Joan Aiken - The Gift Giving: Favourite Stories - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9780349005904
    • Publication date:03 Nov 2016
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The Gift Giving: Favourite Stories

By Joan Aiken
Illustrated by Peter Bailey

  • Paperback
  • £6.99

A volume of Joan Aiken's own favourite stories, collected here for the first time.

'Joan Aiken's invention seemed inexhaustible, her high spirits a blessing, her sheer storytelling zest a phenomenon. She was a literary treasure, and her books will continue to delight for many years to come' PHILLIP PULLMAN

'Favourite stories, like unexpected presents, are things that you can keep and cherish all your life, carry with you, in memory, in your mind's ear, and bring out, at any time, when you are feeling lonely, or need cheering up, or, like friends, just because you are fond of them.'

Joan Aiken is justly famous for her Wolves of Willoughby Chase series, but her greatest love was for short stories, which she wrote prolifically throughout her long career

From a princess turned into a pirate parrot to a procession of Father Christmases chased down Fifth Avenue by a rackety horse and cart; from the ghost of a crusader's dog, to a captured mermaid in a flying machine, there is something for everybody in this enthralling collection. These stories showcase Aiken's unique talents - the way she mixed magic and myth with humour to create a kind of modern fairytale. Her stories will appeal to readers of all ages for many years to come.

WITH BEAUTIFUL ILLUSTRATIONS BY PETER BAILEY

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780349005898
  • Publication date: 03 Nov 2016
  • Page count: 384
  • Imprint: Virago
Witty and endlessly inventive — Chris Riddell
Joan Aiken's invention seemed inexhaustible, her high spirits a blessing, her sheer storytelling zest a phenomenon. She was a literary treasure, and her books will continue to delight for many years to come — Philip Pullman
It is the mixture of irrepressible gaiety and invention with the tragic that makes Aiken one of the great children's authors . . . impossible to calculate the number of people who have enjoyed her books - who have had some magic injected into the mundane — Sunday Telegraph
She was a consummate story-teller, one that each generation discovers anew — Amanda Craig
The voice that tells these stories is braver than us, unflappable; someone who knows the ways of the world and loves it anyway. She is one of the writers I admire most in the world — Katherine Rundell
Some books are like coming home: warm and comfortable. Aiken manages to balance this assurance with the unexpected and wildly imaginative - like coming home to an ocean in your hallway, a small boat waiting to carry you out through the kitchen into a wide and sparkling sea. The Gift Giving is the perfect selection of stories to introduce readers to this precious and incredible author — Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Witty and endlessly inventive — Chris Riddell
Running Press Kids

The Night Before Christmas

Clement C. Moore, Lindsay Dale-Scott
Contributors:
Clement C. Moore, Lindsay Dale-Scott

"Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse!"Snuggle under a warm blanket with your family this holiday and share in the magic and wonder of Clement C. Moore's timeless poem, "The Night Before Christmas." With jolly illustrations and real twinkling lights at the end of this durable board book, this is sure to become a staple of your holidays for years to come.

Virago

Carrie's War

Nina Bawden, Alan Marks
Contributors:
Nina Bawden, Alan Marks

One of the most loved and enduring wartime novels, Carrie's War is a modern classic. WITH A NEW FOREWORD BY MICHAEL MORPURGO AND ILLUSTRATIONS BY ALAN MARKS'A touching, utterly convincing book' Jacqueline Wilson'Poignant and realistic . . . Carrie's War captures the true reality of war for a child, and it doesn't sentimentalise war' Shirley Hughes, Guardian'I did a dreadful thing, the worst thing of my life, when I was twelve and a half years old, and nothing can change it'It is wartime and Carrie and her little brother Nick have been evacuated from their London home to the Welsh hills. In an unfamiliar place, among strangers, the children feel alone and find little comfort with the family they are billeted with: Mr Evans, a bullying shopkeeper and Auntie Lou, his kind but timid sister. When Carrie and Nick visit Albert, another evacuee, they are welcomed into Hepzibah Green's warm kitchen. Hepzibah is rumoured to be a witch, but her cooking is delicious, her stories are enthralling and the children cannot keep away. With Albert, Hepzibah and Mister Johnny, they begin to settle into their new surroundings. But before long, their loyalties are tested: will they be persuaded to betray their new friends?This collection of the best children's literature, curated by Virago, will be coveted by children and adults alike. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

Virago

The Peppermint Pig

Nina Bawden, Alan Marks
Contributors:
Nina Bawden, Alan Marks

'Warm and funny, this tale of a pint-size pig and the family he saves will take up a giant space in your heart' KIRAN MILLWOOD HARGRAVE'What a consummate storymaker Nina Bawden is' MICHAEL MORPURGOWINNER OF THE GUARDIAN AWARD FOR CHILDREN'S FICTION'D'ya want a peppermint pig, Mrs Greengrass?'Poll looked at the milkman, thinking of sweets, but there was a real pig poking its snout out of the milkman's coat pocket. It was the tiniest pig she had ever seen. 'What's a peppermint pig?''Runt of the litter. Too small for the sow to raise. He'd only get trampled in in the rush.'Mother took the pig from him and held it firmly while it kicked and squealed. 'Well, he seems strong enough. And even runts grow.''Oh,' Poll said. 'Oh, Mother.' She stroked the small, wriggling body. 'Theo,' she shouted, 'Look what we've got!'It is a difficult year for the Greengrasses. Poll's father has lost his job and gone overseas, the family are living off the charity of two aunts, and Poll and her brother Theo just can't seem to keep out of trouble. It takes a tiny, mischievous pig to bring laughter back into their lives.This is a collection of the best children's literature, curated by Virago, and will be coveted by children and adults alike. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

Little, Brown Young Readers US

Peter Powers and the League of Lying Lizards!

Kent Clark
Authors:
Kent Clark
Virago

Keeping Henry

Nina Bawden, Alan Marks
Contributors:
Nina Bawden, Alan Marks

'The hay stirred. There was a small nibbling sound. A furry head poked out. I saw its dark, beady eyes, its sharp, pointed ears ... his eyes seemed alert and inquisitive, as if he were as interested in us as we were in him'Henry is only three inches long when naughty Charlie catapults him out of his nest - a poor baby red squirrel, all ragged and skinny. He is too young to survive being released into the wild, but can a squirrel be a pet?Henry's new human family has also had to adapt to a different way of life. Evacuated from London during the Blitz, to a farm in Wales, they were upturned from their old life just as Henry was 'tipped out' of his nest. Can this mischievous little creature, who makes nests out of their clothes and runs up the children like they are trees, help them to settle into their new life?A collection that will be coveted by children and adults alike, this list is the best in children's literature, curated by Virago. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), L. M. Montgomery (The Anne of Green Gables series) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

Virago

Anne of Avonlea

L. M. Montgomery
Authors:
L. M. Montgomery
Little, Brown Young Readers US

Peter Powers and His Not-So-Super Powers

Kent Clark
Authors:
Kent Clark
Little, Brown Young Readers US

Peter Powers and the Rowdy Robot Raiders

Kent Clark, Brandon T. Snider, Dave Bardin
Contributors:
Kent Clark, Brandon T. Snider, Dave Bardin
Little, Brown Young Readers US

President of the Whole Sixth Grade

Sherri Winston
Authors:
Sherri Winston

Brianna Justice is determined to raise enough money for the big class trip to Washington, D.C., but she's up against a lot: classmates who all pretend to be something they're not, a new nemesis determined to run her out of office, and the sinking feeling she's about to lose her two best friends. But just when she begins to lose hope, she comes to realize that sometimes surprises can turn out even better than the best-laid plans.

Robinson

Making a Short Speech or Toast

Jackie Arnold
Authors:
Jackie Arnold
Little, Brown Young Readers US

Minna's Patchwork Coat

Lauren A. Mills
Authors:
Lauren A. Mills
Constable

Away in a Manger

Rhys Bowen
Authors:
Rhys Bowen
Virago

The Kingdom and the Cave

Joan Aiken, Peter Bailey
Contributors:
Joan Aiken, Peter Bailey

'The Under People. They live in a huge Cave. They are thought to be boring upwards. Giant worms and flying ants. Underground magic.'Mickle, the palace cat, knows the kingdom is in danger. He can feel it in his whiskers and he has found a mysterious note in the royal library... (Yes, of course he can read, and speak - if he chooses to!) Mickle can't trust the King and Queen with his mission, so he and Prince Michael, with the help of their animal friends (and quite a bit of magic!), set out on a perilous quest to find the sinister Under People, discover their secret power and save the Kingdom of Astalon.In her first novel, written when she was only a teenager, Joan Aiken showcases the imagination, wit and storytelling zest that would lead to classics like Arabel's Raven and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.

Virago

The Fox at the Manger

P. L. Travers
Authors:
P. L. Travers
Virago

The Serial Garden

Joan Aiken, Peter Bailey
Contributors:
Joan Aiken, Peter Bailey

'I wish we'll have two children called Mark and Harriet. And I hope lots of interesting and unusual things will happen to them. It would be nice if they had a fairy godmother, for instance. And a phoenix or something out of the ordinary for a pet. We could have a special day for interesting and unusual things to happen - say, Mondays. But not always Mondays, and not only Mondays, or that would get a bit dull'As a result of their mother's honeymoon wish, Mark and Harriet Armitage have a fairy godmother, a pet unicorn, and are prepared for anything life can throw at them (especially, but not always, on a Monday): hatching griffins in the airing cupboard, Latin lessons with a ghost, furious Furies on the doorstep, and an enchanted garden locked inside a cereal packet. Life with the Armitages can be magical, funny, terrifying - but never, ever dull.

Little, Brown Young Readers US

The Book That Proves Time Travel Happens

Henry Clark
Authors:
Henry Clark

The moment Ambrose Brody steps into a fortune-teller's tent, he is whisked into a quest that spans millennia with his best friend, an enigmatic carnival girl, and an unusual family heirloom that drops them into the middle of the nineteenth century! The year 1852 is a dangerous time for three non-white children, and they must work together to dodge slave-catchers and save ancestors from certain death--all while figuring out how to get back to the future. Fortunately, they have a guide in the helpful hints embedded in an ancient Chinese text called the I-Ching, which they interpret using Morse Code. But how can a three-thousand-year-old book be sending messages into the future through a code developed in the 1830s? Find out in this mind-bending, time-bending adventure!

Little, Brown Young Readers US

Bayou Magic

Jewell Parker Rhodes
Authors:
Jewell Parker Rhodes

t's Maddy's turn to have a bayou summer. At first she misses life back home in the city, but soon she grows to love everything about her new surroundings -- the glimmering fireflies, the glorious landscape, and something else, deep within the water, that only Maddy sees. Could it be a mermaid? As her grandmother shares wisdom about sayings and signs, Maddy realizes she may be only the sibling to carry on her family's magical legacy. And when a disastrous oil leak threatens the bayou, she knows she may also be the only one who can help. Does she have what it takes to be a hero?A coming-of-age tale rich with folk magic, set in the wake of the Gulf oil spill, Bayou Magic celebrates hope, friendship, and family, and captures the wonder of life in the Deep South.

Virago

Mossy Trotter

Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Ross
Contributors:
Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Ross

Mossy Trotter is the only book for children by Elizabeth Taylor, who is increasingly recognised as one of the best writers of the twentieth century.'We - that is, Herbert and I - want you, Mossy, to be our page-boy,' Miss Silkin said, staring hard at Mossy again, as if she were trying to imagine him dressed up, and with his hair combed.Mossy went very red, and nearly choked on a piece of cake, and Selwyn laughed, and went on laughing, as if he had just heard the funniest joke of all his life. They both knew what being a page-boy meant. One of the boys at school - one of the very youngest ones - had had to be one, wearing velvet trousers and a frilled blouse.'When Mossy moves to the country, life is full of delights - trees to climb, woods to explore and, best of all, the marvellous dump to rummage through. But every now and then his happiness is disturbed - chiefly by his mother's meddling friend, Miss Silkin. And a dreaded event casts a shadow over even the sunniest of days - being a page-boy at her wedding. In her only children's book, Elizabeth Taylor perfectly captures the temptations, confusion and terrors of a mischievous boy, and just how illogical, frustrating and inconsistent adults are!

Virago

I Go by Sea, I Go by Land

P. L. Travers, Gertrude Hermes
Contributors:
P. L. Travers, Gertrude Hermes

'James and I stayed on at home and everything was quiet and sunny and we got to thinking the war would never come after all . . . Just when we were so sure nothing would happen, the German plane came over. It came over one night at one o'clock in the morning and the sound was quite different from an English plane and we all woke up. You could hear it drumming and drumming like a big bee in a flower, buroom, buroom, buroom, round and round in the air above the house. Then suddenly there were five loud explosions. After that there was a terrible silence and I knew that Father and Mother were looking at each other in the darkness and I felt myself getting small and tight inside. Then Father said quietly, "Meg, they must go!"'Now I am going to write a Diary because we are going to America because of the War. It has just been decided. I will write down everything about it because we shall be so much older when we come back that I will never remember it if I do not. So this is the beginning. Oh, please let us come back soon, please.'This is the fictional diary of Sabrina Lind, an eleven-year-old English girl who, with her little brother James, is sent on the long voyage across the sea to her aunt in America.

Poppy

The Time-Traveling Fashionista And Cleopatra, Queen Of The Nile

Bianca Turetsky
Authors:
Bianca Turetsky

When Louise Lambert tries on a lavender Grecian gown at the Traveling Vintage Fashion Sale, she feels a familiar tug and falls back in time, arriving at the dusty base of an enormous pyramid. She's landed in Ancient Egypt... or has she? In fact, Louise is on the legendary 1963 Cleopatra film set, in the company of movie star Elizabeth Taylor, but her time there is short lived. When Louise gets her hands on an artifact in the wardrobe tent's box of "source material," she is whisked away once more to historical Alexandria, Egypt. There she quickly learns that life as a handmaiden to real Queen Cleopatra is much more fashionable - and treacherous - than she could have ever imagined.As with the other books in this series, full-color illustrations by professional fashion illustrator Sandra Suy bring to life the styles of Ancient Egypt, old Hollywood, and present day.