Classic Children's

Books

CHAPTER I

Down the Rabbit-Hole

 

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversation?’

So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy- chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.

There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself: ‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late! (when she thought it over after­wards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.

In another moment down went, Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.

The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so sud­denly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well.

Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her, and to wonder what was going to happen next. First, she tried to look down and make out what she was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything; then she looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they were filled with cup­boards and book-shelves; here and there she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs. She took down a jar from one of the shelves as she passed; it was labelled ORANGE MARMELADE, but to her great disappointment it was empty; she did not like to drop the jar for fear of killing somebody, so man­aged to put it into one of the cupboards as she fell past it ...

One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it ... it was the black kitten’s fault entirely.

CHAPTER I

Looking-Glass House

 

One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it; – it was the black kitten’s fault entirely. For the white kitten had been having its face washed by the old cat for the last quarter of an hour (and bearing it pretty well, considering); so you see that it couldn't have had any hand in the mischief.

 

The way Dinah washed her children’s faces was this: first she held the poor thing down by its ear with one paw, and then with the other paw she rubbed its face all over, the wrong way, beginning at the nose, and just now, as I said, she was hard at work on the white kitten, which was lying quite still and trying to purr – no doubt feeling that it was all meant for its good.

 

But the black kitten had been finished with earlier in the afternoon, and so, while Alice was sitting curl­ed up in a corner of the great arm-chair, half talking to herself and half asleep, the kitten had been hav­ing a grand game of romps with the ball of worsted Alice had been trying to wind up, and had been roll­ing it up and down till it had all come undone again; and there it was, spread over the hearth-rug, all knots and tangles, with the kitten running after its own tail in the middle.

 

‘Oh, you wicked, wicked little thing!’ cried Alice, catching up the kitten, and giving it a little kiss to make it understand that it was in disgrace. ‘Really, Dinah ought to have taught you better manners! You ought, Dinah, you know you ought!’ she added, looking reproachfully at the old cat, and speaking in as cross a voice as she could manage – and then she scrambled back into the arm-chair, taking the kitten and the worsted with her, and began winding up the ball again. But she didn’t get on very fast, as she was talking all the time, sometimes to the kitten, and sometimes to herself. Kitty sat very demurely on her knee, pretending to watch the progress of the wind­ing, and now and then putting out one paw and gently touching the ball, as if it would be glad to help if it might.

 

‘Do you know what tomorrow is, Kitty?’ Alice began. ‘You’d have guessed if you’d been up in the window with me – only Dinah was making you tidy, so you couldn’t. I was watching the boys getting in sticks for the bonfire – and it wants plenty of sticks, Kitty! Only it got so cold, and it snowed so, they had to leave off. Never mind, Kitty, we’ll go and see the bonfire tomorrow.’ Here Alice wound two or three turns of the worsted round the kitten’s neck, just to see how it would look; this led to a scramble, in which the ball rolled down upon the floor, and yards and yards of it got unwound again ...

Bah! said Scrooge, Humbug!

Lucy Maud Montgomery

1874 – 1942

Come, trowl the brown bowl to me,

Bully boy, bully boy,

Come, trowl the brown bowl to me:

Ho! jolly Jenkin, I spy a knave in drinking,

Come, trowl the brown bowl to me.

I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family, though not of that country, my father being a foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull.

Robinson Crusoe

(1719)

 

"I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family, though not of that country, my father being a foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull ...", says the protagonist at the beginning of one of the most famous novels ever written.

 

Having been cast on shore by shipwreck, Robinson Crusoe is damned to live all alone in an uninhabited island in the middle of nowhere for more than 20 years. During this time he has to fight against himself, harsh weather conditions – and cannibals ...

 

316 pages

 

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