Each of the four stories contained in this edition are worthy of detailed and glowing reviews. They're all told in Pullman's signature narrative voice, charmingly simple, but playing with big themes and interesting ideas. 'Clockwork' was one of my favourite books as a child, and it retains a special place to this day. It is the edition itself that I wish to review most of all, however. It really is quite wonderful. The dustcover is beautiful to look at, capturing the magic and excitement to be found within each tale. Page quality and binding are all of high quality, impressive considering the low price of this volume. The stories are interspersed by the original illustrations by Peter Bailey, which are charming and relevant to the stories being told. I was pleased to see that the original font size of the first editions has been retained, making this perfect reading for both young and old alike. There is both a newly written prologue and brief epilogue by Pullman, displaying his usual dry wit. Though short, I felt they were a pleasant addition.
I would urge anyone who hasn't yet experienced the magic of Pullman's 'fairy tales' to buy this collection. For me, he is one of the best storytellers ever, and I'd happily read these tales again and again. When combined in such a beautiful edition, they'll look just as good on your bookcase as when you're curled up reading them.
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