Children's Fiction

Classics re-visited

The following books are aimed at children who, despite being told they should definitely read the 214,681 words of Moby Dick, say, would much rather read a beautifully illustrated version that gives them all the story and skims over the less interesting parts with bridging passages to keep their interest. These books are all considered classics, and should certainly be read by as many people as possible. Now, with a combination of clever editing, adapting and in one case translation, and striking illustration, the novels can be enjoyed fully without the arm ache, and not just by children.

dracula cover


Walker Books, London, 2007

The story of the notorious vampire Count Dracula, lord of the undead, who rises from his coffin at night to suck the blood of the living is, undoubtedly, the stuff of nightmares. A lunatic asylum, a bleak Transylvanian castle, an ancient cemetery...these are the dark backgrounds to the even darker deeds portrayed in this most bloodcurdling of tales.

the hunchback of notre dame cover

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Translated and adapted
Walker Books, London, 2006

This title is set in Paris in 1492. Hideously deformed, deaf and near blind, the hunchback Quasimodo lives in the Notre-Dame bell tower. Beneath him in the square, the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda dances for the crowds. The pious, misogynistic archdeacon Frollo watches from his cell. As his desire turns to obsession, so the story marches inexorably towards a final act of terrible revenge...David Hughes' grotesque and beautiful illustrations use a mixture of photography and drawing to create a truly striking visual experience, whilst Jan Needle's newly translated and sensitively re-edited text opens up this classic tale to a younger audience for the first time.

moby dick cover

Moby Dick

Adapted and re-edited
Walker Books, London, 2006

Haunted by prophesies of his own death, Captain Ahab hunts the vast waters of the Pacific in search of the great white whale that has become his obsession. This towering novel has been sympathetically edited to a tenth of its original length, focussing on the exciting chase at the core of the book, as all but one of the Pequod's loyal crew are sacrificed to Ahab's great obsession.

woman in white cover

The Woman in White

Adapted and re-edited
Walker Books, London, 2007

Often called the first detective story, The Woman in White has thrilled readers for over a century. When Walter Hartright has a mysterious moonlit encounter with a woman dressed all in white, his world changes for ever. Engaged as a drawing master, he falls in love with Laura Fairlie, but before they can be united she must escape the clutches of the wicked Sir Percival Glyde and the deceptively charming and utterly sinister Count Fosco...