Allison's Book Bag

Ten Books with Extras

Posted on: December 11, 2012

How many of you remember when DVDs became vogue? One of the perks that finally made me break down, give up my VHS, and switch to DVD were the extras. Of late, I have also become interested in purchasing books which feature extras.

So far, this has mostly taken the form of a single-bound collection. Sometimes the book is a treasury of tales. Other times, it’s an anniversary edition of the author’s works. Occasionally, the book only contains one story. Also, with the exception of three collections, all consist of picture books.

My edition of The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander contains all five books in the set along with the bonus of a collection of stories which recount some of the minor characters’ early years.

Then there’s the anniversary edition of Mad About Madeleine by Ludwig Bemelmans. It contains all six tales, an introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anna Quindlin, an essay by Bemelman about how he created Madeleine, never-before-published working sketches of Madeline, as well as photos of the Bemelmans.

Next I have a treasury of the If You Give A Mouse books by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond. It contains the first four mouse stories. Additionally, it features an author letter, recipes, songs, activities, and outtakes from Felicia Bond’s sketchbook.

Then there’s my Roald Dahl Treasury. It contains too many stories, articles, and poems for me to count! I’ll just say that they’re divided into four parts: Animals, Magic, Family Friends Foes, and Matters of Importance. Besides this huge reading selection, one is also treated to a letter about publishing Roald Dahl, a biographical note by Dahl’s daughter Ophelia, and even an article about the hut where Dahl wrote.

Fairly unusual to my collection is the 40th anniversary edition of the single book, Corduroy by Don Freeman. Along the top of the cover runs the promotional tag: “Includes 8 pages of Never-Before-Seen Bonus Material”. What are these extras? Original sketches, an early draft, and letters between Don Freeman and his publisher.

Next is The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren. It contains all three Pippi books, along with an afterword about the author and how she wrote the Pippi stories.

The Complete Tales by Beatrix Potter doesn’t actually have extras. It receives a mention, however, because the deluxe volume brings together all twenty-three Peter Rabbit tales and verses into one edition. In addition, there are four other works by Beatrix Potter, which remained unpublished in her lifetime.

Apparently, there’s an anniversary edition of Curious George. On my shelves, however, I instead have Curious George and Friends by Margret and H.A. Rey. I love the sole extra in it, notes about the origins of each of the eight stories.

One of my very first purchases of books with extras was Your Favorite Seuss. I grew up reading these tales as a child but, like many of my other picture books, failed to keep any copies. When I started to miss them, I began buying them in single-bound editions.  This particular book contains thirteen stories by Dr. Seuss, accompanied by essays.

Last is a collection about a character whom I encountered only as an adult: The Ultimate Eloise by Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight. Besides having all the Eloise books, it also contains a scrapbook about Eloise’s creators.

Your Turn!

  • What do you think of extras in books?
  • What are your favorite extras?
  • Anniversary Editions of Books for Young People

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