The wonderful series collecting older short stories, folklore, poetry and excerpts from longer literatures was released by UK publisher Hamish Hamilton in the 1960s. The selection of tales for each book was made by a famous children’s author of the time, and wonderful illustrators with distinctively different styles were chosen for each volume as well. Many of the books were released in paperback by Penguin, and a couple by Beaver, as well as a few hardbacks in the US by Zwalk, but the complete set is only available in the Hamish Hamilton hardbacks. Each book works fine as a stand-alone thematic volumes, but together make a lovely set if you like the collection.

Hamish Hamilton Book of Dragons Roger Lancelyn Green
A Book of Dragons – edited by Roger Lancelyn Green, illustrated by Krystyna Turska

A collection of over 40 dragon stories from literature and folklore.

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hamish hamilton book of dragons green PB
Hamish Hamilton Book of Giants William Mayne

A Book of Giants – edited by William Mayne

Forty-two tales, legends, and poems from various countries, including Japan, India, and North America, about giants, goblins, demons, and other supernatural creatures.

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hamish hamilton book of giants mayne PB
Hamish Hamilton Book of Goblins Alan Garner

A Book of Goblins – edited by Alan Garner, illustrated by Krystyna Turska

A collection of goblin tales from around the world.

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hamish hamilton book of goblins garner PB
Hamish Hamilton Book of Heroes Eleanor Farjeon

A Book of Heroes – edited by William Mayne, illustrated by Krystyna Turska

A collection of poetry, ballads, songs, myths and legends about heroes.

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hamish hamilton book of heroes mayne PB
hamish hamilton book of kings farjeon

A Book of Kings – edited by Eleanor Farjeon and William Mayne, illustrated by Victor Ambrus

A collection of poems, short tales and excerpts of longer literature about both real and imaginary kings.

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No paperback issued. The similarly titled Puffin’s A Book of Kings and Queens by Eleanor and Herbert Farjeon (illustrated by Robin Jacques) is a collection of poetry, each dedicated to a different king or queen.

Hamish Hamilton Book of Magical Beasts Ruth Manning Sanders

A Book of Magical Beasts – edited by Ruth Manning-Sanders, illustrated by Raymond Briggs

A collection of magical animal tales from around the world.

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No paperback issued. Not to be confused with the large (and wonderful) Ruth Manning Sanders “A Book Of…” series that was published by Methuen and Dutton, and illustrated by Robin Jacques.

Hamish Hamilton Book of Magicians Roger Lancelyn Green

A Book of Magicians – edited by Roger Lancelyn Green, illustrated by Victor Ambrus

A collection of tales about magicians from around the world.

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hamish hamilton book of magicians green PB
hamish hamilton book of myths hope

A Book of Myths and Legends – edited by Jacynth Hope-Simpson, illustrated by Raymond Briggs

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No paperback issued.

Hamish Hamilton Book of Other Worlds Roger Lancelyn Green

A Book of Other Worlds – edited by Roger Lancelyn Green, illustrated by Victor Ambrus

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beaver book of other worlds green PB
hamish hamilton book of princes sinclair

A Book of Princes (aka ‘Parade of Princes’) – edited by Christopher Sinclair-Stevenson, illustrated by Fritz Wegner

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puffin book of princes sinclair PB
hamish hamilton book of queens farjeon

A Cavalcade of Queens – edited by Michael Brown, illustrated by Victor Ambrus

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No paperback issued.

hamish hamilton book of sea legends brown

A Book of Sea Legends (aka A Cavalcade of Sea Legends) – edited by Michael Brown, illustrated by Krystyna Turska

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puffin book of sea legends brown PB
hamish hamilton book of animals dillon

A Book of Wise Animals – edited by Eilís Dillon, illustrated by Bernard Brett

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No paperback issued.

hamish hamilton book of witches hope

A Book of Witches (aka ‘Covens & Cauldrons’) – edited by Jacynth Hope-Simpson, illustrated by Krystyna Turska

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beaver book of witches hope PB

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