Children’s Literature & Fairy Tales

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Collecting Beautiful Children's Books & Fairy Tales

Children’s books are actually a great genre for the collector. The books remain desirable for a long time for nostalgic reasons, they provide a fascinating cultural snapshot of their time, and classic children’s literature draws the attention of many incredible artists and illustrators. Books series range from cheap and cheerful sets that brighten up any room, to collectible fine press editions. And collections can include genres, authors, illustrators or anything that takes your fancy.

This page provides a jumping off point with links to both vintage and contemporary illustrated bibliographies of stunning fairy tale collections, fascinating folklore, and beautiful children’s book series. 

See also the guide to collecting myths, legends & folklore.

Contemporary Collectibles

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Arcturus Deluxe

Stenciled Page Edges

An upcoming series of clothbound Arcturus children’s classics, scheduled for release in November 2024.

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Folklore Field Guides

Foil-Embossed Cloth

Enchantingly illustrated natural histories of magical creatures with colourful sketches and precise notes detailing their secret lives. First released 2020.

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DK Ancient Myths

Art Deco Illustrations

Ancient myths are brought to life with contemporary retellings and gorgeous illustrations. First released 2020.

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FAO Schwartz

Box of Goodies

Released in collaboration with Target, each book comes in a box with matching metal bookmark, enamel pin, and themed 'magic scroll'. First released 2020.

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Puffin Sisterhood

Classic Paperbacks

Bright beautiful paperback classics about strong, fearless and inspiring women and girls. First released 2019.

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Puffin Clothbound Classics

Glittering Classics

A review of Puffin's latest collector's editions of children's classics, bound in cloth with glittery gold highlights. First released 2019.


V&A Children's Classics

Stunning Morris Designs

A review of the children's classics series produced by the Victoria & Albert Museum and Puffin, using William Morris designs on the bindings. First released 2017.


Chronicle's Folk Tales

Diverse Illustrations

A review of Chronicle's world folklore collections, with different illustrators for each volume. First released 2016.


MinaLima's Classics

Interactive children's classics

A collector's guide and complete illustrated bibliography of the interactive children's classics by the renowned illustrators of the Harry Potter universe. First released 2015.

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Macmillan Gift Collections

Oversized with foiled edges

Macmillan draws on over 175 years of publishing history to make these beautiful gift editions. First released 2015.

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Puffin in Bloom

Pretty illustrated covers by Anna Bond

A list of all the books in the series, including the the hardbacks, gift sets, mini-books, and more. First released 2014.

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B&N Children's Illustrated

Leatherbound classics

Beautiful cover designs for these reproductions of the illustrations that accompanied the book’s historical first printing. First released 2013.

Children's Literature & Fairy Tales

B&N Deluxe Treasuries

Leatherbound collections

Oversized, profusely illustrated ‘deluxe’ treasury editions in the Barnes & Noble collectible leatherbound classics series. First released 2012.

Children's Literature & Fairy Tales

Cut Paper Fairy Tales

Die-cut Tales

A review of Sybille Schenker's magical die-cut fairy tale classics. First released 2011.

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Puffin Hardback Classics

A Pastel Rainbow

A review of the 22 children's books in the Puffin hardback children's classics series. First released 2010.

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NYRB Children's Books

Reprinted Classics

A collector's guide and complete illustrated bibliography of the New York Review's Children's Collection. First released 2003.

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Scribner Illustrated

Classic and Contemporary

A collector's guide and complete illustrated bibliography of the Scribner Illustrated Classics series. First released 2011, many still in print.

Vintage Children's Books

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Arcturus Slipcased

Contemporary illustrations Slipcased children's classics with bright new illustrations. First released 2018.

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B&N Rainbow Collection

A leatherbound rainbow

Now out of print, this rainbow of children's classics from B&N is still a popular collectible series. First published 2011.


FS Cherished Tales

Limited Editions

The Folio Society’s limited edition leatherbound series of six cherished tales, each of which is illustrated by a contemporary artist. First published 2008.

Children's Literature & Fairy Tales

Folio Society Rainbow Fairy Books

Beautifully bound Andrew Lang classics

A guide to the Folio Society's fdecoratively clothbound fairy book collection with stunning original illustrations by contemporary artists. First released 2003.


Folio Society Classic Fairy Tales

Facsimiles of Golden Age Classics

The Folio Society's collection of facsimiles children's books by the best illustrators of the Golden Age of Illustration. First released 1995.

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Purnell Myths

Stunning illustrations

A beautiful vintage series written by Roger Green and illustrated by the Grahame Johnstone twins. First released 1963. One of my all time favourites!


Hamish Hamilton

Books of Myth and Legend

A vintage series of children's books on dragons and goblins, princes and princess, and all manner of fantastic beasts. First published 1961.

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Best in Children's Books series

Famous 1950s artists

A collector's guide to the American children's classics series known as the Best in Children's Book Club series. First released 1957.


Muller's Folk & Fairy Tales

World folklore

World fairy tale collections published between the late 1950s to the early 1970s.

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Dent Dutton

Children's Illustrated Classics

Pretty patterned bindings from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s

Children's Literature & Fairy Tales

Junior Deluxe Editions

Fabulous 1950s artwork

A collector's guide and complete illustrated bibliography of the American children's classics series known as the Junior Deluxe Editions (JDEs). First released c1949.

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Ola Cohn

The Fairy Tree

The books and stories behind the fairy tree carvings in Fitzroy Gardens. First released 1932.


Australian Fairies

Delicate Designs

A review of those literary magical fairy beings of the sort that typically feature prominently in pan-European fairy tales but here are living in the Australian bush. First published 1919.

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Queen's Treasures

Delicate Designs

Delightful vintage children's books by Bell & Sons with pretty decorative bindings. First published 1908.

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Bodleian Library

'High Jinks' Shelves

Identifying the children's books the Bodleian Library uses to create its beautiful range of stationery. First published 1899.


Andrew Lang's Original Fairy Books

Fairy tales from around the world

The original rainbow fairy book set by Andrew Lang and his wife, with their glorious decorative bindings and illustrations by Henry J. Ford. First released 1889.

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Andrew Lang's Story Books

Stories from around the world

The original 'extended' fairy book set collection Andrew Lang and his wife, collecting 'true' stories for children, with beautiful vintage bindings. First released 1891.

Collectible Titles


Alice in Wonderland

Down the rabbit hole

A collector's guide and illustrated bibliography of the wonderful variety of illustrated editions of Lewis Carrol's famous books.

Children's Literature & Fairy Tales

Beedle the Bard

The many illustrated tales

A collector's guide to the illustrated editions of J. K. Rowling's Tales of Beedle the Bard.


East of the Sun

The many illustrated tales East of the Sun, West of the Moon

A comparison review of the Nielsen-illustrated editions of this Nordic classic fairy tale.

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His Dark Materials

Illustrated Editions

Gorgeously illustrated editions of the books in Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' series.


The Princess Bride

As you wish...

A history and collector's guide to the various editions of William Goldman's classic novel The Princess Bride.

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Mary Poppins

Spit, Spot, a Mary Poppins comparison

A review of the varied illustrated editions of Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers.

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Secret Garden

Find the key

A collector's guide and illustrated bibliography of the best editions of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Authors & Illustrators

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Janet & Anne Grahame Johnstone

Twin Illustrators

A collector's guide and complete illustrated bibliography of the folklore, fantasy and children's illustration work by the wonderful Grahame Johnstone twins. Also includes a small gallery of their paintings, and a sampling of their work in the Finding Out magazine.

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Errol Le Cain

Fantasy & Fairy Tale Artist

A collector's guide and complete illustrated bibliography of the illustration work by the amazing artist Errol Le Cain.

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Magical Fairies & Animal Art

Magical fairies and animal art

A complete collector's guide and illustrated bibliography of Charles van Sandwyk's delightful private press work and Folio Society publications.

Coming Soon...

Children's Literature & Fairy Tales
Ruth Manning Sanders

The complete illustrated bibliography of works by wonderful fairy tale teller Ruth Manning Sanders, including her brilliant fairy tale and folklore series 'A book of...' illustrated by Robin Jacques.

Children's Literature & Fairy Tales
Anne of Green Gables
Beautiful Books