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The Kingdom Under the Sea [Hardcover]

Joan Aiken , Jan Pienkowski
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Nov 2011

A wonderful new reissued edition of the classic Joan Aiken short story collection illustrated with Jan Pienkowski's iconic silhouettes.

These East European fairytales have it all: drama, magic, heroes, fairies, dragons, mermaids, adventure, bravery and beauty...

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape (3 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857550098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857550095
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 299,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joan Aiken is one of the best loved authors of the twentieth century, and has written over one hundred books for young readers and adults.

The 50th Anniversary of "THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE" was celebrated with a new Classic Hardback Edition and a Vintage Classics paperback, and a brand new AUDIO READ BY Joan's daughter Lizza Aiken. Hailed as "One Genuine Small Masterpiece" by Time magazine when it first came out, the book is still appearing in new translations all over the world.

Joan Aiken's classic Historical thriller set in her own Dickensian world of Mansions and Mudlarks...HIGHLY ACCLAIMED AND CELEBRATING 40 YEARS IN PRINT!

SEE ALSO new editions of one of Joan's most astonishing adventure series - The Felix Trilogy - Go Saddle the Sea, Bridle the Wind & The Teeth of The Gale

Read More at "The Wonderful World of Joan Aiken" at and

Product Description


"Anyone who enjoyed the works of Joan Aiken and Jan Pienkowski at an impressionable age will coo fondly over the reissue of 1971's The Kingdom Under the Sea, Aiken's retelling of a series of Eastern European folk-tales. It too, is chock-full of ghastliness, as vintage children's tales used to be. Pienkowski's illustrations are whimsically macabre" (Guardian)

"The Kingdom Under the Sea is a collection of traditional European folk takes retold by Joan Aiken and illustrated by Jan Pienkowski. A book for reader and listener to enjoy" (Newbury Weekly News)

"First published in 1971, when it won the Kate Greenaway medal, this timeless collection of stories with enigmatic titles such as The Imprisoned Queen and The Sun's Cousin, all complemented by Jan Pienkowski's atmospheric sillhouette illustrations, will captivate a new generation. A book for keeps" (Mary Arrigan Irish Examiner)

Book Description

Folktales have never been so beautifully told or illustrated as in this collection, now available as a beautiful hardback gift edition to celebrate its 40th anniversary

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Customer Reviews

3 star
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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Kingdom Under The Sea and Other Stories 28 Aug 2005
By A Customer
I read this book when I was 6 and have to write the first review because it is FANTASTIC! If you are buying a book for your children or as a gift this is the one! Not only are the illustrations by Jan Pienkowski brilliant but the stories are all romantic, spellbinding (if a little gory as all the best fairy tales are) and unlike anything you will have read before. If it is like another book it would be Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales or a Roald Dahl classic. Amongst the tall tales my favourites are Baba Yaga - which surprised me by recently appearing in The Weakest Link as a question, The Reed Girl and The Sun God's Castle. A seriously excellent children's book - definitely buy it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but strange 29 Mar 2010
This is a great little book of Fairtytales. However, I think I should add the warning that some are a little bit... strange. As with everything, read them yourself before reading them aloud to a child! They certainly aren't all "happily ever after" tales, although most end well.

That said, the book is one that I would recommend, and Jan Pienkowski's illustrations are amazing, as always.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful illustrations, haunting tales 22 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought these on a nostalgic whim and mainly for the illustrations as they are so beautiful, I'd forgotten how haunting the stories are. Overall a very good buy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful 15 Dec 2009
This is probably the most beautiful book I own. My mum gave it to me when I was about 9 or 10, and I've just been rediscovering it. I'm not sure there's much else to say!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a treasure! 19 Dec 2011
Combine wonderful prose, fabulous stories, and incredible art work and you have a gem of a book. I've bought this for my 8 yr old but after pre reading it to check its suitability I've not been able to bring myself to wrap it yet, preferring to have a little browse each evening. I'm going to find it hard to give away, even to my own daughter! I don't think it's a book for younger than 8 ish: probably would please, but much younger might not quite get so much out of the pictures and stuff.
A miniature work of art.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!! 25 Jun 2013
By Sam K
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this as I used to have a copy as a child which went missing ages ago. It still enthralls me at the age of 40 as much as it did 33 years ago! The illustrations used to fascinate me as a child and the stories and pictures are just ageless. I recommended to any child with an imagination!
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