Summertime is in full swing, which means, among other things, more time for books! (Our current read: The Princess and Curdie). 

And while, of course, the most important part of a book is what’s inside the covers, it sure doesn’t hurt if the outside is just as delightful.

Which is why I love these bright children’s classics that I scored from Barnes and Noble last fall.


They fill up the little built-in shelf in our upstairs sitting room, and when I revealed that space to you guys, several of you asked questions about the books (since I never showed any close-ups of them). I’ve wanted to do a specific post about them ever since but just hadn’t gotten around to it…until now.


Here’s the thing, though: I bought all 12 of these books as a set from Barnes and Noble online during their black Friday sale last year (which gave me an extra 30% off my entire order), and it brought my total down to something RIDICULOUS like $5.50/ book.


These puppies are leather bound hardback, y’all. So, yeah. That was an amazing score.


I’ve looked and looked (and looked) to find that original set of 12 on Barnes and Noble online and just generally scoured the internet at large, but either they’ve discontinued it (whenever I think I’ve finally nailed it, it takes me to another set that I don’t think is nearly as cute) or just made it uber-hard to track down because I’ve had zero luck.

You can, however, buy each of the books individually (here’s a link to Peter Pan, The Wind in the Willows, and Anne of Green Gables, and if you look down below the listing at the “If you liked these, then you’ll also like…” suggestions, it’s pretty easy to find links to the rest of the Children’s Classic titles one at a time, if you so wish). They’re $9 each, which, while not as awesome as $5, still isn’t that bad for such sturdy, pretty books.

In case you didn’t care to squint at each individual title, the options in this particular series are:

  • The Swiss Family Robinson
  • Black Beauty
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • Peter Pan
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • The Story of King Arthur and His Knights
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • Treasure Island
  • The Wind in the Willows
  • The Secret Garden (one of my childhood faves!)
  • A Little Princess
  • Grimm’s Fairy Tales


I have the boys read for 30 minutes at the beginning of their rest time each day, and I’ve been letting them choose whatever they want (which usually means that they gravitate towards stories about Spiderman and the Avengers), but, pretty soon, I’m going to graduate them to these bad boys.

Here’s hoping they hold up to smudgy little fingers.

Although, I suppose you could say that fingerprints are the marks of a truly beautiful book.

What’s on your summer reading list? Shaun’s about to read the boys Where the Red Fern Grows when we get done with the The Princess and Curdie, and I’m about to invest in Kleenex stock.

Do you like pretty books as much as I do? I found several gorgeous options at some book sellers along the Seine in Paris and majorly had to resist the urge to take them home with me (I managed by mentally chanting, “Your suitcase is already heavy enough!” over and over).

This post is in no way sponsored by B&N. I just like sharing worthwhile things with y’all!


  1. I also loved The Secret Garden! And A Little Princess. The movies are great too. They both come on the same disc in the Target $5 movie section. I give all 3 things as birthday gifts to every little girl I know!

  2. They are actually not leather-bound but cotton bound :). I love them all the same and have had to force myself to let the kids read them!

    1. Weird! I wonder if you have a different set. Mine comes from the Barnes and Noble leatherbound classics section. And while I would doubt that it’s LEATHER (more like the composite or bonded or pressed stuff), and there seems to be a varying level of quality between the books (I have some of the other classics that are nicer quality), all of the reviews that I read online seemed to be in agreement that they were bound with at least a very low-grade quality of leather. Either way, they sure are cute, and I agree that I’m reluctant to actually let my kids at ’em! 🙂

I love hearing from you guys!