Sunday 19 November 2017

Introducing the children to some classic books - Heidi and The Secret Garden

I'm really glad that both my children are now avid readers. I have so many happy memories of the books that I enjoyed when I was young, and it's been lovely to see my own children discovering them too. Recently I was sent a couple of classic books that I remember reading over and over when I was little, and I'm looking forward to seeing what my own children make of them.

Classic books for children - Heidi and The Secret Garden

Heidi: Lessons at Home and Abroad (affiliate link) by Johanna Spyri is a timeless classic of Swiss literature. It tells the story of Heidi, orphaned at an early age and brought up by her mother's sister in Switzerland. Her Aunt is forced to send her to live with her grandfather, a recluse who lives alone up in the mountains. He is reluctant at first but Heidi soon wins him over and Heidi also learns to love her new surroundings. I love reading about their simple life together, and how they cope with the challenges that they face.

This new edition from Alma books is a brand new and unabridged translation by Peter James Bowman and illustrated by Susan Hellard. The book also comes with some handy notes at the end for readers - a summary of characters, a glossary and also some suggestions for other books to read with a similar theme which I thought was a really good idea, and it gave me some ideas for books to add to our collection!

The Secret Garden (affiliate link) by Frances Hodgson Burnett is one of these suggestions, and another classic that I remember reading over and over. The story follows Mary Lennox, orphaned after her parents die in India, and sent to live in a gloomy house in Yorkshire. Her new home is full of secrets, including a locked walled garden and a sickly cousin who is hidden away. Mary is a determined child, and with the help of the new friends that she makes she gradually she brings both the garden and the household back to life. It's a powerful story, and despite being first published over a century ago it's still an exciting tale for children today. This edition is illustrated by Peter Bailey and also contains some fun extra material for young readers.

I received these books in exchange for a review.

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