Fit to fill any stocking

7th November 1997 at 00:00
The Puffin Treasury of Classics Puffin, Pounds 19.99

This is an ideal Christmas present, being heavy, rich and as full of tasty things as the biggest hamper. If the classics here are the expected ones, that's what a classic tends to be.

As well as the obvious but welcome - Jabberwocky"

.'Hiawatha's Childhood" - there are the less obvious but interesting - a slice of Frankenstein a song from Milton's Comus - and the whole of The Spider and the Fly' (I didn't even know it had anauthor: her name is Mary Howitt), and Felicia Hemans's Casabianca, today known only for its first line. Now we can read what the boy was doing on the burning deck. The book is a distinguished piece of design, full of clever details: even the size of the type plays a part in drawing us into the text. And the illustrators, some of the best we have, have gone to town.

As I say, it would make an ideal present, but I'm keeping mine. Philip Pullman. See book offer, below

The Cat in the Hat

By Dr Seuss

40th anniversary editon. Collins Pounds 12.99

Happy 40th birthday, Cat in the Hat.

In 1950s America, Seuss books were among the few that kids would really want for Christmas. The Doctor has been quoted in everything from presidential speeches to the lyrics of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Best of the celebratory Seuss reissue is the full-size The Cat in the Hat in its original glory. Worthy of the renewed attention of librarians, teachers and collectors.

Ted Dewan (TES, November 7)

See book offer, below

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