Tag Archives: Classic Stories

Mary Poppins –  P. L. Travers. Illustrated by Lauren Child

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Harper Collins Australia

ISBN: 9780008289362

ISBN 10: 0008289360

November 2018

List Price: 39.99 AUD

On a similar note to the previous post about re-invigorating classics for today’s children, what about this absolutely stunning edition of Mary Poppins which will tie in beautifully with the upcoming movie.

 

Lauren Child’s instantly recognisable style gives this glorious and magical story exactly the right lift needed to engage today’s readers. The story endures of course, as is witnessed by the large number of children who love the original movie, but to read it themselves with the joy of these lively drawings will make it practically perfect in every way. And it is astonishing to realise just how long ago the first book was published – 1934!! – with the last in the series released in 1988.

 

It is one of those glamorous quarto sized books which seem even more special as a gift and naturally with Christmas coming up it would delight any child receiving it as a present.

 

For us Queenslanders, who can claim Pamela Travers (born Helen Lyndon Goff) as our very own, this is even more special and with both the new movie plus the recent Saving Mr Banks interest in this extraordinary woman has been renewed.

 

What more is there to say about such a superb book? My copy has gone to a very special little girl whom I hope will treasure it and love its world of magic.

 

Highly recommended for all who want their children to grow up with a sense of true magic.

 

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A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle [movie tie-in edition]

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Penguin Australia

9780241331163

January 29, 2018

Puffin

 

$14.99

How old were you when you first read this iconic book? I believe I was in 6th class so around 11/12. After the legion readers the novel has attracted since its first publishing in 1962 it seems hard to believe that the author had faced numerous rejections in its journey.  Since it went on to win the Newbery Medal, Seqouyah Book Award and Lewis Caroll Shelf Award, as well as being runner-up for the Hans Christian Andersen Award it would seem that those shortsighted publishers guilty of not realising its power lost out.

Although it has been adapted for screen and theatre previously, it is the forthcoming Disney production that has given this timeless novel a huge resurgence and this movie tie-in edition will be no doubt in high demand for young readers.

Just in case you’re completely in the dark the story tells of an extreme adventure undertaken by three children. Meg Murry is considered a bit of a problem child at school prone to emotional outbursts but quite bright. Not as bright however as her five year old brother Charles Wallace, generally regarded as a child genius and possibly also a little unevenly matched with their new friend Calvin. Meg and Charles Wallace come from a loving family with a brilliant and beautiful scientist mother, twin brothers who are athletic and popular and a scientist father who has been missing for over a year.  Three strange beings appear and instruct the trio of friends that they are to rescue Meg’s missing father who has been trapped on a remote planet by an evilness known as The Black Thing. The children soon learn about tessering – the ‘wrinkle in time’ of the title. That is, the ability to move through space at such a speed that time and equilibrium is not disturbed – too greatly. Though there is success in rescuing Mr Murry the children are faced with dreadful dangers as Charles Wallace is entrapped by The Dark Thing and Meg is almost destroyed.  Full of philosophy, belief, trust and loyalty and confidence this book has always been and will remain a rich source of endless debate and discussion.

Highly recommended for readers from around ten years upwards.

Movie trailer here – due for Australian release at the end of March.

Toto: the Dog-gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz – Michael Morpurgo. Illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark

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Harper Collins

          ISBN: 9780008134594

          ISBN 10: 0008134596

         Imprint: HarperCollins – GB

         On Sale: 21/08/2017

         List Price: 19.99 AUD

When I had my sixth birthday my older sister gave me an illustrated copy of The Wizard of Oz and I immediately fell in love with the story. This poor book (which I still have) was re-read many times and is now looking a little shabby but is still treasured deeply.

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How absolutely marvelous to have one of our greatest modern storytellers bring a fresh new take on this now ‘antique’ tale – first published in 1900 by L. Frank Baum. MM has conceived a wondrous version which re-tells the story from the point of view of Toto, Dorothy’s courageous little dog.

Now an old Papa dog, Toto delights in telling the young pups stories and of course the favourite is the story of his and Dorothy’s adventures in the Land of Oz. Most of the pups get bored with the endless reminiscences but not the youngest who laps them up especially the Oz story no matter how many times he hears them.

Toto’s voice is completely as one might imagine from a little Kansas country dog and this re-tell keeps closely to the original story which is especially satisfying.  MM also keeps closely to the language style of the original while still making it accessible to modern readers.

Colourful and contemporary styled illustrations give this book a really attractive and vibrant look which will thoroughly engage young readers for what might be their first introduction to the Oz stories.  They will definitely love the ‘emerald’ foiled highlights on the cover!

Much as I love my original even after so many years this was simply a joy to read – as indeed are all Morpurgo books!

Highly recommended for readers from around 8 years upwards!