HomeBooks by AgeAges 4-8Gift Books Guide: Classic Literature & Fairy Tales

Gift Books Guide: Classic Literature & Fairy Tales

Classic Treats That Never Grow Old

By Bianca Schulze & Phoebe Vreeland, The Children’s Book Review
Published: November 6, 2010

You love to give books as gifts, but you want to give a book that will be cherished and kept to be shared with future generations. Right? What you’re looking for is a classic. Something well-written, tried and tested, but perhaps with updated illustrations that will tantalize any young mind. Feast your eyes on the following delights …

Snow White: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm

by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (Author), Charles Santore (Illustrator)

Reading level: Ages 6-9

Hardcover: 48 pages

Publisher: Sterling (October 5, 2010)

Source: Publisher

Complete with a beautifully patterned ribbon marker, this is a nice retelling of the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale, Snow White, illustrated by award-winning artist Charles Santore. Santore has also illustrated an Aesop’s Fables, The Wizard of Oz and  The Little Mermaid.

Add this book to your collection: Snow White: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm

Rapunzel

by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (Authors), Dorothée Duntze (Illustrator)

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Hardcover: 24 pages

Publisher: North-South Books (September 1, 2005)

Source: Publisher

A softer version of the original Grimm tale. The illustrations are happy and sunny.

Add this book to your collection: Rapunzel

Aesop’s Fables

Selected and illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Hardcover: 32 pages

Publisher: North-South Books; illustrated edition edition (April 1, 2006)

Source: Publisher

This is not the ultimate collection of Aesop’s Fables, however, it is a cleanly illustrated compendium carefully selected by the uber-award-winning artist Lisbeth Zwerger.

Add this book to your collection: Aesop’s Fables

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

by Mark Twain (Author), Robert Ingpen (Illustrator)

Reading level: Ages 12 and up

Hardcover: 240 pages

Publisher: Sterling (March 2, 2010)

Source: Publisher

This beautiful gift book edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer combines the complete text with more than 70 alluring illustrations by Australian artist Robert Ingpen. Ingpen was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 1986 and was recently honored with Membership in the Order of Australia.

Add this book to your collection: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Peter Pan and Wendy: Centenary Edition

by J. M. Barrie (Author), Robert Ingpen (Illustrator)

Reading level: Ages 9-12

Hardcover: 216 pages

Publisher: Sterling (August 3, 2010)

Source: Publisher

A delightful celebration of the upcoming 100th anniversary of everyone’s favorite flying boy, Peter Pan. In true Robert Ingpen style, Peter Pan and Wendy contains unabridged original text and boasts 70 luminous illustrations.

Add this book to your collection: Peter Pan and Wendy: Centenary Edition

Thumbelina

by Sylvia Long

Reading level: Ages 7-11

Hardcover: 58 pages

Publisher: Chronicle Books (February 24, 2010)

Source: Library

Anything by Sylvia Long is a gift in itself. Her artistic talent lies in illustrating the natural world, which lends itself perfectly to this delightful story, Thumbelina—Long’s own exquisite version of Hans Christian Andersen’s Thumbaline.

Add this book to your collection: Thumbelina

Little Red Riding Hood

by Brothers Grimm (Authors), Bernadette Watts (Illustrator)

Reading level: Ages 5-12

Hardcover: 32 pages

Publisher: NorthSouth (October 1, 2009)

Source: Publisher

This is the true Brothers Grimm telling of Little Red Riding Hood. It’s not for the faint-at-heart; but the illustrations are soft, inviting, and allow for individual interpretation. The real story with lovely pictures.

Add this book to your collection: Little Red Riding Hood

Classic Starts: Great Expectations

by Charles Dickens (Author), Deanna McFadden (Editor), Eric Freeberg (Illustrator), Arthur Pober Ed.D (Afterword)

Reading level: Ages 9-12

Hardcover: 160 pages

Publisher: Sterling (February 2, 2010)

Source: Publisher

If you just can’t wait to share this classic with your child, you’ll like this retelling—it’s a good one.

Add this book to your collection: Classic Starts: Great Expectations

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

by Lewis Carroll (Author), Alison Jay (Illustrator)

Reading level: Ages 4-12

Hardcover: 224 pages

Publisher: Dial (September 7, 2006)

Source: Personal collection

This is one of my favorites! Alison Jay’s alluring, color illustrations are showcased on almost every page of this complete, unabridged edition of Lewis Carroll’s famous story.

Add this book to your collection: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Pippi Longstocking

by Astrid Lindgren (Author), Lauren Child (Illustrator), Tina Nunally (Translator)

Reading level: Ages 5-12

Hardcover: 208 pages

Publisher: Viking Juvenile (October 4, 2007)

Source: Personal collection

What a great stepping stone towards chapter books. Children that are familiar with Lauren Child’s Charlie and Lola characters will be utterly delighted with this extra-charismatic version of Pippi Longstocking. So much fun!

Add this book to your collection: Pippi Longstocking

Mary Engelbreit’s Fairy Tales: Twelve Timeless Treasures

by Mary Engelbreit

Reading level: Ages 3-6

Hardcover: 128 pages

Publisher: HarperCollins (October 12, 2010)

Source: Publisher

A nice compendium of childhood favorites, such as: Cinderella, The princess and the Pea, Aladdin, and Sleeping beauty. A nice choice for those that enjoyed Engelbreit’s Mother Goose book.

Add this book to your collection: Mary Engelbreit’s Fairy Tales: Twelve Timeless Treasures

In the event that you like to pair books up with an extra gift, I think this Kings and Castles building kit works nicely with the “classic” and “fairy tale” themes:

ArchiQuest Building Kit: Kings and Castles

Company description: Children can make the majesty of medieval architecture come to life by creating hundreds of different architectural designs with heirloom-quality wooden blocks. Each block is hand-painted with original artwork inspired by real-life structures. This challenging building system promises hours of fun and discovery! Comes with an educational book to inspire young architects with history, insight into ancient cultures, building ideas, and more. 68-piece set. Comes in a wooden keepsake box: 15 x 12. Ages 5 and up.

Add this toy to your collection: ArchiQuest Building Kit: Kings and Castles

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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