This promises to be one of the top items, saleswise, of the season's publications, and it is important to know exactly what...



This promises to be one of the top items, saleswise, of the season's publications, and it is important to know exactly what it is, and what your own position regarding such compilations. Granted the fact that countless households would never own more than a fraction of the books from which material has been extracted, for this extremely well-edited collection is it not yet to be deplored that it might cheat children of that exquisite sense of the individual book gained from reading in its own right, complete, such books as Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Treasure Island, Alice in Wonderland, The Wind in the Willows, Robin Hood, The Jungle Book, and others? Would one chapter or incident read here lead to the books themselves? Let us hope so. On the other hand there is much to be commended in the astute selection of nursery rhymes, nursery tales, sound versions of fairy tales and legends, extracts from Grimm, Anderson, Arabian Nights. Northern children might miss Uncle Remus altogether; better a bit than none. There are generous cross sections of verse, old and new. But there are small favorites that need the close connection of picture and text such as Pelle's New Suit and Poppy Seed Cakes. Diversity is here -- and a wide range from Aesop to Menotti -- fantasy and fact -- humor and pathos. The illustrations, when possible, are the best that have been done for the individual selection; Howard Pyle, Wyeth, McKay, Rackham -- all are here, some in full color- so the original flavor is at least sampled. The one volume edition has a cloth spine and a design printed on some synthetic; the two volume edition is cloth bound and easier to handle. And the market? Small libraries, needing ready at hand material for story hours; school libraries where space and budget preclude a wide selection; homes where space forbids the shelving an adequate children's library calls for and where the family budget wants to make place for as much reading matter as possible within the limits. Plenty of scope here, and the quality of the work is beyond question. It's a lot of book for the money.

Pub Date: N/A


Page Count: -

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1955