Jul 10

Sharing Classic Stories with Children

I love sharing favourite novels from my childhood with my children. The more formal language offers a balance to the casual tone of many of their modern favourites and the stories are often full of adventure and fun.

I was beguiled last year by a large hardcover edition of Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies illustrated with a combination of drawings by Heidi Taylor and stunning photography by Zena Holloway.

The recent movies based on the C S Lewis’ Narnia Chronicles have also reminded me of how much I enjoyed reading these books as a child. Last Christmas I reviewed a wonderful edition of A Christmas Carol illustrated by Robert Ingpen, making this story much more approachable for reading with my children than a standard novel.

I was pleased to receive some copies of some Walker Illustrated Classics titles recently, which seek to combine classic stories with modern illustrations. The series includes some of my favourite classic children’s novels. I have the following titles…

  • The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Story by Rudyard Kipling, illustrated by Nicola Bayley
  • Tales of Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Joel Stewart
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

…and will be keeping an eye out for these titles as well

  • Beowulf, retold by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Michael Foreman
  • Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales with comic-strip style illustrations by Marcia Williams
  • Don Quixote retold by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Chris Riddell
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice retold by Sally Grindley, illustrated by Thomas Taylor

Follow the link to the Walker Books website for a full list of Walker Illustrated Classics.

Do you think modern children can still relate to classic novels and stories? What are your favourite novels from your childhood? If you have children, which of your favourites have you shared and did your children love the stories as much as you did?


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  1. Laura @ ImBookingIt

    My daughter loves some classic novels. In particular, she’s a Louisa May Alcott fan, and really enjoys Noel Streatfeild’s Shoes books.

    I’ll look into the Walker Illustrated Classics for her!
    .-= Laura @ ImBookingIt´s last blog ..Giveaway: The Impostor’s Daughter =-.

    1. Susan

      I love Louisa May Alcott stories Laura. I should have mentioned Anne of Green Gables as well. Lots of descriptions, but so wonderful once you are into the story.

  2. Meredith @ thinkthinks

    I find the best part of classic children’s stories is that you can still read them with your kids even when they have become competent readers for themselves.

    I’ve read The Secret Garden, National Velvet, Little Women, Anne of GG, Alice, Heidi and Black Beauty with Gilly.

    Davo and I are currently reading The Wind in the Willows.
    .-= Meredith @ thinkthinks´s last blog ..6 July 2009 – Which? What? Who? =-.

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