (it was first published in 1982) This story of a vegetarian giant who disapproves of eating children has all the Dahl ingredients of humour, irreverence and verve that have made readers of countless youngsters. The humour is perfectly matched by Quentin Blake's irresistible drawing.

The Pied Piper Of Hamelin

Robert Browning (Author)

First published in 1842, Robert Browning's poetic version of the legend about the lost children of Hamelin is sub-titled 'A Child's Story' and was originally intended only for the private enjoyment of Willie Macready, young son of the famous actor. Once in print, it became a perennial favourite with generations of children (and compilers of poetry anthologies for children!) Kate Greenaway's illustrations, engraved by her regular printer Edmund Evans, were first published in 1888 and have become as popular as the poem itself, being considered by John Ruskin to be her finest work.

An Apple Alphabet And Traditional Nursery Rhymes

Kate Greenaway (Author)

This charming volume brings back into print some of the finest illustrated children's books from the Arts and Crafts Movement: Kate Greenaway's much-loved alphabet book, A Apple Pie, along with a selection of her illustrated nursery rhymes.

Greenaway's drawings conjure up a never-never land of rural simplicity and innocence–an escape from the squalor of Victorian cities–that is as delightful now as it was when these gems of children's literature first appeared in the 1880s.

The Happy Prince And Other Tales

Oscar Wilde (Author)

The five original fairy tales included in this volume were first published by Davis Nutt in 1888. Although it is said that Wilde wrote them for his two young sons, the author himself claimed they were '. . . . not for children, but for childlike people from eighteen to eighty'. Since then the stories have been constantly reprinted and, despite the author's disclaimer, children have made the tales their own, a particular favourite being 'The Selfish Giant' - the highly moral story of the giant who banished children from his garden, so that spring never came. Charles Robinson, who produced the illustrations for a special edition first published in 1913, brought to the book a feeliong for its innate sadness that exactly fits the poetry of Wilde's text.

Little Women And Good Wives

Louisa May Alcott (Author)

Written in six weeks, and at first thought by its editor to be 'dull', this story of an American family - four sisters and their mother living through the months while father is away in the Civil War - has a universal and enduring appeal. The reason is clear. Louisa Alcott based her story on her own experience of family life. 'Not a bit sensational', she wrote, 'but simple and true, for we really lived most of it. ' When published in 1868, the book was illustrated by May Alcott, Louisa's mother. GOOD WIVES, a sequel to LITTEL WOMEN, was published in 1869, taking up the story of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy three years on. In 1912 an English artist, Millicent Etheldreda Gray, with a reputation for closely-worked studies of domestic settings, was commissioned by Hodder and Stoughton to paint twelve watercolours for this most long-lasting of all family stories. A new feature film of LITTLE WOMEN will be released by Columbia Pictures in 1995 starring Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon and directed by Gillian Armstrong.

Sherlock Homes

Arthur Conan Doyle (Author) , Sidney Paget (Illustrator)

‘Am dining at Goldini’s Restaurant, Gloucester Road, Kensington. Please come at once and join me there. Bring with you a jemmy, a dark lantern, a chisel, and a revolver – S. H.’

The game's afoot for the most famous amateur detective of all time in this collection of eight of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic tales.

The Speckled Band’, a Victorian melodrama in a country house, comes complete with murderous villain, murdered heroine, and a very unpleasant snake; ‘Silver Blaze’ tells of a missing race horse on Dartmoor which turns out not to be missing at all, and a murder that never was. In ‘The Redheaded League’ a pawnbroker answers an advertisement for a red-headed man and bizarrely finds himself copying out the Encyclopedia Britannica; in ‘The Bruce Partington Plans’ Holmes is skulking in the London Underground with a dead body when his patriotic services are called upon to find some stolen state secrets in the run-up to World War I.

Sidney Paget was the original illustrator and helped to form the image of Sherlock Holmes which exists to this day - in fact, it was he who created the famous deer-stalker!

A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens (Author)

The most popular of all ghost stories was first published on 17 December 1843, and by Christmas Eve 6, 000 copies had been sold at a published price of five shillings. The story of Scrooge, a miser who becomes a different man when he is presented with visions of past, present and future by Marley's ghost, was an immediate success and has remainded so ever since. It is a book to read on Christmas Eve beside a blazing fire - and the best introduction to Dickens for young readers not quite ready for his longer novels. Arthur Rackham, master of the fantastic, illustrated the story in 1915.

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