'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 7 August 2020

Review: A World Full of Dickens' Stories

A World Full of Dickens’ Stories presents eight best-loved classic tales adapted by Angela McAllister and retold for children. This is an eye-catching and beautifully designed book that will be treasured and enjoyed time and time again.

An elegant cover decorated with images of the stories’ characters and settings, heralds the contents. Stunning, fully illustrated end pages compete with the cover for first prize.

Reading Dickens in this simplified yet artistic form, younger readers will learn about the real struggles of children within these imaginative tales set in Victorian England.

It is a historically interesting era which reveals the exploitation of orphans and unwanted children, which seemed to be the accepted norm.

The Contents page delivers a single image attached to each story title. They are Oliver Twist, The Old Curiosity Shop, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, A Tale of two Cities, A Christmas Carol, Nicholas Nickleby and Hard Times.

Each of these stories is introduced by a page full of portraits depicting the characters, their name and role. The faces reflect the kind of person they are – harsh, sly, unkind, gentle etc. so the reader immediately identifies them as they begin the journey though the story. The names that Dickens chose for his characters describes them so well. Bold text throughout adds elegance to the layout of every page of high quality paper.

The stories are regularly interspersed with further delightful and expressive illustrations drawn in bold lines in full colour by the talented Jannicke Hanson. What an amazing job she has done!

The stories call attention to the overpopulation, poverty, hunger and lack of all basic human needs. Death was as common as the filth and waste that flooded the streets and gutters. This is an educational tour through history that will surely be a foretaste of all the literature that awaits to be discovered.

I loved this book which is so beautiful in every way, and am thrilled to see the classics being published in a form accessible and comprehensive to younger generations.

Title: A World Full of Dickens’ Stories
Author: Angela McAllister
Illustrator: Jannicke Hanson
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $34.99
Publication Date:  28 April 2020
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978011247710
For ages: 10+
Type: Classics