* ‘Joan Aiken’s invention seemed inexhaustible, her high spirits a blessing, her sheer storytelling zest a phenomenon’ PHILLIP PULLMAN
* ‘The Gift Giving is the perfect selection of stories to introduce readers to this precious and incredible author’ KIRAN MILWOOD HARGRAVE
* ‘The voice that tells these stories is braver than us, unflappable; someone who knows the ways of the world and loves it anyway. She is one of the writers I admire most in the world’ KATHERINE RUNDELL
‘Favourite stories, like unexpected presents, are things that you can keep and cherish all your life, carry with you, in memory, in your mind’s ear, and bring out, at any time, when you are feeling lonely, or need cheering up, or, like friends, just because you are fond of them.’
Joan Aiken is justly famous for her Wolves of Willoughby Chase series, but her greatest love was for short stories, which she wrote prolifically throughout her long career
From a princess turned into a pirate parrot to a procession of Father Christmases chased down Fifth Avenue by a rackety horse and cart; from the ghost of a crusader’s dog, to a captured mermaid in a flying machine, there is something for everybody in this enthralling collection. These stories showcase Aiken’s unique talents – the way she mixed magic and myth with humour to create a kind of modern fairytale. Her stories will appeal to readers of all ages for many years to come.
WITH BEAUTIFUL ILLUSTRATIONS BY PETER BAILEY