Guest Post by Jasmine Allen, Editor at Sweet Cherry Publishing.
Being a children’s publishing house (and personally being an editor!), we are passionate about providing children with brilliant stories that they love. Working in publishing means that we are avid readers, and so we are keen to share literature that we love too. Classical literature is renowned for many things. Such books provide rich social and political commentary; they are insightful and reflective, and they possess a masterful hold of language. But they are also, at their heart, very good stories.
Here at Sweet Cherry Publishing we love putting our own fresh stamp on the classics, to bring these wonderful stories to our readers. We both repackage classics with beautiful new designs, and simplify them to make them accessible and engaging for children.
Simplifying classics allows us to focus on the most exciting parts of the story. This is what we’ve done in the Sherlock Holmes Children’s Collection, which is comprised of ten of the detective Sherlock Holmes’ most exciting adventures. It is a perfect collection for readers aged 7 and over who love fast-paced adventure books (and, of course, love solving mysteries!). Ten more of Sherlock Holmes’ stories are on their way, with a second set coming out in late spring of 2020. Jane Austen’s witty and sparkling stories has also be rewritten for younger readers, with the Jane Austen Simplified box set now available too.
In the editorial department we have loved working with our authors to retell these stories in new, exciting and interesting ways for our audiences. While simplifying and streamlining the stories, we preserve many of the original author’s strengths: Sherlocks Holmes and his sidekick Watson’s relationship is as humorous as ever, and the cases they solve are made all the more mysterious and gripping. Jane Austen’s characters are faithfully extravagant, feisty and comical, and the reader gets swept up into the drama and romances that Austen is famous for.
Working closely with the design department is another particular highlight during the production process of our simplified classics. Bringing to life the well-known characters through gorgeous illustrations is enchanting: we illustrate the newspapers they read, the photos they take, and everything in between!
There are many different editions of the famous classics out there – but most are beautiful luxury ones for adults. At Sweet Cherry, we think it is important for there to be editions that encourage children to pick them up too. Our Anne of Green Gables 8 book box set allows readers aged 9 and over to meet literature’s most famous redhead, as she journeys from unwanted orphan to beloved wife and mother. Preserving the original text, this bright and beautiful box set encourages children today to read L M Montgomery’s work which has been adored for decades. We have also recently released The Complete Jane Austen Collection, which provides an attractive, more on-trend option for younger readers seeking their own version of the beloved author’s collected works. Revisiting these cherished stories and updating their covers and blurbs for modern young readers is an incredibly rewarding – and incredibly fun! – experience.
Sweet Cherry Publishing seeks to make good books available to everyone, and adapting classics for children is one way we love to do this. It is amazing to both be able to give these classics a renewed life, and to give our readers the opportunity to engage with the stories that have stood the test of time.
We hope they will love them as much as we do.
The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the FCBG.