- Age Range: 9 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 4 - 7
- Series: New York Review Children's Collection
- Hardcover: 312 pages
- Publisher: NYR Children's Collection; 1st Printing edition (October 23, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590172515
- ISBN-13: 978-1590172513
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Box of Delights (New York Review Children's Collection) Hardcover – October 23, 2007
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“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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Top customer reviews
The BBC adaptation follows the book closely and in my opinion uses the best bits.
Why on earth anyone would abridge it in the first place is beyond me. I was very happy to find this copy, big plus that it is a hardback.
The book was used, but clearly never opened. Very sad that this great children's book was given to three children who never so much as turned a page in it. All of my children and grandchildren and a fair few friends of both have read this now.
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.