Books for Giving 2009 – Children’s Classics

When giving books, it is hard to go wrong with a classic.  This year, there are many classic tales featuring new and endearing interpretations and illustrations that would make excellent gifts for the children on your list.  Here are some choices that that will be remembered and cherished into adulthood: 


big book for toddlersThe Big Book for Toddlers, edited by Alice Wong and Lena Tabori

This nostalgic collection of activities, nursery rhymes, songs, stories and games is a fabulous introduction to the traditions of childhood.  Embellished with vintage illustrations, it would be a perfect gift for a new baby or toddler.

three little kittensThree Little Kittens and Other Favorite Nursery Rhymes, selected and illustrated by Tony Ross

The gleeful wit of Tony Ross’ illustrations makes this humorous collection of Mother Goose nursery rhymes ideal for reading aloud and sharing.


YummyYummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales, by Lucy Cousins

This fresh take on childhood literary characters that are eaten or eating is a must-have!  Bright, bold illustrations are paired with brief retellings of favorite fairy tales. 

Picture Books:

lion and the mouseThe Lion and the Mouse, by Jerry Pinkney

Award-winning artist Jerry Pinkney has created a striking version of the classic Aesop’s fable in a wordless picture book that will be enjoyed by the entire family.


little red riding hoodLittle Red Riding Hood, by the Brothers Grimm, illustrated by Bernadette Watts

The simple European charm and classic retelling of this much- loved childhood tale makes this edition an appealing choice for those who want to give a traditional gift book.

lousy rotten stinkin' grapesLousy Rotten, Stinkin’ Grapes, by Margie Palatini, illustrated by Barry Moser

Fox has a very complex plan to get some out-of-reach grapes.  The plan involves Bear, Beaver, Porcupine, and Possum, but they are not allowed to give any input.  This humorous tale of sour grapes gives a new spin to the Aesop’s classic.

Longer Classics:

Alice's adventures in wonderlandAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Robert Ingpen

With a new movie version about to be released, there is renewed interest in reading the stories of Wonderland.  The marvelously detailed illustrations of this edition will intrigue readers, young and old.

don quixoteDon Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes, retold by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Chris Riddell

Superbly retold and lavishly illustrated, Jenkins and Riddell offer an irresistible introduction to the zany world of Don Quixote, the adventurous and confused Spanish knight, and his ever-faithful companion, Sancho Panza.

peter panWalt Disney’s Peter Pan, retold by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, illustrated by Mary Blair

Sprinkled with pixie dust and pirates, the classic adventure gains new life through this witty retelling, paired with vibrant concept art from the Disney cinema classic.

return to hundred acre woodReturn to the Hundred Acre Wood: In Which Winnie-the-Pooh Enjoys Further Adventures with Christopher Robin and His Friends, by David Benedictus, illustrated by Mark Burgess

Though not yet a classic, this new story about everyone’s favorite bear provides a much wished for continuance of the beloved Hundred Acre Woods adventures.

One thought on “Books for Giving 2009 – Children’s Classics”

  1. One of nieces shared with me at Thanksgiving that she likes to read short stories to her friends at high school. I’m going to read Lousy Rotten, Stinkin’ Grapes – it sounds like her kind of humor. Thanks for the suggestion!

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