Providing children with quality reading material that is also pleasing to the eye is a great way to encourage reading without having to assign it. Kids will naturally bury themselves in these classics with their full-color plate illustrations and clear type that reads smoothly. The very best in children's literature is represented here—from Treasure Island and Huckleberry Finn to Little Women and The Wizard of Oz.
Each volume is unabridged (except The Three Musketeers, with good reason). Titles are chosen for their appeal to younger readers, and none of them include offensive or adult material—but like all great children's literature, the titles are equally appealing to adults. At the same time, books with a lot of philosophical content are absent in favor of more lighthearted, adventure-oriented fare.
A different illustrator was chosen for each volume based on their ability to adequately evoke a specific text. Some of the styles are more relevant to younger children, consequently making those titles probably less appealing to older readers, but illustrations throughout the series uphold a high artistic standard. Artwork never overwhelms a text, instead acting as a supplement and imaginative aide.
Older editions are smaller in size, but all current editions stand tall and handsome on the shelf. Hardbound with sturdy pages and easy-to-read type, these are the kind of books you can hand down to successive generations without fear of premature destruction. Unless, of course, your kids abhor and despise books, in which case you wouldn't be collecting volumes as attractive as these for them.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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