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The Box of Delights (New York Review Children's Collection) Hardcover – October 23, 2007


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The Box of Delights (New York Review Children's Collection) + The Midnight Folk (New York Review Children's Collection) + The 13 Clocks
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Series: New York Review Children's Collection
  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: NYR Children's Collection (October 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590172515
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590172513
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #410,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“This witty and wonderful children’s novel by the onetime Poet Laureate of the UK is widely beloved on the other side of the pond, but lesser known here. A travesty, that, since it’s a magic box in itself: a magical adventure that begins with a boy on his way home for Christmas, stopped by a man who implores him, 'And now, Master Harker, of Seekings, now that the Wolves are Running, as you will have seen, perhaps you would do something to stop their Bite?' Enter wizards and witches, mice, Roman soldiers, the toughest little girl you’ll ever meet, and Christmas just might be saved after all.” —Flavorwire

“The book that always had the magic of a snowy English Christmas…. It’s still a lovely book, magical and funny, to be read by anybody of any age.” —The Horn Book


"This classic of English children's literature, sadly overlooked by most on this side of the Atlantic, has just been reissued in a beautiful edition by the New York Review Children's Collection...Although "The Box of Delights" was first published in 1935, Masefield's intoxicating prose has lost none of its pull...in this wonderful tale of bravery and intrigue that deserves to become another staple of the holidays." --The San Francisco Chronicle

 

"First published in 1935, The Box of Delights by John Masefield is newly available. In the adventure-laden Christmas story, Kay Harker (also the protagonist of Masefield's The Midnight Folk) returns from boarding school for the holidays and becomes involved in a struggle with a wizard and witch who wish to possess the eponymous box." --Publishers Weekly

 

"This uniquely imaginative tale would be a delight for fans of old-fashioned, English Literature and could be compared to the likes of A Christmas Carol and the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe." --CLEAR Reviews

 

 

“[Masefield’s] most popular children’s book…Original and remarkable.” –The New York Review of Books

 

“Masefield's novel, a plum pudding of strange adventures, English legend, and spiritual feeling, should be more widely appreciated” –The Washington Post

 

The Box of Delights' is based on a 1935 story by famous English poet John Masefield, and it's crammed full of fantasy and adventures, almost as if every known children's story had been combined in one. There's space travel and time travel and evil villains and holiday sentiments and adventures, adventures, adventures.” –The Seattle Times

 

“Every chapter in this book is marvelous, but the real delight derives from Masefield’s style and the idiosyncratic, colorful speech of his various characters…Lovely stuff.” –The Washington Post

 

“This book is a writer’s oft-raided treasure trove…the world’s best ‘crossover book’…It does time-travel better than Narnia…The story floats on brilliant, eccentric dialogue and…never loses its snowy-Christmas, Nutcracker enchantment…” –The Independent (UK)

 

“Masefield the children’s writers is unbeatable.” –The Daily Telegraph (UK)

 

About the Author

John Masefield (1878—1967) was an English poet and writer, and Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1930 until his death. He is remembered as the author of the classic children's novels The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights, two novels Captain Margaret and Multitude and Solitude and a great deal of poetry, including his anthology Saltwater Ballads.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
This book is very creative, interesting and fun read.
joan clark
Borrow it from your library if a copy is available there.
Laraine A. Barker
Beautifully written, and the illustrations are a delight.
Mary Elizabeth Ramanciauskas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 14, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this children's book; even adults may find themselves carried away by this fantastical story. Set in 1930's England, it follows the Christmas holiday adventures of Kay Hawker and his cousins Peter, Susan, and Jemima. On the train home from school, Kay meets a stange and kindly old man. As they become friends, the old man gives Kay a precious treasure to guard, the Box of Delights. It is a magic instrument that can shrink you to the size of an insect, can make you fly, and can take you backward or forward through time. It turns out the old man has an unusual past, and there are ambitious villians after him and the box. Because the villians are disguised and passing themselves of as men of the cloth, the children have a difficult time exposing them. They are resourseful, however, and succeed in their quest to save the box and their Christmas celebrations. This story incorporates the mythical heroism of legend ( ie King Arthur, the Trojan War, Hern the Hunter and Fairy folk) with contemporary bad guys, car chases, kidnappings, and rescues. An excellant British/Canadian television special was produced about fifteen years ago that brings this story to life. Either are very enjoyable for boys and girls, and people of all ages.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By E. Stein on January 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another reviewer warns against this edition (the New York Review Children's Collection), saying that it is an abridged one; it is not. There is another version that is available that is abridged, but this is not it.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
John Masefield, who died in 1967, was best known as a poet. He did a few juvenile adventure stories of which "The Box of Delights" (1935) is by far the best. It is the sequel to "The Midnight Folk", an occult adventure in which young Kay Harker discovers that his governess, Sylvia Pouncer, is a witch.
As the first reviewer has already given an exhaustive precis of this work I will just add that it is a delightful Christmas thriller and the BBC TV version is a wonderful and faithful retelling of the story.
A forgotten classic - among the 10 best children's thrillers, IMHO.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Laraine A. Barker on April 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is one that should never be allowed to go out of print. Children of today who enjoy fantasy (i.e., Narnia and even Harry Potter) will enjoy The Box of Delights just as much. I can only suppose no publisher has thought to reissue it because the author is long-dead and was more noted as a poet than a children's writer.

The BBC turned it into an excellent 6-part TV series which, although dated in its magical effects, is still extremely enjoyable. The production was also transferred to video tape (about three hours in length) and as far as I know is still available. We had no trouble obtaining our own copy a few years ago, anyway. In our house (where there are no children!) it has been viewed every Christmas ever since it was released on New Zealand television. With its 1930s Christmas setting of the English countryside shrouded in snow (and a wonderful story of villainy outwitted by children) it makes perfect Christmas viewing. But of course the book is always better than the movie! Borrow it from your library if a copy is available there.

Since I wrote this review the BBC television adaptation has become available on DVD and seems to have gathered quite a following. From reviews I see here, this seems to be an abridged version. Definitely make sure you get the original version!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mark Newbold on February 26, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This and John Masefield's other childrens book, "The Midnight Folk" are without a doubt two of the finest most imaginative examples of children's literature I have ever read. Far too little known to Americans, these books demand more attention, and like me many adults reading this for the first time will ask, "Where has this been all my life?"

The fascinating thing is the counter point this sequel to "The Midnight Folk" offers, while this fantasy is centered at the Christmas/Solstice/Yule season with all the magical symbolism that entails, the "Midnight Folk" offers a wonderful autumnal Halloween/Samhain mood. You will note that I combine the Christian and pagan holidays, Masefield does a masterful job blending these rich folkoric elements that will delight both children and adults. The verbal imagery is breathtaking as you can feel the sharp wind and icy needles our main character Kay feels while out in a winter's night skulking to find the answers to the mysteries of the titled box of delights. The villainous Abner Brown is both hilariously inept and frightening at the same time.

As the other reviewer noted, though a sequel to the "Midnight Folk" this work stands solidly on its own. I encourage you to track down a copy of this neglected masterpiece of children's fantasy.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
My aunt gave this book to me for Christmas when I was eleven years old -- 18 years ago -- and I have read it every Christmas since! Now I am looking forward to reading it to my sons. It is a beautiful tale that leaves some of the simple magic of Christmas intact. A must read for all ages.
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36 of 48 people found the following review helpful By S. Romano on July 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
Box of delights and its prequel The midnight folks are truly great classics of children literature, but beware: the editions present on Amazon are an heavily abridged version edited by Patricia Crampton (it's an english tv-movie tie-in, if i'm not wrong).

Check Amazon.co.uk for the complete version (published by Egmont)of these two wonderful, ageless classics.
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