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Thursday 16 December 2010

Cool for kids (and grown-ups too!): Penguin children's classics

If you have a think about your favourite books, chances are that a children's book will be in your all-time top five, if not number one. The old favourite that you read and read and read again until its spine starting falling apart. A handful of those kid's classics have been given the deluxe treatment by Penguin with typically swoon-worthy results. They're perfect gifts for a son, daughter, niece or nephew - or a bosom friend or kindred spirit...

Here's the version of Peter Pan which captures perfectly the novel's dream world - full of mystery and adventure. Pleasingly there are no naff crocodiles (or Bob Hoskins) in sight.

I wasn't a horse-crazy girl but if you were you probably loved Black Beauty. And if you did, this edition deserves to be clutched closely to your heart.

The classic English tale of Robin Hood has been given a classic design. Love those trees and those stags.

The only disappointment in the group is in the very girlie treatment of Anne of Green Gables, which is probably my favourite novel of the bunch. There are bows and cakes and lots of pink when there should be clapboard houses, (broken) chalk slates and 'raspberry cordial'. Humph.

That geeky grumble aside, the selection of books is great. There's also The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Secret Garden and The Wind in the Willows available meaning every childhood taste and grown-up nostalgia is catered for. And reasonably priced too for certified classics: all the books cost £12.99 each and you can buy them at Anthropologie.


  1. The others are lovely but Anne is HORRIBLE! Anne is the most un-pink heroine you can imagine, who on earth came up with that idea?

  2. Completely with you on Anne of Green Gables - I'd never associate her with pink. It's a bit like they just went "Right, Anne, she's a girl so she'll like bows and pink and cupcakes...." and hadn't actually read the book.
    Sigh. And they were doing so well until that one.

  3. The Secret Garden one is lovely. I saw it in my local TK Maxx a couple of weeks ago, so if you're on the look out for one of these (or one of the adult book ones, they had a few of those too) I'd recommend you check your local TK Maxx first.

  4. Totally agree with you on Anne of Green Gables, she is not into pink she prefers (and looks best in) green. So the book should be green with all the details you mention. I love all the Anne books so am sad to see that treatment.

    Having said that I have been eyeing up the rest of the collection and they look great. Shame about Anne though. Miss Shirley deserves better.

  5. Glad you all agree about the Anne cover! My own copy of the book is the one with the photo from the (also much loved) TV series which I greatly prefer to this version!

    And thanks for the tip about TK Maxx Nicola - will have to pop into my local store to have a look for them.

  6. I'm sure I remember that Anne did desperately want to wear pink, but felt it was impossible with her auburn hair? I do agree though, she isn't a pink cupcakey heroine at all, yet another sign of the relentless attempt to shove all girls into the "pink and frilly" box. Aaargh.

  7. Is there any other place I can get them? My local TK Maxx doesn't have them and Anthropologie is too expensive...


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