A Treasury of Delights - our top ten treasuries for 2012

A few weeks ago we selected three new collections of Grimm's Tales for our Friday picks, but - really - there have been so many rich and wonderful collections and treasuries in over the last few months that we could have selected many others.

We think the following make wonderful reading and perfect presents any time of the year, so after talking up the Grimm tales, here are our top ten of children's collections from this Autumn (particularly if a collection of grim 'Grimm' isn't really your cup of tea):

Arthur of Albion - John Matthews and Pavel Tatarnikov
Discover the myth and the magic in this beautifully produced, illustrated, part cloth bound hardback with a pull out map. A book that celebrates art and story, children will fall in love with the stories of King Arthur and this truly special book that will both inspire and be a treasure to keep.
Robin Hood - Nicky Raven, illustrations by Anne Yvonne Gilbert
A fresh interpretation of this legendary tale with modern pencil illustrations overlaid with ink in suitably subdued forest hues that aptly reflect the character and adventures of Robin Hood.
Greek Myths - Ann Turnbull
Out in hardback last year, it's now out in paperback but without losing anything in its presentation and uniqueness. Still a perfect gift (and one we really love in the shop) it has a gorgeous blue and gold cover with one of the Greek Heroes on the front that catches your attention immediately. Turnbull's retellings of the Greek Myths are as elegant and sensual as the illustrations themselves and she has gone back to the earlier versions of the myths when writing these accessible versions for children. A real work of art...

The Odyssey - Gillian Cross
We were very fortunate to meet Gillian at a school event recently, and this retelling of the Odyssey is a perfect companion to the above. Such a lot of effort has gone into creating this version of this epic tale (also by Walker Books), accompanied as it is by  lavish colour illustrations and exquisite black and white silhouettes. Homer's great story is told with beautiful simplicity and style, charting the ten year voyage of Odysseus and
all his adventures.

The Roald Dahl Treasury
Everyone should have a Roald Dahl Treasury (OK, we're biased) but take a look at this one. Bringing together some of the most dazzling moments in the work of this extraordinary writer, this collection sees Dahl in all his moods and shows why his writing has become an essential part of childhood. With four themed sections (Animals; Magic; Family, Friends and Foes; and Matters of Importance) the reader is taken on a journey into Roald Dahl's unique imagination. In each section you will find complete stories, extracts from longer fiction, rhymes and memoirs as well as come unpublished poetry and letters, with a host of Dahl's best-loved characters and featuring a large number of pictures by Quentin Blake, many of which have been drawn especially for this collection. Perfect for Roald Dahl fans - those who are and those who are yet to be.

The Quentin Blake Treasury
Collected here are Quentin Blake's best-loved characters, classic stories and marvellous rhymes - nine picture books together for the first time in a treasury to be shared and enjoyed by all. From his very first picture book to his most recent adventures, this collection spans and celebrates his astonishing career. There's inspiration, wit, wonder and jollity to be found on every page.

and for younger ones:

A First Book of Nature - Nicola Davies
A stunning gift book perfect for younger children that captures the simple loveliness of nature and is brought to life by the colourful and lively illustrations by Mark Herald.

The Alfie Treasury - Shirley Hughes
This doesn't need much of an introduction - Alfie is still a true classic and as popular today as ever, loved by childen and parents alike. Containing seven Alfie stories, this is a glossy hardback with the original colour illustrations. Every child will make a friend for life with Alfie and have fun with him on his adventures which vary from locking his mum out of the house to splashing about in puddles.

Old Bear Stories - Jane Hissey
A fabulous special collection of 5 Old Bear adventures, signed by the author, in hardback. A book to treasure, I remember these stories from when I was little and had a special affinity with bears (and the hundreds of soft toys I had in my room). This is gorgeously presented with the original illustrations which have been vividly re-produced and to a very high-quality, bringing the stories to life.

Old Bear - Jane Hissey

Also published in celebration of 25 years of Old Bear, this limited, special collectors, signed edition of Old Bear in hardback is also in.

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