Book reviews - anthologies

This is a new page, to showcase some of the marvellous anthologies which are available. Some will be one author's work brought together in a single book; others will be collections of work from many authors. If you are looking for gift ideas, there are plenty here!

Voices of the Future: Stories from Around the World

Children from around the world will be inspired by this wonderful collection; inspired both to write their own stories and to believe that they can have a real impact on the future of our world. This anthology of eight stories, all written by children aged between 8 and 12, addresses children's rights and sustainable development. It is produced in conjunction with UNESCO's Voices of Future Generations initiative, which works to empower children all around the world. The writers come from Canada, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, South Africa, Taiwan, Uruguay and United Arab Emirates - a real worldwide selection. There are beautiful, full colour illustrations throughout by four talented illustrators, Jhonny Nunez, Giovana Medeiros, Marco Guadalupi and Mona Meslier Menaua. Perfect to stimulate classroom discussion, this book is ideal to engage children with the issues facing the planet and the lives of children in other countries, and the fact the stories are written by children gives them even more impact. They present likeable characters who go on problem-solving adventures to fix the problems faced in each region, and show how powerful children can be.

Greatest Animal Stories, chosen by Michael Morpurgo

This superb collection covers all sorts of animal stories, so there is plenty here to delight everyone. From brave mice to hungry wolves, and mischievous spiders to ingenious cats, this is a timeless collection to treasure forever; it will make a wonderful gift and a lovely way to inspire a love for reading. The stunning illustrations are by a range of illustrators, and the styles have been carefully chosen so they really reflect the feel of the individual stories. There are plenty of stories to choose from - from the very well-known, such as Puss in Boots, The Ugly Duckling, and Peter and the Wolf, to traditional tales such as When a Cat Ruled the World, from China. Some are short, some a longer read, so there's something for any occasion - short or long, the storytelling is uniformly excellent making this the perfect anthology for all young animal lovers.

Mog Time Treasury: Six Stories About Mog the Forgetful Cat by Judith Kerr

Mog has a place in the affections of generations of children, and this beautiful gift anthology will make a wonderful addition to any child's bookshelf. Mog’s has been delighting children since her first appearance in 1970, and parents and grandparents will have fond memories of the stories. The stories included are: Mog the Forgetful Cat; Mog and Bunny; Mog and Baby; Mog on Fox Night; Mog’s Bad Thing and Mog’s Christmas. The stories are full of warmth, humour and love; ideal for bedtime reading. The illustrations are delicate, full of detail and the depiction of Mog is superlative. This beautifully produced book is the perfect for gift for Mog fans, young and old. I love it!

Little Grey Rabbit and Friends by Margaret Tempest

The Little Grey Rabbit stories have the same timeless appeal as Beatrix Potter books, and they continue to delight generation after generation. All Little Grey Rabbit's woodland friends appear in this charming collection of tales illustrated as in the originals by Margaret Tempest. Meet the loyal friends Hare, Squirrel, Wise Owl, Moldy Warp the mole and other animals in this beautifully produced treasury. The featured stories are Moldy Warp the Mole - The Speckledy Hen - Little Grey Rabbit's Paint-Box - The Knot Squirrel Tied - Wise Owl's Story - Little Grey Rabbit's Birthday This lovely edition is perfect for a gift to a young child to commemorate a special occasion, and will be treasured for years to come.

Classic Nursery Tales: 150 Years of Frederick Warne

This beautiful book commemorates the 150th anniversary of Frederick Warne, one of the most significant publishers of children's books. The collection includes rarely-seen material as well as classic stories and artwork from four of the most influential children's authors and illustrators of all time: Beatrix Potter, Kate Greenaway, Randolph Caldecott and Edward Lear. We owe these talented people so much and it's brilliant to see their work celebrated in this way. Each section is introduced by important modern authors and illustrators; Jan Pienkowski, Paul O. Zelinsky, Eleanor Taylor and Lee Bennett Hopkins. It's a book for book-lovers, young and old, and will be especially treasured by those with an interest in the history of children's books. It's superbly produced, on heavy cream paper, cloth bound and with original illustrations.

Jack and the Beanstalk: A Book of Nursery Stories by Kathleen Lines

An attractively presented collection of the best-loved stories for young children including The Three Bears, Cinderella, Puss in Boots and Tom Thumb. These familiar stories never lose their appeal and can be told again and again without losing their freshness; perfect for reading aloud. Harold Jones's colourful pictures on every page add to the feel of the stories and are sure to delight children. The retellings keep the flavour of the originals, making this a perfect introduction and a lovely gift.

Ballet Stories (The Classics) by Margaret Greaves

Eight favourite ballet stories succinctly yet engagingly told - Giselle, The Firebird, Ondine, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Petruskha, Sleeping Beauty and Coppelia. Perfect to introduce children to the ballets, especially if they are lucky enough to be going to a performance. Delicate illustrations with soft colours and intricate detail perfectly capture the spirit of the ballets and will delight the reader. A lovely gift book which will be revisited time and again.

My Jacqueline Wilson Treasury

Truly a collection for young readers to treasure, this lavishly produced book includes six stories - Sleepovers, Tracey Beaker's Thumping Heart, The Mum Minder, The Cat Mummy, Odd One Out and Lizzie Zipmouth - each book on a different pastel coloured background which is very effective. The book is adorned with many gorgeous full-colour illustrations by Nick Sharratt. Jacqueline Wilson's warm and realistic stories of family life, often dysfunctional families but always convincingly portrayed, have garnered her a huge following, and this beautiful collection is ideal for young fans and to introduce her to new readers.

A Year of Stories: and Things to Do by Shirley Hughes

This superlative collection has something for every month, combining some of Shirley Hughes' favourite picture books such as Ella's Big Chance, Alfie's Feet, Alfie Wins a Prize, Don't Want to Go!, Bobbo Goes to School and Jonadab and Rita with activities to during the month plus a flower of the month to go out and spot. For every month there are crafts to make, games to play and ideas to explore. This beautifully produced book is a wonderful celebration of one of our most loved picture book authors and comes, of course, with all the evocative illustrations that are such a feature of the stories. Shirley Hughes' characters are timeless and appeal to the child in us all. A perfect gift and a book to share and treasure for many years.

The Katie Morag Treasury by Mairi Hedderwick

Katie Morag lives an idyllic life on the Issle of Struay, surrounded by loving family and friends and free to wander at will in complete safety - a perfect childhood. There are many adventures to be had on the Isle of Struay. There's her mum and dad's Shop and Post Office, Grannie Island's house across the bay, the dancing classes at the hall and just wait till the mischevious Big Boy Cousins come to visit - six stories tell the tale. Interspersed with these are six folk tales, as featured in the popular CBeebies series, specially illustrated by Mairi Hedderwick for the show, and exclusively printed in this collection. THere are extras too, including a quiz and a map of the island so children can follow Katie's adventures. It's a beautiful gift book, one to treasure and given the popluarity of the stories, a book that will see much joyful use.

The Classic Adventures of Paddington by Michael Bond

Who can fail to love Paddington? For over 50 years, this well-meaning but accident-prone bear has delighted generations of chidlren - and their parents. This beautifully produced anthology brings together 11 classic novels in their original form. As we know, Paddington Bear travelled all the way from Darkest Peru and was found on Paddington Station by the Brown family; their lives were never the same again! This is a very special book, with Peggy Fortnum's delicate line drawings, some in colour, produced on high quality paper and presented in a slipcase, making it an exquisite keepsake gift. A book to treasure.

Edward Lear's Book of Nonsense - Usborne Illustrated Originals

I love the way Usborne present these books, with a soft padded cover and superb illustrations - they are ideal presents and books to treasure. Lear's wonderful nonsense never fails to entertain and this is a collection of his limericks, nonsense songs, nonsense botany and alphabets. The old favourites are all here and there are also many less familiar pieces to delight the audience. The illustrations by Christine Pym are superb - they are full of fun and humour and a key part of this lovely book as they are intergated perfectly with the text.

Enid Blyton Adventure Treasury by Enid Blyton

This is a real treasure of a book which will be equally popular with those who devoured Enid Blyton's books as children and with today's children, who are perhaps meeting her characters for the first time. Featuring the Famous Five, the Secret Seven, the Adventurous Four, the Five Find-Outers and many more of Enid Blyton's heroes, right back to an early story called 'The Secret Cave'. Many of the stories are extracts, so be prepared to seek out the full stories for your child! Compiled by well known critic, writer and broadcaster, Mary Cadogan, and Blyton archivist, Norman Wright, this treasury showcases the best of Enid Blyton's adventure stories - stories which have entranced generations of children. This wonderful gift book is illustrated with black and white line and coloured-up original illustrations, so none of the feel of the originals has been lost. There's even a Famous Five game on the endpapers.

The Shirley Hughes Collection by Shirley Hughes

An author who needs no introduction, but what a joy to find so much of her work brought together in one superlative book. This really is a celebration of a remarkable author/illustrator and its a book to cherish. The book is in four sections, according to age, so there are many many years of sheer joy to be had, from Mudlarks, on to Dogger, then Sea Singing and Enchantment in the Garden. Shirley Hughes' portrayal of family life and of children is timeless and has brought pleasure to so many, so this is a fitting celebration. The book illustrates the extraordinary versatility of this author who manages to create marvellous stories which enthrall all ages. The book is beautifully produced, with all the original illustrations and deserves pride of place in every child's library, and many adults will have fond memories of many of the stories and will delight in sharing them with their own children.

Roald Dahl's Heroes and Villains by Roald Dahl

A sheer delight of a book which will be enjoyed equally by children just coming to know the wonder of Roald Dahl, as well as adults who will love to recapture childhood memories. There are four stories here - The Enormous Crocodile, The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, The Twits, George's Marvellous Medicine. In the good corner find inventive George who stands up to his grizzly, grumpy grandma by mixing a potion unlike any other. And meet Mr Muggle-Wump and his family, whose bravery and quick-thinking lead to extraordinary events. In the bad corner Mr and Mrs Twit are the most terrible twosome you could ever have the misfortune to meet. And beware the crafty, child-guzzling crocodile... A perfect selection to give an excellent picture of the work of this ever-popular author. Of course, the book is illustrated throughout by Quentin Blake and the high quality glossy paper shows his illustrations off to perfection. Another one for the family library.

A Classic Story For Every Day 

Think of some classic children's picture books and I can almost guarantee you willcome up with some of the stories - or, at the very least, the authors represented - in this picture book collection. Full of much-loved favourites to be returned to time and again from some of the best loved picture book creators of all time. Included are: Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins,  Dogger by Shirley Hughes,  Mister Magnolia by Quentin Blake,  The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord and Janet Burroway,  Mrs Pepperpot and the Treasure by Alf Prøysen and Hilda Offen,  Me and You by Anthony Browne,  The Bear by Raymond Briggs. Beautifully produced and containing all the original illsutrations, this is an ideal gift and one that will be treasured.

Pirates 'n' Pistols by Chris Mould

An exciting collection of swashbuckling tales, old and new, which will appeal to all children who are fascinated by tales of adventure on the high seas. Stirringly told, this stand-out collection has stories from around the world, traditional tales and new stories but all guaranteed to send a shiver down a landlubber's spine. Briliant for reading aloud with vivid descriptive language.Stunningly illustrated and beautifully produced, this is a book to treasure.

Usborne Illustrated Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales

This is one of those books that is a real joy to handle, with its cloth binding, top quality paper, bookmark and generously sized format. The illustrations are delicate and thoughtful and form the perfect companion to the well-loved fairy tales. Encourage children to look at the pictures and discuss them - they will gain so much pleasure from this. The stories are retold to be suitable for younger readers, and the skilful retellings are sure to engender a love for these stories. It includes 12 stories from the very well known such as "The Emperor's New Clothes" to slightly less well known - "The Flying Trunk". There is also a short biography of Hans Christian Andersen.

The Quentin Blake Treasury

The very best of Quentin Blake is here - nine wonderful stories from the master of children's story telling and illustration. For your delight (and your child's!) this book brings together All Join In; Quentin Blake's Nursery Rhyme Book; Patrick; Angelica Sprocket's Pockets; Mister Magnolia; Quentin Blake's ABC; Cockatoos; Angel Pavement; and Mrs Armitage Queen of the Road. The collection is a wonderful representation of all that is best about Quentin Blake, and spans his extraordinary career from the beginning right up to date. From Quentin's very first picture book to his most recent adventures, this collection spans and celebrates his astonishing career. But this can only be a snapshot - do make sure you enjoy all his super books. This beautifully presented book will make a wonderful gift, guaranteeing many hours of enthralling reading. 











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