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There are so many fantastic books out there that I am always recommending, that it can be really easy to overlook the classics. At the home ed bakeoff that took place recently as had a book theme, and it was fantastic to see the range of books chosen, and to see just how many of these were the older classics. With that in mind, I thought I would share some of the wonderful editions we have of some of the classic stories.
This post is marked as an ad as it contains affiliate links and some books that the publishers have gifted to us. My full disclosure policy can be found here. As ever, I’ve only included the books that we really love!
For younger children
There are plenty of ‘modern’ classic books such as Gruffalo and Pip and Posy aimed at younger children, but what about the classics stories of Hans Christian Anderson and the such? One that all three of mine have loved is Please Mr Magic Fish by Jessica Souhami is a fantastic retelling of the classic Fisherman and his wife. I love this book a lot, and it’s a very regular read here. It’s beautifully illustrated and retells the story in a way that even very young children can understand the morals of.
My second suggestion for younger readers is a modern classic – Paddington! This treasury of stories is one that my brother bought a year or two back and it’s another book we seem to work our way through regularly at bedtime with them. It’s perfect for bedtime and is a collection of the very best of Paddington bear.
As much as I love classic stories, some of the messages do sit a little uneasily with me with the female characters typically waiting around to be rescued by a prince and the male characters tending to all exhibit the same hero tendencies… I like it when we find some of the modern retellings which put a different twist on the story. I’ve written before about the Secret of The Tattered Shoes which I think is possibly one of my favourite retellings! It’s so brilliantly done and the illustrations are fabulous.
Power to the Princess and High Five to the Hero are both compendiums of stories that re-tell some of the classics but with a modern twist – helping the characters make their own destinies. These are really nice books to gift as they’re cloth bound hardbacks with gold embossing on the cover. They’re books that I have on eye on for purchasing when I see a good deal to gift to family and friends as the re-tellings are so well done, and Daniel and Emma both really enjoy them.
Finally, The Lost Fairy Tales is good for slightly older children. It takes stories from around the world that are less well known and pulls them together. The characters are all brave and fearless and it’s a fantastic anthology of tales. We have been reading these at bedtime together with Em ad she’s been enjoying them, but I think in another year or two she’ll appreciate them that little bit more.
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Ad|Gifted Here's some of the read aloud books we have been sharing recently, we seem to be in a bit of a classics mode at the moment and it's lovely seeing these stories through the children's eyes. All these are beautiful books that would be perfect to gift – the Lost Fairy Tales is a particular favourite as it features 20 stories from around the world and each features a heroine – no one waiting for her male suitor to rescue her 👌 And of course the wonderful Story Orchestra has captured all three children's hearts. Swipe ➡️ to hear the wonderful music in this book. ❤️
Finally, for true classics then how about some of the gift editions here. Emma and Daniel have been enjoying a beautiful copy of Heidi. They had this read over the course of a week and I’ve found Emma re-reading it to herself. It’s a wonderful gift edition, hardback with foil embossed dust jacket. It’s wonderfully illustrated and I think there are some others in the same series too.
Black Beauty isn’t a story I’m terribly familiar with, but we were sent a beautifully illustrated version a few weeks back and it’s a book that I’ve leafed through and plan to read with them after the new year as our family read-aloud book. The illustrations are fantastic and I’m looking forward to discovering this story with them.
Finally, the classics of Hans Christian Anderson and Brothers Grimm are always wonderful books to gift. Many years ago (pre Harry in fact!) I bought the older two the Usborne clothbound editions which I am so glad I did. They’re beautiful books and the stories are told well and with gorgeous illustrations to accompany it. Daniel, in particular, enjoys reading them.