On a bitterly cold morning, I lay half awake, cognizant to the sound of the crying wind as it wiggled through the small cracks in the circular bay window above my head. Countless attempts to seal the tiny crevices where the stained glass joined the wooden panes with fresh layers of white silicone only seemed to worsen the situation. The decayed old particles cracked and flaked, leaving minuscule passageways for the outside world to gain entrance in the two story sanctuary. The attic, adjacent to the bedroom was dark, but not completely barren of life. The tangerine light of the full moon sifted through the rotting ventilation eaves in the end walls revealing cobweb-festooned rafters under a 45 degree peaked roof. Moist silk aqueducts linked together throughout the entire attic allowing swift passage for the carnivorous arachnids that patrolled the area like German Gestapo guards outside Block 11 in Auschwitz. The sticky orb traps, meticulously spun by a handful of hungry arachnid protected the book of short stories from curious insects that unknowingly trespassed their temple. These fanged vampires were the sentinels of the attic, the guardians of flayed humans. They stood vigil over something that was no longer there, honoring ways that had long ago ceased to exist except as a distant memory. Deep inside the attic, these vermin slept sound, for they lived in a dream world where heroes walked tall during the wee sleeping hours of the night, and chivalry and justice were synonymous with honor. Only the Story Teller survived and these are his stories.
From classics to new favorites, 100 Best Books for Children "points parents in the right direction to] 100 titles no child should miss" (Booklist). With thirty-five years of experience at the heart of children's publishing, Anita Silvey is better equipped than anyone to help parents make the right reading choices, given the enormous range of children's books available today. From board books to titles for older readers, Silvey narrows the field to 100 "best books," organizing them by age and providing essays on plot summary, along with fascinating insights into the story behind the story that only an insider would know.
Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.