A few days ago, the bookshop I work at received a new range of children’s books from Random House that are part of their Vintage Classics collection. I had been anticipating the release of these title – who wouldn’t, after seeing this lovely trailer they created:
However, there was more reasons than just the trailer that made me want these books to arrive in store. I have talked before about how many different editions my bookstore has of certain classics – Alice in Wonderland, for example, practically takes up an entire shelf! This range had the typical children’s classics: The Wind in the Willows, Peter Pan, and, of course, Alice in Wonderland, but it also had classics that I had never seen before; books that, while recognised as classics, had not been sitting on our shelves before (or, at least, for as long as I had been working there). Books like What Katy Did Next – a book that I had read and loved when I was younger, but only had a copy because I had a battered copy of my mum’s. And Swallowdale – everyone knows Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons, but what about Swallowdale, the next book in the Ransome’s series.
I was especially excited to get my hands on Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner. I have been wanting to read Emil and the Detectives long before I started wading through ‘1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up’ because Philip Pullman, a literary hero of mine, cites it as one of his most loved books. However, I had never been able to find a copy – for a while, it has been out of print in Australia.
So, yesterday, to my delight, I was finally able to purchase a copy of Emil and the Detectives, as well as two other Children’s Vintage Classics that are on the list of 1001 Children’s Books I Must Read Before I Grow Up, but that I know little or nothing about. I chose The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken, and The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier. However, I was hard-pressed to stop myself at three books. I fear that I will no doubt be forming quite a collection of Children’s Vintage Classics, especially since more titles are coming out in September. Lucky the books are only $9.95, and I get bookseller’s discount!