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

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9780349005904
    • Publication date:03 Nov 2016
Books in this series

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

From a princess who turned into a pirate parrot, to a procession of Father Christmases being 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.

Biographical Notes

Joan Aiken (Author)
Joan Aiken (1924-2004) was born in Rye, Sussex. She was the daughter of the American poet Conrad Aiken, and her step-father was English writer Martin Armstrong.
Joan Aiken wrote over 100 books for young readers and adults and is recognised as one of the classic children's authors of the twentieth century.
Her best-known books are The Wolves of Willoughby Chase chronicles and the Arabel's Raven series, but she is also famous for her brilliant short stories. Joan Aiken received the Edgar Allan Poe Award in the United States as well as the Guardian Award for Fiction. She was decorated with an MBE for her services to children's books.

  • 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
Running Press Kids

The Night Before Christmas

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

Little Women

Louisa May Alcott
Authors:
Louisa May Alcott
Virago

Good Wives

Louisa May Alcott
Authors:
Louisa May Alcott

'Life and love are very precious when both are in full bloom'With four lively, attractive women in one house and a dashing young bachelor in the neighbouring one, romance can only be a matter of time. As Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy become young women, they take separate paths in life, following their dreams, finding love, becoming wives, and travelling the world. But the tie that binds the sisters brings them together when tragedy strikes, for only with each other can they find the comfort they need.Also in Virago Classic Children's Books: Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys

Virago

Little Men

Louisa May Alcott
Authors:
Louisa May Alcott

Jo March - now Jo Bhaer - returns as a young woman with her family of her own. With her husband, Professor Bhaer, they open their hearts (and their home) to educate and care for a handful of rowdy yet well-meaning youngsters.Plumfield, the school where the boys learn 'how to help themselves and be useful men,' has a spirited student body that includes - in addition to the Bhaers' two sons - Nat, an orphaned street musician, cold and frightened when he first appears at the Bhaers' door; business-minded Tommy; Dan, a 'wild boy' eventually tamed by love and kindness; and other endearing mischief-makers.Outside the classroom, the boys rush headlong from one prank to another - from playing matador with the family cow to nearly setting the school afire with a smouldering cigar stub. But in the end, they prove to have a positive effect on the lives of the entire Bhaer family.Also available in Virago Children's Classics: Little Women, Good Wives and Little Men

Virago

Jo's Boys

Louisa May Alcott
Authors:
Louisa May Alcott
Little, Brown Young Readers US

Survival Tails

Katrina Charman
Authors:
Katrina Charman

Pets face danger on the Titanic in the first thrilling installment of the Survival Tails, perfect for readers of I Survived and Ranger in Time!When loyal dog Mutt discovers that his owner and best friend Alice is set to board the RMS Titanic without him, he is determined to follow her across the ocean. With the help of King Leon the rat, Mutt sneaks aboard, but it isn't long before the Captain's cat, Clara, discovers the stowaway. Reluctantly, Clara agrees to help Mutt find Alice, on the condition that he help her look after a trio of abandoned kittens she found in a lifeboat. But when the unthinkable happens and the so-called unsinkable ship hits an iceberg, Mutt and his new friends have to race against the clock to reunite with their humans--and to survive.Survival Tails: The Titanic is the first in a series of heart-stopping, action-packed, animal-starring adventure stories that will captivate and educate young readers.

Running Press Kids

Annie B., Made for TV

Amy Dixon
Authors:
Amy Dixon

For every kid who's ever come in second place, this is a middle grade story about chasing your dreams.Eleven-year-old Annie Brown is used to being on the losing end of comparisons to her almost-always best friend Savannah. Savannah is MVP of the track team, has straight As, and, predictably, wins the most coveted school spirit award on the last day of 5th grade. Fortunately, Annie does have one very specialized skill.Inspired by As Seen on TV commercials, Annie likes to invent products and write clever sales pitches to go along with them. So when an opportunity arises to audition for a local web show called The Cat's Meow, Annie knows her future is set. She's going to wow those producers with her fabulous writing and made-for-TV announcer voice.Of course, things don't happen quite according to plan, and soon Annie is worried about losing both the opportunity she's been training for her whole life, and her best friend.

Little, Brown Young Readers US

The Unflushables

Ron Bates
Authors:
Ron Bates
Little, Brown Young Readers US

The Creativity Project

Colby Sharp
Authors:
Colby Sharp
Constable

Star of the East

Tasha Alexander
Authors:
Tasha Alexander

From New York Times best-selling author Tasha Alexander comes Star of the East, a Lady Emily holiday story that will enchant readers and keep them guessing until the very last page... Emily and Colin Hargreaves make it a rule to spend as little time as possible with her parents in Kent, but are unable to refuse Lady Catherine Bromley's invitation to join them for a pre-Christmas party that includes the family of Ala Kapur Singh, a powerful Punjabi maharaja who has come to England after receiving the Order of the Star of India. Lady Bromley, quite taken with the exotic beauty and spectacular jewels of the maharani and her daughter, Sunita, throws herself with abandon into planning a spectacular feast. But when a priceless diamond maang tika and a simple gold bangle disappear from Sunita's room, a diplomatic incident seems imminent, particularly when the maang tika turns up in Emily's possession. Emily may have what appears to be the more valuable of the two pieces, but the maang tika cannot be worn without the bangle, upon which is engraved the words necessary to ward off a curse placed on the set 500 years ago by a princess forced to forsake the man she loved. Sunita must wear the maang tika at her wedding but cannot do so without the bangle. Can Emily convince the maharaja that she is not a thief? And, more important, can she and Colin find the bangle?'A holiday treat for Lady Emily fans' Library Journal

Running Press Kids

Superfail

Max Brunner, Dustin Mackay
Contributors:
Max Brunner, Dustin Mackay

Laser vision isn't so hot when you're cross-eyed, and supersonic flight's a real downer when motion sickness keeps you grounded.Twelve-year-old Marshall Preston is a Defective--a person with superhuman abilities that are restricted by some very human setbacks. While other kids are recruited to superhero teams, Marshall's stuck in seventh grade with a kid who can run at super speed but can't turn a corner, another with a radioactive peanut allergy that turns him into a swollen Hulk, and a telepath who reads everyone's thoughts out loud. Defectives like Marshall aren't exactly superhero material, but when he uncovers a plot to destroy one of the greatest superhero teams of all time, Marshall and his less-than-super friends set out to prove that just because you're defective doesn't mean you can't save the day. With full illustrations throughout and a funny, heartwarming story, Superfail is the perfect book for reluctant young readers and the superhero fan.

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.

Hachette Audio

Snowflakes on Christmas Street

Ivy Pembroke
Authors:
Ivy Pembroke

'Heartwarmingly festive - if only all streets were like Christmas Street!' Ali McNamaraReaders love Snowflakes on Christmas Street:'For such a gentle plot, this book packs an emotional punch! There's romance, the odd drama and a whole lot of satisfaction. The characters are real. The ending is lovely and perfect''I sat and wept, liked good old-fashioned sobbing. I wanted to hug both Jack and Teddy into a big blanket and keep them safe forever. A charming, heartwarming, beautiful tale not just of Christmas but of compassion, kindness and love''Every time I tried to put it down to get on with life, I found it was calling me back for "just one more chapter" until I ran out of chapters! I just thoroughly adored this story''A feel-good and at times tear-jerking story leaving you with that magical Christmassy warmth at the end'***On a little street in a big city, everything is changingBill has lived on Christmas Street since he was a young man. He's seen families come and go, watched children grow up... Now he wants to be left alone. Everything eight-year-old Teddy loves is in America. But his widowed father, Sam, has brought them both back to England to be closer to their family. Sam's one wish is for Teddy to be happy again. As Teddy and Sam settle into their new life, a very special four-legged neighbour is determined to make them feel at home. Jack, the Christmas street dog, is welcome in everyone's house - but will it be in his power to help a little boy and a lonely old man remember the true meaning of the season?As the snow sparkles on the ground, one small act of kindness will give a whole street a happy Christmas...

Running Press Mini Editions

Festivus/Seinfeld: Celebration Kit

Kit includes:* 9-inch tall Festivus pole with 4 buttons that play audio of Frank Costanza (Jerry Stiller)* 5 Human Fund donation gift cards* 2 magnetsButton 1 "The Story of Festivus": Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reach for the last one they had-but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way!...out of that, a new holiday was born. A Festivus for the rest of us!Button 2 "The Festivus Pole": There's a pole. It requires no decoration. I find tinsel distracting. It's made from aluminum. Very high strength-to-weight ratio.Button 3 "The Airing of Grievances": Welcome, newcomers. The tradition of Festivus begins with the airing of grievances. I got a lot of problems with you people! And now you're gonna hear about it!Button 4 "The Feats of Strength": And now as Festivus rolls on, we come to the feats of strength. Until you pin me, Festivus is not over! Let's rumble!

Virago

The Secret Garden

Frances Hodgson Burnett
Authors:
Frances Hodgson Burnett

'She put her hand in her pocket, drew out the key, and found it fitted the keyhole . . . she held back the swinging curtain of ivy and pushed back the door which opened slowly. Then she slipped through it, looking about her and breathing quite fast with excitement and wonder and delight. She was standing inside the secret garden'Everybody at Misselthwaite Manor agrees that Mary Lennox is the most disagreeable child they have ever met. Pale, selfish and spoilt, the ten-year-old orphan has been sent from India to her uncle's estate and she is determined to hate everything about it. But the isolated house on the Yorkshire moors holds secrets that Mary cannot resist exploring: pitiful crying that echoes down the corridors at night and a hidden walled garden. When a robin leads Mary to the buried key, not only is the garden unlocked, but also her heart. And as the garden blooms, for the first time in her life, Mary discovers friendship. This is where the magic begins...'The mystery element kept me turning the pages but it was the superb characterisation that made the story stay with me. It taught me that it's never too late to remake yourself into someone better' Malorie Blackman'There is an old-fashioned tenderness and joy to it; the sense that magic happens if you are observant and quiet and know it will' Sophie DahlA 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

The Railway Children

E. Nesbit, C. E. Brock
Contributors:
E. Nesbit, C. E. Brock
Virago

A Little Princess

Frances Hodgson Burnett
Authors:
Frances Hodgson Burnett

A timeless Cinderella story, A Little Princess is one of the best-loved children's classics of all time. A heartwarming tale that champions the power of imagination.'I'd read Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden and loved it - so I tried A Little Princess and liked it even more!' Jacqueline Wilson'Sara Crewe is a Cinderella figure... She is intelligent and good humoured with an infectious warmth that embraces the lowliest of her new acquaintances. The sunshine continues when impoverishment and drudgery befall her and she relies on her private fantasies to preserve her natural zest for life' Guardian'It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.'When Sara Crewe is sent to Miss Minchin's school for young ladies, her indulgent father provides for her as if she were a little princess. But although her toys and clothes are the envy of the other girls, Sara's kindness and gift for storytelling soon win her lots of friends. Then, the tragic news arrives that her father has died penniless and, without wealth or a guardian, Sara is at the mercy of Miss Minchin. Forced to work from dawn until dusk as the school's unpaid servant, she looks over the rooftops from her damp attic room and dreams of a better life. All is not lost: she has friends, courage and imagination - maybe that's all she really needs.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

The Story of the Amulet

E. Nesbit, H. R. Millar
Contributors:
E. Nesbit, H. R. Millar

THE THIRD BOOK IN THE PSAMMEAD TRILOGY, FOLLOWING FIVE CHILDREN AND IT AND THE PHOENIX AND THE CARPET'I love her books, particularly the Five Children and It sequence' Neil GaimanAt a pet shop near the British Museum, the children discover their old friend the Psammead, caged and miserable. The children pool their pocket money together to rescue it, and in gratitude, the Psammead tells them to buy an amulet - or rather, half an amulet. Incomplete, the magic charm can take them to any place and time to search for its other half; but when the amulet is whole, it will have the power to give the children their hearts' desire. In their quest, the children visit ancient Egypt, Atlantis and Babylon - they even meet Julius Caesar. But their adventures are not without danger: if they lose the amulet on their travels they will be lost in time, unable to ever return home.'Endlessly surprising and inventive ... Edith Nesbit opened the door in the magic wardrobe, pointed the way to platform nine and three quarters. She even had a hand in building the Tardis. And these are among her minor achievements. She is also simply the funniest writer we have ever had' Frank Cottrell-BoyceWith all the original illustrations by H. R. Millar, beautifully reproduced.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 Phoenix and the Carpet

E. Nesbit, H. R. Millar
Contributors:
E. Nesbit, H. R. Millar
Little, Brown Young Readers US

Towers Falling

Jewell Parker Rhodes
Authors:
Jewell Parker Rhodes