Book Description: If readers are to come to Shakespeare and to Chekhov, to Henry James and to Jane Austen, then they are best prepared if they have read Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear, Robert Louis Stevenson and Rudyard Kipling," writes Harold Bloom in his introduction to this enchanting and much-needed anthology of exceptional stories and poems selected to inspire a lifelong love of reading. As television, video games, and the Internet threaten to distract young people from the solitary pleasures of reading, Bloom presents a volume that will amuse, challenge, and beguile readers with its myriad voices and subjects. Here are old favorites by beloved writers of children's literature, as well as exciting rediscoveries and wonderful works penned by writers better known for their adult classics, such as Herman Melville, Leo Tolstoy, Edith Wharton, and Walt Whitman. Encompassing the natural world and the supernatural; childhood, romance, and death; house pets, wild animals, and goblins; mystery, adventure, and humor, the selections reflect the passion and erudition of our most revered literary critic. Dismayed by the current state of children's literature, Bloom reaches back to the imaginative works of the nineteenth century and earlier, choosing poems and stories that will expand the mind and offer the magical companionship of the best that has been written. Arranged by season, "Stories and Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children of All Ages" is a must-have anthology, sure to delight readers young and old for years to come.