The New York Review Children's Collection Anniversary Set

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The New York Review
Children's Collection Anniversary Set 

Post update:

Since I ordered my book set and after writing this blog post, I noticed that the NYR Children's Collection changes the content of its book set from time to time, as they published many more books from the moment when I purchased my set.

This means that the specific book set that is on sale today may contain a different number of books than at the time of my purchase, as well as different titles.

However, most if not all individual titles are also available outside the set

Do you want to know a secret?

No one knows about it, save my lovely wife.

But you must promise not to tell anyone else about the time that I splashed out $433.98 on a children's book set. The book order was placed on June 2, 2010... and when I received it I was not happy.
For my review of The Man Who Lost His Head
- click on image

More like ecstatic!

In this post you will find exclusive information on my most scandalous book order EVER.

The Marie Antoinette moment ("Let them eat cake") in my Read Aloud Dad career.

Even my close friends do not know about my decadency - I think they would think I lost my mind.

I  ordered a $400+ book set for kids.

But they had not seen, what I had seen.

OK, OK ... stop with the build up - just tell us what did you order and why?

The outragous New York Review's Children's Collection Set.

What is it?

For my book review of The Two Cars - click on picture
Seven years ago, The New York Review Children’s Collection was launched in an attempt to bring back the finest of children's literature that went out of print and now is unavailable to new generations.

The Collection includes books for all ages of children, from picture book offerings for preschoolers, to chapter books and novels for older children.

All the books I received - although of different sizes - are in uniform red or blue binding.

These are very sturdy hardcover editions (no dust sleeves) and are visually extremely appealing.

This is true quality.

The books seem out of this world - as if they belong to past times, when quality bound editions were issued by a dedicated publisher year after year in the same format after painstaking selection of the best books.

Yes, the quality is fantastic.

Book Gluttony - An Original Sin?

Gluttony is a lust of the mind.Thomas Hobbes

Why did I buy a set? Wasn't one or two books enough?

Because of the quality of the books and their extraordinary value.
cover page of The Wolf Story by WIlliam McCleery
For my book review of Wolf Story
 - click on the picture

All of them have a beautiful individuality - but they are still part of a still growing original set of sidelined classics.

I want my kids to enjoy it while they grow. To see diversity on their bookshelf selection, but to enjoy how it can all come together in a single collection.

How could one define the New York Review Children's Collection Set in three words?

It  expands minds.

The range of authors. The meticulous selection by the publisher for old gems that were no longer in print. The unexpected topics.

Can you believe it - I never read a single of these books before I ordered. Not a single one. I did not need to.

The publisher's novel idea and book quality captured my attention, but the deal was clinched when I saw the range of individual titles. It made me fall in love once again.

More than 50 New York Review Children's Classic books have been published to date, but the 40-book set that I ordered included the first 41 books that were published.

Until now, I have reviewed six gems from this collection - The Two CarsJenny and the Cat Club, Beyond the Pawpaw TreesThe Sorely Trying Day, The Man Who Lost His Head and Wolf Story.

Each and every one of them was amazing, original and, most importantly, made my kids smile and laugh.
For my book review of Jenny and the Cat Club
 - click on the picture

It seems that the list of books in the set varies from time to time.

The collection I ordered consisted of 40 individual hardcover titles.

So, before I made up my mind - should I order or not - what could I do?

I looked at several other leading online retailers) - but there were absolutely no customer reviews of the book set as such - not many people made a leap of faith it seemed.

I glanced today, still no reviews on Amazon.

Would I be the first one? Was it worth it?

Was this going to be the most expensive mistake in my short career as as children's book reviewer?

Well, I didn't accept to be beaten so early in the game.

So I started reading the publisher's synopses and customer reviews of the individual books.

For my book review of The Sorely Trying Day 
- click on the picture
It is impossible to give you a magical summary with all views of all the books here.

So, I will review as many of the individual books from the collection as I can, over the next few years.

And whenever I review a book, I will add a link to my review - into this page.

By clicking on any of the book covers that you see to the right side of this post, you will be taken to my review of that individual book from the New York Review Children's Collection.

Please, let me also give you an independent view of the set - I want to simply quote a sentence published in USA Today - maybe it explains the situation best:

…a handsome collection of reprints, aimed at rescuing neglected children’s classics from ‘the dustbins of history.’” —USA Today

 "Dustbins of history" .... "neglected children's classics"...
For my book review of Beyond the Pawpaw Trees
 - click on the picture

 Well, I'm happy to be part of the salvage effort.

Anyway, after the monster package arrived, I invited my twins (who were not yet three years old then) to help me rip away the wrapping.

They thought it was the best game of the day - a good start to a life-long friendship with the New York Review Children's Collection Set.

I had spent almost $450 on the books, but I was lost for words! What a breathtaking collection.

One day, if you find that you have that kind of money to spare and wish to expand some kids library with a unique collection of alternative classics - spare the NYR Children's collection a thought.

I did and - six months on - I'm still ecstatic I did it.

Or else, choose individual books from the set that catch your eye - and enjoy a new type of classic.

Do you know any similar collection that I should be aware of?

If you do, please tell me in the comments section below.

I'm a sucker for great children's books!

The NY Review Children's Collection Anniversary Set is available from bookstores in the US: 


The Book Depository (free worldwide shipping)

and from other countries:

Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon DE


  1. Thanks so much for sharing this post!  I love your love of children's makes me giddy to find treasures like that!

  2. Hi Julie, 

    Thanks so much for your kind words. I'm so happy when I learn about other parents who enjoy children's books as much as we do.

    You put an enormous smile on my face today!

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: @6003d7ef1a28b4d8ab2da5ea21c70f6c 

  3. I've always meant to read The Magic Pudding!

  4. Hi Caroline,

    Let me wet your appetite a bit more with this quote from the back cover:
    "This is the funniest children's book ever written. I've been laughing at it for forty years and when I read it again this morning, I laughed as much as I ever did."

    Philip Pullman

    Now, I can't wait to read it as well!

    Read Aloud Dad

    PS Thanks for the tip!

    Caroline Starr Rose 

  5. The Everyman's children collection is nice, the book are older, and comes in beautiful colors with book ribbons to save the page, i believe Martha Stewart own it too.

  6. Hi bookworm,

    Thanks for the tips! Indeed, the Everyman's children's library collection is a fabulous set of books for kids!

    Read Aloud Dad