Children's Classics

The Children's Classics series, published between 1986 and 1995, is one of our favorite series to recommend to those building a home library. Though now long out of print, these beautiful books remain fairly easy to acquire and relatively affordable, often priced in the $6-20 range. But it is nearly impossible to find solid information about the series, so we're seeking to rectify that!

First things first. What are these? These were published as value hardcovers, and competed with such series as Illustrated Junior Library, Scribners Classics and the Books of Wonder series of that time. An equivalent series today would be the Sterling Classics or the Puffin hardcovers, though these are a little nicer. At 54 books (that we know of), this is nearly the largest collection of those mentioned (BoW has 62), and feature illustrations throughout the series by such famous artists as Jessie Willcox Smith, Louis Rhead, Milo Winter, Charles Santore, Troy Howell (of Redwall fame), Howard Pyle and even N.C. Wyeth! Illustrated throughout the books in black and white, each title features lovely, classic, full-color plates placed sporadically (usually 8-12 pictures). The books offer quality binding with large print and huge margins on acid-free paper. These will typically hold up quite well. (I do want to note, however, that the deckled pages and interspersed plates are a frustration for some folks.)

There are two sizes of the books, and on our site, we list the larger of the two, which measure 9.5"h x 8"w (we'll offer more information comparing the two below). On the copyright pages, these are consistently listed as being published by Children's Classics, a division of Dilithium Press, Ltd., but we've seen them listed in online search engines under a lot of different publishers, and find that searching for "children's classics" doesn't help narrow down editions when tracking these down! While we've found these books typically easy to obtain, many are difficult to find. Our listings below offer the ISBNs, which are EXTREMELY helpful in tracking down the right books!

We wanted to show a few pictures of the two versions, side by side, so you can get an idea of what the differences are. First detail: size is (obviously) different.

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Second detail, the smaller size does not have the two tone binding with the stripe in the middle—both, however, continue to have "Children's Classics" clearly on the spine.

Third detail, deckled pages vs. smooth.

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All of the larger size volumes interior say they are published by Children's Classics, a division of Dilithium Press, Ltd., regardless of what most search engines say...

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We have less experience with the smaller ones, but they appear to be generally published by Random House Value Publishing (or RH Value Publishing).

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While both have similar chapter headings (the smaller versions have tighter margins), only the large size appear to include full-color illustrations.

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54 Items found Print
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Children's Classics
by Mark Twain, Illustrated by Peter Fiore
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 5th-10th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 6th-10th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
Aesop's Fables
Children's Classics
by Aesop
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 2nd-6th grade
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Children's Classics
by Lewis Carroll
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 4th-6th grade
Andersen's Fairy Tales
by Hans Christian Andersen
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 3rd-6th grade
Anne of Avonlea
Children's Classics
by L. M. Montgomery & Stan Hunter
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 5th-8th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Anne of Green Gables
by L. M. Montgomery
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 5th-9th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Arabian Nights
by Rene Bull, illustrator
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 3rd-8th grade
At the Back of the North Wind
by George MacDonald, Illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
Fairy Tale for 4th-Adult
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Black Beauty
by Anna Sewell, Illustrated by Lucy Kemp-Welch
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 4th-8th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
Call of the Wild
Children's Classics
by Jack London
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
Realistic Animal Stories for 7th-10th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
Child's Book of Country Stories
by Ada M. Skinner and Eleanor L. Skinner, illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 1st-4th grade
Child's Book of Stories
by Jessie Willcox Smith (illustrator)
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 1st-3rd grade
Child's Book of Stories from Many Lands
by Ada M. Skinner and Eleanor L. Skinner, illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 1st-4th grade
Child's Christmas
by Evelyn Sharp
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 2nd-6th grade
Child's Garden of Verses
by Robert Louis Stevenson
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for Kindergarten-6th grade
Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Stories
by Charles Dickens
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 5th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: MLIT6-19)
Cinderella
by Christine Messina (editor) with illustrations by Arthur Rackham and Warwick Goble
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 1st-4th grade
Complete Mother Goose
by Ethel F. Betts
1st edition from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for Nursery-Kindergarten
in Mother Goose (Location: O5A)
Fairy Tales from Many Lands
by Edited by Dinah Maria Craik, illustrated by Warwick Goble
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 2nd-6th grade
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
by Flora Annie Steel (reteller), edited by Christine Messina, and illustrated by Arthur Rackham and Jessie Willcox Smith
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 2nd-6th grade
Great Dog Stories
by Albert Payson Terhune
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 4th-8th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
Grimm's Fairy Tales
Children's Classics
by Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
Fairy Tales, Fables, and Folklore for 3rd-8th grade
Hans Brinker
Children's Classics
by Mary Mapes Dodge
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 3rd-8th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Heidi
by Johanna Spyri
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
Realistic Fiction for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Hound of the Baskervilles
Children's Classics
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 6th-10th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
Joan of Arc
by Lucy Foster Madison
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 4th-10th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
Jungle Book
by Rudyard Kipling
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 4th-9th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Just So Stories
Children's Classics
by Rudyard Kipling
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
Fairy Tales, Fables, and Legends for 1st-6th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Kidnapped
by Robert Louis Stevenson
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
Historical Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
King Arthur and His Knights
by Sir James Knowles, illustrated by Louis Rhead and other artists
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 5th-10th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
Legend of Pocahontas
by Virginia Watson, retold by Karla Dougherty and illustrated by George Edwards
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 4th-8th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
Little Child's Book of Stories
by Ada M. Skinner & Eleanor L. Skinner, illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for Preschool-3rd grade
Little Men
by Louisa May Alcott
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
Realistic Fiction for 4th-8th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Little Princess
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$9.00 (1 in stock)
Little Women
by Louisa May Alcott
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 4th-8th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Peter Pan
Children's Classics
by J. M. Barrie
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
Fantasy for 4th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Pinocchio
Children's Classics
by Carlo Collodi
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 3rd-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Pollyanna
by Eleanor Porter
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Prince and the Pauper
Children's Classics
by Mark Twain
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
Historical Fiction for 5th-8th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
by Kate Douglas Wiggin
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Robin Hood
by Louis Rhead
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 4th-8th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
Robinson Crusoe
by Daniel Defoe, illustrated by N.C. Wyeth and Louis & Frederick Rhead
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 4th-8th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
Secret Garden
Children's Classics
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
Realistic Fiction for 5th-8th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Sleeping Beauty
by Charles Perrault & Madame d'Aulnoy
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 1st-6th grade
Swiss Family Robinson
Children's Classics
by Johann Wyss
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 5th-9th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
Tales from Shakespeare
by Charles & Mary Lamb
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
Shakespeare Stories for 3rd-8th grade
Tales of Pirates and Buccaneers
by Howard Pyle
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 4th-10th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There
Children's Classics
by Lewis Carroll
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 10th-Adult
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Treasure Island
by Robert Louis Stevenson
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 5th-10th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
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