If we have one weakness (other than home-made cake) it's beautifully designed children's books. Luckily for us, Virago have released a range of our old favourites - from The Secret Garden to What Katy Did - with some absolutely gorgeous paperback covers. They are the perfect way to share them with your grandchildren.
They are out now, priced £6.99 each - here are four of our favourites.
Five Children and It, by E. Nesbit
The first in a series of three (followed by The Phoenix and the Carpet and The Story of the Amulet) following the story of five siblings who discover a strange, wish-granting creature known as a Psammead in a gravel pit. While it sounds like a dream come true, the children quickly learn that wishes can have awkward, unexpected consequences! It was written in 1902 but is still loved by children (and adults!) today.
The full set has now been rereleased, complete with pretty covers.
What Katy Did, by Susan Coolidge
Oh how we loved Katy - from her wild, untamed nature to her longing to be good, and we felt for her so much after the accident with the swing left her bedridden and ever so sorry for herself. This book was followed by What Katy Did At School and What Katy Did Next, which - happily - have also been reprinted by Virago.
The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
If you're unable to walk past a walled garden without your mind running riot, you were probably a fan of this charming tale. Following precocious, sickly little Mary after she moves to England after growing up abroad, it's all about the transformative power of gardening and being outside. We were all just a little bit in love with Dickon and we credit this book for inspiring our on-going love of all things green.
The Railway Children, by E. Nesbit
Before there was Jenny Agutter sobbing 'Daddy, my daddy!' on the TV every Christmas, there was the charming book - also by E Nesbit of the Psammead series. Written at the turn of the last century, it follows Bobby, Phyllis and Peter after they move with their mother to a house near the railway in Yorkshire after their father is falsely accused of being a spy.
Look out for others in the 22 rereleased classics from Virago, from authors Nina Bawden, Rumer Godden, Joan Aiken, E Nesbit, LM Montgomery and Susan Coolidge. If you hadn't already guessed, the thing that these authors have in common (apart from having written much-loved classics) is that they were all women!
The full list of books is:
- Carrie's War
- The Peppermint Pig
- The Dark Horse
- An Episode of Sparrows
- The Serial Garden
- The Gift Giving
- The Psammead trilogy
- The Bastable trilogy
- The Railway Children
- The Anne of Green Gables series
- The What Katy Did trilogy
For more book news, pick up the latest copy of Yours magazine