Updated with 2022 publications.
Penguin began publishing this series in late 2019, with decorative series bindings created by Penguin designers. The books in this series have been selected by Penguin’s editorial team to include classic children’s stories to inspire a lifelong love of reading – they focus particularly on English and American novels. To date, many of the titles include reprints of novels in the earlier ‘Puffin Hardback Children’s Classics’ series in a more deluxe binding.
The series features the full unabridged texts of each book as originally published, full cloth covers with generous gilt accents and bound-in satin ribbon bookmarks. (Unfortunately they still have glued bindings, but this does help make them more affordable.)
Many of the books also include black and white illustrations from earlier editions, as well as thoughtful introductions from contemporary children’s authors. The cover designs are pretty (they include repeating motifs drawn from the story), and they present a delightful glittery and brightly colored rainbow of spines on the shelf, but do take care shelving them as the gilt is less robust than the cloth cover.
Because the books are produced by Penguin UK, newer titles are typically available from UK bookshops before they can be sourced from other countries.
Titles in the Series
Charlotte’s Web – E. B. White, illustrated by Garth Williams
Puffin Clothbound Classics, 1 Sep 2022.
“Wilbur the pig’s life has already been saved by Fern, but when he is sold to her uncle, he realises his life is in even more danger. Enter Charlotte A. Cavatica, a beautiful large grey spider. Charlotte is determined to keep Wilbur from the chopping block, and comes up with an ingenious way to do just that.”
Tales of the Greek Heroes – Roger Lancelyn Green
Puffin Clothbound Classics, 1 Sep 2022
“Discover the mysterious and exciting legends of the gods and heroes in Ancient Greece, from the adventures of Perseus, the labours of Heracles, the voyage of Jason and the Argonauts, to Odysseus and the Trojan wars.”
The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupery, translated by T. V. F. Cuffe
Puffin Clothbound Classics, 17 Feb 2022 (delayed from 2020).
“The timeless, enchanting story of the little prince who lives on a tiny planet with three volcanoes and a haughty flower, which he must protect from the baobabs, the bad seeds.”
Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
Puffin Clothbound Classics, 3 Sep 2020
“Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, where he learns the tragic tale of the intense passion between foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw.”
The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
Puffin Clothbound Classics, 3 Sep 2019
“Orphaned Mary Lennox is sent from India to live in her uncle’s gloomy mansion on the wild English moors, where she finds a key to a secret garden.”