Sunday, 4 December 2011

Famous Classics for Girls; Heidi, What Katy Did, Black Beauty

Famous Classics for Girls; Heidi, What Katy Did, Black Beauty (Egmont)
PB RRP $19.95
ISBN 978-140525466-3
Reviewed by Lillian Rodrigues-Pang

This book offers three lovely classic stories. This collection has something for all girls and mothers – who grew up loving these tales. This abridged version takes some of the harder classical English out while retaining the feel of the story. The book is covered in mock cloth and the cover images contain silver gilding, which adds to the classic feel.

The first story is Heidi. Heidi is an endearing story of love that I have always enjoyed. I love the character of the grumpy uncle and the power of good outdoor living for healing.

The second story is What Katy Did, a classical story that pays tribute to more traditional values. In this story Katy and her impetuous nature lead to a major spinal injury. During her confinement she is changed from impetuous and selfish to giving and humble – the centre of the hearth and home.

The third and final story is Black Beauty. I remember when I first read Black Beauty, I was surprised by the fact that it is told from the horse’s point of view. I find that my eight-year-old daughter loves stories with strong animal characters and this held true for Black Beauty. It is a powerful and sad story that stays in the imagination long after it has been finished.

This collection of Famous Classic for Girls was first published in the 60’s and the original black and white illustrations are included. I enjoyed looking at these images, the hairstyles, the clothing, the presentation of poverty is interesting and makes for a discussion in its own right with younger readers.

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