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!

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. it was on one of those dull days that the five children accidentally set their nursery on fire (with fireworks). No one thought that that disastrous day would bring the start of new adventures.

But the new nursery carpet, when it arrives, comes with something odd wrapped inside it: an enormous glowing egg. And inside is the most beautiful bird you’ve ever seen – in fact, not a bird: a noble and fabulous phoenix. New adventures just might have begun…

Includes exclusive content: In the Backstory you can ponder what you would wish for and find out which character 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 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.

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 entire summer at school they don't imagine they will have a particularly interesting time. But that's before they stumble upon a mysterious castle set in beautiful, abandoned gardens. Could this really be an enchanted castle? Don’t be a duffer, there’s no such thing. But with the air thick with magic, the sun blazing down, and a maze hiding a sleeping girl at its centre, the holidays might just be looking up...

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 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.

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.

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.

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, until the day a tall, old gentleman arrives to give him some startling news. Ceddie, it turns out, is the child of a great 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 can 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.

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.

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.

The Wizard of Oz

L. Frank Baum (Author)

'The road to the City of Emeralds is paved with yellow brick'

When a tornado crashes through Kansas City, Dorothy and her dog Toto are whisked far away, over the rainbow, to a strange land called Oz. How will they ever get home? And what is at the end of the yellow brick road? Plucky Dorothy and Toto embark on a magical adventure to search for the Wizard of Oz and along the way encounter new friends: the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion.

Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can take the quiz and find out how much you really know about The Wizard of Oz!

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.

Dracula

Bram Stoker (Author)

‘I am Dracula. And I bid you welcome to my house’

He is deathly pale. His fingernails are cut to sharp points. His teeth protrude menacingly from his mouth in clouds of rancid breath… Yet even Count Dracula’s unnerving appearance and the frightened reaction of the local peasants fail to warn Jonathan Harker, a young man from England, about his host. Little does Jonathan know that this is a land where babies are snatched for their blood and wolves howl menacingly from the forest, where reality is far more frightening than superstition. What’s more, it’s going to be up to him to stop the world’s most bloodthirsty predator…

Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can learn all about the strengths and weaknesses of vampires!

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 Secret Garden

Frances Hodgson Burnett (Author)

''"People never like me and I never like people," Mary thought.'

When Mary Lennox is sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody says she is the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. It is true, too. Mary is pale, spoilt and quite contrary. But she is also horribly lonely. Then one day she hears about a garden in the grounds of the Manor that has been kept locked and hidden for years. And when a friendly robin helps Mary find the key, she discovers the most magical place anyone could imagine...

BACKSTORY: Take our quiz, learn about the plucky author and find out about the real secret garden.

Charlotte Sometimes

Penelope Farmer (Author)

'Suppose you got stuck in here, and Clare there in your time. Just suppose you did?

Charlotte Makepeace’s first day at boarding school is a bewildering blur of unfamiliar faces, timetables, rules and lists. All the other girls know the routine – and each other. No one invites her into their exclusive circles of whispers and giggles.

But on Charlotte’s very first night something mysterious starts to happen. She wakes up in the same bed, in the same dormitory, in the same school. But something has changed. Somehow Charlotte has slipped forty years back in time...

Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can learn what life was like during the First World War

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 Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm

Norman Hunter (Author)

Rediscover Professor Branestawm this Christmas – soon to become a brand new drama on BBC ONE written by Charlie Higson and starring Harry Hill

‘Once you started anything in Professor Branestawm’s house you never knew when it might finish or even if it ever would’

Poor Mrs Flittersnoop! It’s not easy being Professor Branestawm’s housekeeper. People may say he’s a genius, but all his inventions always make life more complicated, alarming and extraordinary than it was before. An innocent bottle of old cough mixture turns out to be an elixir that makes all the waste paper in the bin come to life, the burglar-catcher and the pancake-maker operate just a little too efficiently, and about the spring-cleaning machine, the less said the better. You could write a book about it, but nobody would believe it.

Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can find out about accidental inventions that changed our lives and try a few experiments of your own!

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.

Peter Pan

J. M. Barrie (Author)

Come Away! Come Away!

The Darling children are tucked up in bed when Peter Pan bursts in to their nursery. Peter and his mischievous fairy Tinker Bell entice Wendy and her brothers to fly away with them to a magical world called Neverland. There you can swim with mermaids and play all day with the Lost Boys. But you must watch out for pirates, especially Captain Hook. And how do you find Neverland? Second to the right and straight on till morning of course...

BACKSTORY: Create your own Peter Pan costume and try building a Wendy House!

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

Joan Aiken (Author)

Can you go a little faster? Can you run?

Long ago, at a time in history that never happened, England was overrun with wolves. But as Bonnie and her cousin Sylvia discover, real danger often lies closer to home. Their new governess, Miss Slighcarp, doesn't seem at all nice. She shuts Bonnie in a cupboard, fires the faithful servants and sends the cousins far away from Willoughby Chase to a place they will never be found. Can Bonnie and Sylvia outwit the wicked Miss Slighcarp and her network of criminals, forgers and snitches?

BACKSTORY: Find out a few things you didn't know about wolves and learn all about the wonderful world of the author.

The Call of the Wild and White Fang

Jack London (Author)

Mush on!

Buck does not read the newspapers. If he had, he’d have known that for good strong dogs like himself trouble is brewing. Man has found gold and because of that Buck is kidnapped and dragged away from his sunny home to become a sledge dog in the harsh and freezing North. With strength, imagination and cunning on his side Buck must fight for survival. But will he ever trust Man again?

This book also includes White Fang a story about a wild young cub, part dog and part wolf.

Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can find out if you’re a wild wolf or a faithful dog and learn more about the Arctic gold rush!

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 Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain (Author)

'It's lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them'

Huck Finn spits, swears, smokes a pipe and never goes to school. With his too-big clothes and battered straw hat, Huck is in need of 'civilising', and the Widow Douglas is determined to take him in hand. And wouldn't you know, Huck's no-good Pap is also after him and he locks Huck up in his cabin in the woods. But Huck won't stand too much of this, and after a daring escape, he takes off down the Mississppi on a raft with an runaway slave called Jim. But plenty of dangers wait for them along the river - will they survive and win their freedom?

BACKSTORY: Discover how to write secret messages in code, and learn about the extraordinary Mark Twain.

Swallowdale

Arthur Ransome (Author)

'Ahoy! Ahoy! Swallows! Ahoy!'

Have you ever sailed in a boat or built a camp? Have you caught trout and cooked it yourself? The four Swallows, John, Susan, Titty and Roger return to the lake full of such plans and they can't wait to meet up with Nancy and Peggy, the Amazon Pirates. When the Swallow is shipwrecked and the Amazon's fearsome Great-Aunt makes decides to make a visit their summer seems ruined. Then they discover a wonderful hidden valley and things take a turn for the better...

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