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The Little Bookroom Hardcover – November 30, 2003

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The Little Bookroom + The Box of Delights (New York Review Children's Collection) + Carbonel: The King of Cats
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: New York Review of Books Children's Collection; Reprint edition (November 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590170482
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590170489
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 5.6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #525,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Eleanor Farjeon’s stories and poems have been a delight to children for many years, and here she has brought together a new collection of some of her own favorite stories…Storytellers will welcome it." — Library Journal

"A selection of treasures from Eleanor Farjeon’s full store of writing for children. Including some stories which have not appeared before in book form. They make a rich combination: gems for storytelling and reading aloud, for children’s own reading, and a few that may be appreciated most fully by adults." — The Horn Book

"27 heartwarming tales…" — Publisher’s Weekly

"Twenty-seven of Eleanor Farjeon’s stories have been selected by the author herself to make an anthology in the classical fairy tale tradition yet lit with the sparks of reason needed to pry young minds loose from their moorings and to widen reading." — Kirkus Review

Selected as one of 100 Must-Reads (Age 13) by Instructor magazine

About the Author

Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965) grew up in England in a house filled with books, and she and her brothers enjoyed reading stories to one another and writing their own. In America, Farjeon’s best-known work may be the hymn “Morning Has Broken,” later recorded by Cat Stevens, but in her native country she is beloved as the author of Elsie Piddock Skips in her Sleep, Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard, and, of course, The Little Bookroom. Farjeon was pleased when The Little Bookroom won the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award and the Carnegie Medal, but she turned down another honor—Dame of the British Empire—explaining that she “did not wish to become different from the milkman.” At her death, the Children’s Book Circle established the Eleanor Farjeon Award in her honor.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Well, don't let that annoy you or scare you away.
Pop Bop
I first read this book when I was about 12, having found it in the school library.
Buy this book and read these stories to your children or grandchildren.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Borderman on March 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
It's a crying shame that this enchanting book is out of print. Perhaps tastes have deteriorated so much that the delicate, the lovely, the merely marvelous are no longer fashionable. Perhaps Eleanor Farjeon's sensibility, nurtured in the late Victorian period, and flowering in the 1920's and 1930's, is simply not able to connect with modern readers. But I don't believe it. I believe that the right child can still be entranced by her writing, and touched, even moved by her stories. Of particular note: "The King's Daughter Cries for the Moon," "Westwoods," "The Barrel-Organ," "Leaving Paradise," "And I Dance Mine Own Child," and the exquisitely poignant "The Glass Peacock." It seems unlikely that publishers comb these reviews for hints at what the public might buy, and less likely that one would see the value in this quiet masterpiece, but should one stumble across it I hope they pay attention and bring this book back to a new generation.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By tabrega on September 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
When I first read some stories from 'little bookroom', I was 9 or 10 years old, I didn't like them very much. They were very different from the stories which I liked those days such as 'little mermaid'. 'snow white' and others about beautiful princesses, hansome princes, faries, and so on in a far-away strange lands. The stories of 'little bookroom' said about a princess who left palace with a ragged servant, a king who married a maid, a goldfish who regarded a globe the whole world, a small school-boy who believed his father's white lies, and a farmer who went to poverty by spending all his money for other people etc. I thought then they were weird for fairy tale characters, so concluded the stories were unattractive. However when I grew older, I found myself thinkng repeatedly those stories and finding more and more beauties that I had not understood. I read them again and got to love them deeply. There were'nt much dazzling luxuries or heart-thrilling adventures in the stories, but all of them were warm, friendly...and so on. The weird ones I hadn't like very much looked as if some old friends whom I had thrown over the fence of 'westwood' due to my ignorance of their true beauties. Reading them, I thought I could feel what Eleanor Farjeon had felr in her little bookroom, and now I want my own little bookroom.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
I was given this book in 1955 and still have my well-read copy. I loved the stories and read and re-read them when I was around eight years old. I especially loved Westwood and the descriptions of the wonderful ball gowns that were made - each one more marvellous that the last. I also loved the story of San FairyAnn. I am going to get a copy for my granddaughter who loves to read and I hope she will be as enthralled with the stories as I was at her age. The stories are magical and transport the reader to a different world and I still remember them to this day.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Sammy Madison on May 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The child who gets the chance to read this book is lucky indeed, because they will be touched by magic. The story about the goldfish who fell in love with the moon was in one of my elementary school readers in the '60s, but I did not learn where it came from until I was about 12, when I discovered an original copy of this book from the '50s in my school library. I especially loved the stories of the Clumber Pup (I have learned there really is such a dog breed)and the boy who planted a kernel of corn from the pyramid. I got goosebumps when I first read "San Fairy Ann", and every time I re-read it the goosebumps come back. Eleanor Farjeon is the only author who has really captured for me the magic of time passing, and generations passing. I love to think that children are still changed for life by reading this book. I know I was.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
If I ever have children, I would make sure that Eleanor Farjeon's "The Little Bookroom" will be part of their library and their childhood. Happy days could end with a story of a "Young Kate" who sang and danced and planted flowers, then a good night kiss and then a tuck into bed. Difficult days could be made better with the story of the Little Dressmaker and her dresses , a tight hug and a warm glass of milk.

Eleanor's stories are not just tales to be read then forgotten, they are springboards of the imagination and of lively discussion. In the tale of the "Seventh Princess," would you rather be one of the six princesses or the seventh? Do you love a toy as much as Célestine was loved in the story of "San Fairy Ann?" If you were one of the Princes in "Leaving Paradise," would you?

Some stories are funny, like "Westwoods," and some are heartbreaking, like "the Lovebirds," but all of them magically transport the reader to another world. I have no doubt this book will be read until it was tattered, torn, dog-eared and stained with sticky candy.

The King and the Corn - Simple Willie tells the story of a boy (or is he the boy?) who values his father's cornfield above all the riches of Egypt's Pharaoh.

The King's Daughter Cries for the Moon - The Disappearance of the Princess results in a comedy of errors where even night and day are turned upside-down.

Young Kate - Kate finds the freedom and time to sing, dance and plant flowers, for which she is rewarded 50 times over.

The Flower Without a Name - Adam forgot to name one of God's flowers.

The Goldfish - For some, happiness comes from a world more suited to their size.
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