The Mostly Books customer query challenge

Here's the latest in our series of tricky queries from shop visitors - obviously we are compiling these into a future quiz compendium for book fans, so any suggestions / answers would be gratefully received and acknowledged: - one of our good friends (Melissa) wants a book plus CD of both traditional folk tales and songs, for an overseas Christmas Present. I've done some hunting around on-line, but the challenge of finding a book that comes with a CD has been the tricky part. Perhaps there is a separate book and CD with some overlap that can be put together into one package? - there is a new book of Fairy Tales published which have gone back to the origins of the tales, and therefore they are significantly different to most of the contemporary versions around today. So far, I've drawn a blank on this one. - Jeremy James books (by David Henry Wilson) - the one with Buckingham Palace in it?! (Question from a little girl) - Suggestions for a good book for an 8 year old, really into animals (not animal stories) and wants to become a vet. I did find a book "I Want To Be A Vet" but it's Out of print...I've also recommended Gerald Durrell, but not for another 2-3 years. - A good, originally-illustrated (was it ever originally illustrated?) Alice in Wonderland for young children. I must admit, I've been a bit lazy on this because I was only asked yesterday, and haven't actually done any checking... (OK, I've just gone and checked its Wikipedia entry - well, well, well. Did you know that the correct title is "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", the first edition (1865) was illustrated by John Tenniel - but he objected to the print quality, so another edition was printed the following year. The Rev Dodgson must have been delighted with that delay...and, would you believe it, there is some critical debate about whether it should be classified as a fantasy or a horror story. Blimey!)


  1. You beat me to it -Tenniel indeed And they are the best - they haunted my imagination as a child and still do. There surely is a Tenniel illustrated one in print. If not watch this space...

  2. Have you suggested the Lucy Daniels (Guinea Pig in the Garage etc.) series to your younger reader who wants to be a vet? The stories are set in a Vet's surgery and an animal sanctuary and, as far as I can tell, provide a fairly realistic view of life in such places. For instance the Guinea Pig story mentioned above contains a sub-plot about bringing a dose of reality to a young girl who is desparate to work with animals and has a decidedly rose-tinted view of such things! A recurring theme is the funding problems of the local animal sanctuary.
    The books are suitable for different age ranges - I wouldn't let our 6 year old read the one that covers the destruction of badger setts, but apparently a ten tear old found it very exciting!

  3. Thanks Andrew - I appreciate the clarification on Lucy Daniels, who I always assumed were 'cute and cuddly' stories about animals, and might present an "image problem" if read by an 8 year old boy.

    I shall mug up on Ms Daniels and see if the young man might want to come in and choose one!

  4. GRIMM'S GRIMMEST by Maria Tatar is a relatively recent title published in the U.S. by Chronicle. I don't know if this is the book you're referring too. It's an anthology of the most gruesome versions of the most gruesome tales. Most of these versions come from the first edition, which was changed quite a bit by the Brothers G. -- later editions were tamer and less gory.

    The original version of ALICE was ALICE'S ADVENTURES UNDERGROUND and Lewis Carroll illustrated it himself, and handwrote the text. Of course this isn't the version that was commercially published with those well-known Tenniel illustrations. But it's technically the earliest version.