I’ve recently been sent several beautiful new editions of classic children’s stories which I think would make excellent Christmas gifts for established fans or new readers. To stand the rest of time, these classic stories have to have a timeless appeal that will entertain future generations and the titles I’m about to show you will certainly do that!
‘The Iron Man,’ by Ted Hughes, illustrated by Chris Mould (Faber & Faber)
This is absolutely one of the most stunning versions of this story that I have ever seen! Chris Mould’s illustrations bring Hughes’ beloved tale to life in a way I couldn’t have imagined.
When the Iron Man suddenly appears one night, no one is sure exactly where he has come from. And they are not very welcoming. All except one boy called Hogarth who starts to believe that the Iron Man might not be here to destroy the Earth, but rather, to play a very important part in saving it! 7+
‘The Wind in the Willows,’ by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Grahame Baker-Smith (Templar Publishing)
This cloth-bound volume is the first in a new range of classics being released by Templar Publishing. ‘Wind in the Willows’ has been illustrated by the award-winning artist Grahame Baker-Smith and is full of his beautiful illustrations.
Follow the timeless riverside adventures of Mole, Ratty, Badger and Mr. Toad as they paddle about on the river, enjoy picnics on its banks and prepare to battle to secure the future of Toad Hall.
The followed cover and full page illustrations make this the perfect introduction to a story for all to enjoy. 7+
‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,’ by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Minalima (Harper Collins)
I think most people know Carroll’s classic story of the curious Alice who falls down a rabbit hole and meets a whole host of unusual characters. Mad Hatters, White Rabbits and Cheshire Cats join Alice she explores Wonderland, desperately trying to find her way back home and avoid being beheaded by the fearsome Queen of Hearts.
This new edition is truly a thing of great beauty. Not only does it feature the distinctive illustrations of the award-winning team at Minalima, but it also contains stunning interactive elements which make it a must-have gift for Alice collectors or as an heirloom volume to treasure for new fans.
‘One Day in Wonderland,’ by Kathleen Krull & Júlia Sarda (Two Hoots Books)
This title is a little different to the others as it’s not a re-telling of the story of Alice. It is, in fact, a celebration of Carroll’s life, his love of language and the inspiration behind the writing of his tale. Packed with absolutely stunning illustrations which really bring this book to life, and liberally scattered with Carroll’s whimsical word creations, there’s lots to explore.
I gained some fascinating insights into the childhood of Carroll – a favourite among his many siblings due to the fun and games that were sure to ensue when he was about – to his adult life as a seemingly prim and proper professor of mathematics.
‘Heidi’ by Johanna Spyri, retold by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Briony May Smith (Nosy Crow)
’Heidi’ is the latest in a series of beautiful new retellings of some of the most beloved childhood stories. From publisher, Nosy Crow, all the titles are cloth-bound and foiled for an extra special touch. The story of Heidi is the perfect choice for any person who dreams of roaming free and being outside in the fresh air.
Five-year-old orphan, Heidi, is sent to live in a remote village in the Swiss Alps with her seemingly grumpy grandfather. However, she soon discovers his softer side and learns to live her alpine home. Just as she’s made a friend and settled in, Heidi is whisked away to the city of Frankfurt as a companion for the unwell Clara. Will she ever go back to her mountain home?
So there you have it. Any of these books would make an excellent gift to cherish and enjoy over and over again – whether for Christmas or at any other time of the year. Which classic would you like to see reissued?
* Many thanks to the publishers and publicists who sent me these titles to review *