Let us take a moment to appreciate the beauty of Puffin Chalk classics, the children’s books you can’t help but want.
First of all, lets begin by taking a little time to appreciate these beautiful covers. One of the trials of a book fanatic is going for the edition that looks the prettiest and on this occasion I have chosen well; the Puffin Chalk Collection is fairly small collection consisting of four books (with two to be released) which is fortunate as I want to buy them all. They’re so unique looking and creative and look fantastic on my shelves, I can’t wait to collect the rest!
So, why am I reading children’s books? Well having always had a bit of a grumble that there wasn’t any childrens’ literature on the Keele English course they have recently added a new module to the third year options covering some childrens’ classics. I’m thrilled as I couldn’t decide whether to go for fairytales or novels for my dissertation and now I get to study both!
Both The Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan have very prominent film adaptations of which I am certain everyone has seen. Because of this I went into the books with preconceptions of the characters and a solid idea of how things would turn out but I found myself rather surprised. Both of these books are considerably darker than their bright and shining big-screen editions and at times left me at a loss for words.
Peter Pan I read in a day and got really sucked into the story. With this one I didn’t find so much of a deviation between this and the film and instead found that there was actually a lot of information in the book that enhanced the story I already knew. The children in it are a little cheekier and outlandish than in Disney’s version I must say leaving you a little shocked at times. What surprised me most was the amount of death at the end! J M Barrie is almost as effective as George RR Martin at killing off characters and is a bit too blunt about it. Ah well!
The Wizard of Oz was very different to the film (in the book she wears silver shoes. Silver!) with some parts being nowhere near as drawn out as they are in the film so you can see how they cut quite a bit out to keep it neat and tidy. Again, reading this makes me look at the story in a more informed way and I feel a lot more clued in on certain things. If you’re a fan of Oz The Great And Powerful the china city makes its appearance along with a few other characters and areas that didn’t make the final edit.
I think it’s well worth reading children’s classics like this as they really challenge your perception of childrens’ literature. Even older books like this can be a bit hard hitting than you might expect and when so many editions are as beautiful as the Puffin Chalk editions, you can’t help but want to show them off.