By Raelene Gorlinsky
(Based on information from an article in Publishers Weekly, 8/15/11 issue.)
Ah, the books we remember fondly from our childhood - or from reading to our children. The classics are called that for a reason - they are great stories that stay popular. Some of the most popular children's books are celebrating long anniversaries, and most therefore have special editions coming out.
Remember the series about Babar the elephant? I loved those drawings. The first book, The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff, came out in 1931, so is now 80 years old and still beloved by and relevant to children. Coming out this month will be Babar's Celestville Games by Laurent de Brunhoff, Jean's son.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle made a deep impression on me as a preteen. It's celebrating it's 50th with a special commemorative edition. There will also be a graphic novel adaptation out next year.
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster & Jules Feiffer is 50 years old. The special anniversary editioin will be released in October.
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl is also 50 this year. The publisher, Puffin, is not only putting out an anniversary edition, but having a variety of online activities and contests.
Ezra Jack Keats' The Snowy Day will be 50 next year. It was considered groundbreaking back in 1962, and won the Caldecott Medal, because the young boy was African-American.
Remember the jungle animals coming out of the game in Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg, 30 years ago? It was a 1982 Caldecott Medal winner, and came out as a movie in 1995.
The Magic School Bus series by Joanna Cole is 25. I read these to my son when he was small; I enjoyed them as much as he did. The illustrations by Bruce Degen are wonderfully clever.
I'm likely to succumb and buy some of the special editions, to add to my collection of children's picture books.