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The 20th Century Children's Book Treasury: Celebrated Picture Books and Stories to Read Aloud (Treasured Gifts for the Holidays) Paperback – Bargain Price, September 14, 1998

256 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Believe it or not, 44 complete read-aloud classics and future classics--from Goodnight Moon to Stellaluna--are packed in this remarkably svelte, positively historic anthology. Flipping through the 308 pages of The 20th-Century Children's Book Treasury is like browsing a photo album of beloved friends and family. The familiar faces of Curious George and Ferdinand the Bull peer earnestly from the pages, and scenes from Madeline and Millions of Cats resonate as if you just experienced them yesterday. Think of the advantages of carrying this book on a vacation instead of a suitcase of single titles! (Your kids can always revisit their dog-eared hardcovers when they get home.)

This impressive collection of concept books, wordless books, picture books, and read-aloud stories was artfully compiled by longtime children's book editor and publisher Janet Schulman. Stories are coded red, blue, and green to designate age groupings from baby/toddler books such as Whose Mouse Are You?, through preschool books such as Where the Wild Things Are, to longer stories for ages 5 and older such as Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The reason the book isn't bigger than Babar is because many of the illustrations from each story were reduced or removed to fit the anthology's format. (Leo Lionni's Swimmy, for example, takes up 5 pages total, compared to its original 29 pages.) Brief biographical notes that are surprisingly quirky shine a little light on the 62 authors and illustrators, and an index helps, too, for the child who likes one story best. We love the idea of being within easy reach of a Star-Belly Sneetch, a William Steig donkey, and a Sendak monster at all times, and we're sure your little bookworms will, too. (Click to see a sample spread from The 20th-Century Children's Book Treasury, compilation copyright © 1998 by Janet Schulman, illustrations © renewed 1997 by William Steig.) (All ages) --Karin Snelson

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 4-Forty-four selections fill this shiny, heavy compendium, gathered to encourage parents to develop the reading-aloud habit. Most are well-known picture books, but there is a short story by Joan Aiken, a chapter from Winnie the Pooh, and stories from books in beginning-to-read series. Goodnight Moon, a small set of Helen Oxenbury's board books, a Berenstain Bears entry, and other short pieces for the very youngest children are mixed with Stellaluna, The Stinky Cheese Man, Madeline, and older and newer favorites quite disparate in size and design. Some appear in spacious spreads, similar to their original formats. Others are compressed with great chunks of text and few pictures or several pages of the original full-length version stacked on a single page, diminishing details, colors, or the delicious moments of humor, drama, or innuendo. Gone are most of the illustrations for Millions of Cats, and Richard Egielski's Tub People have lost their unique patina and pose in these minuscule renderings. Though much is lost in the translation, the treasury does indeed offer an eclectic variety of good stories, and many children might encounter new favorites here. Concluding biographical notes on the authors and illustrators, a listing of the stories by three age categories, an index, and acknowledgments of original publication details complete the package.
Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Series: Treasured Gifts for the Holidays
  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (September 14, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679886478
  • ASIN: B00509CNZ6
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.9 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (256 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #438,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 107 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is the best single-volume collection of children's picture book stories I have seen. My children had many of the stories in softcover editions and most of these translate well in the format of this collection. Others were entirely new to us. Many truly classic children's stories are in this book and most of the best children's picture book authors are represented. The book is versatile: you can take this one volume on a trip and not need any other story book for your preschooler. The only drawback is that in some instances, not all of the illustrations for a particular story are included or the illustrations are much smaller than in the original book. However, the quality of the printing and paper is excellent, so this is not a distraction. My 4-year-old pulls this book off of the shelf every night.
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130 of 136 people found the following review helpful By Student/reader on July 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a good book for reference but if you intend to buy it INSTEAD OF the children's classics it includes, you will be missing out on a lot. Please read the School Library Journal review and Booklist review in entirety before making a decision to buy this, they both touch on the problem of condensing stories and missing illustrations with the effect they have on the stories' impact. It is especially noticable for stories that rely on illustrations for pacing or an element of surprise. I find that my kids, both beginning readers, do not go to this book on their own the same way that they will run to look at any of their favorite individual story books and although we use it, it is usually only as a convenience to me (to avoid hunting down and carrying several goodnight books). If it gets you to read more, great, but for fostering a love of these classics in your kids there is nothing like using the real individual books in their covers, formatted as originally intended.
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68 of 71 people found the following review helpful By audrey TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
With forty-four beloved children's tales in this book, it is a welcome resource for parents of small children.
It would be easy to spend thousands of dollars on children's books. Fortunately, this collection can help. A parent can substitute this volume for individual books, or can evaluate stories and decide whether or not to purchase a separate copy. I was disappointed to learn from one reviewer that illustrations were missing from books; I wouldn't have known since I was reading many of these stories for the first time, and can understand the editorial difficulties leading to such a decision, but it is too bad. The stories range from classic (Madeline, Goodnight Moon, Curious George, Where the Wild Things Are, Stellaluna, Amelia Bedelia, The Story of Ferdinand) to more obscure, and contain works by Marc Brown (an Arthur/D.W. story) and Dr. Seuss.
A color key both in the Table of Contents and at the bottom of each page lets you know for what age level each story is most likely appropriate: toddler, preschool, or 5+. At 10 by 11 inches, I would suggest getting the hardover edition, since kids and parents will drop this larger book more often (in addition to normal wear and tear).
An introductory Note to Parents is helpful, and the book concludes with Biographical Notes, a Guide to Reading Ages, and an index.
This is a remarkable book and our child loves it -- and so do we. You and your child may very well love it, too!
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56 of 60 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
It was an admirable venture. Take 44 classic children's stories and combine them into one, reasonably priced volume. I bought my copy through BOMC, which raved about it. The description said, "44 classic stories, including the entire text and original illustrations." Well, I can assure you that "entire" only refers to the text. Most of the stories are missing critical illustrations. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel is missing 50% of the original art. As is Sneeches, Make Way for Ducklings, Titch, Sylvester and the Magic Pebbble, and MANY more. As I was reading Sylvester and the Magic Pebble to my daughter, we got to the part where a wolf sits on the rock-that-was-Sylvester and howls at the moon. My daughter, who is 6 and has never before heard the story, said, "Dad, where is the picture of the wolf sitting on the rock?" "Good question, honey. I suspect that some pictures were left out to save money." I can appreciate the challenges the publisher faced in trying to take stories that were orginally printed in different shapes and formats and trying to make them fit in one book. In many cases, however, it is a lost cause. If the art wasn't killed, it was shrunk or placed on the wrong page or put in the margin, etc. To be truthful, although I think the book is a dismal failure and can understand why Amazon is selling the book at 50% off, my daughter loves it. BOMC offered to let me return the book and I have declined because of my daughter's protests.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Diane on November 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book after checking it out at the library and being in awe at the wonderful stories in it. My boys are 2 and almost every night at dinner we read a new story. With classics from Curious George and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel to the rhythmic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, there are surely stories to fit every need. The book also lists which stories are appropriate for different ages. Most of the stories are condensed to 4-6 pages with lots of pictures, but some have few illustrations and are great for reading in the car, at dinner, or at bedtime when your child is really sleepy.
We own several of the individual books and will probably buy more of them for the boys to be able to read and hold. This book is too heavy and awkward for small children to be handling, but it is a convenient way to expose them (and me!) to some of the great stories that have been written over the years. Besides, you'll want to keep it in good shape to hand down to your grandchildren! This collection of stories will make a wonderful gift for new or expecting parents or for older children who love to read.
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