An omnibus, for those who do not know, is a single volume containing multiple full books. Often these are very good books (at, might I add, a relatively low price). So here in the days of desperate end-of-the-holidays shopping, let me bring you a few of my favorite omnibuses in the kids' department.
Miss Nelson Collection by Harry Allard, illustrated by James Marshall -- A sweet schoolteacher tricks her bad students into being good through her witchy substitute alter-ego.
Madeline Treasury by Ludwig Bemelmen -- The classic adventures of the little French orphan, complete with appendicitis and Bat Hats. This is a gorgeous hardcover collection.
My Favorite Dr. Seuss Treasury by Dr. Seuss -- A newly published collection of Dr. Seuss classics. Like the Madeline, it's big, pretty, and it will be in the family for decades.
The Frog and Toad Treasury by Arnold Lobel -- The hapless, charming, best-friend adventures of Frog and Toad all in one book. It's a nice edition and it's also twelve dollars. (?!)
FIRST CHAPTER BOOKS
My Father's Dragon collection by Ruth Stiles Gannett -- The gentle, imaginative fantasy classics in a very pretty hardcover edition.
The Complete Oz Volume 1 by L. Frank Baum -- The first three books of the Oz series, which are funnier, weirder, and way better than you remember from your childhood. This is the first in a series of paperback collections.
The Wrinkle in Time Trilogy by Madeleine L'Engle -- Imagination-stretching, emotional, wonderful science fiction that you won't ever forget. The paperback collection is pretty and readable (and no one wants to stop after just one book...).
The Dark Is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper -- Mythological villains, everyday heroes, Arthurian legend, dark powers, and the ultimate quest to preserve what's good, all set in a stark, fascinating England that will stick in your mind years after you've read them. This volume is the entire five-book series, which won two Newbery Honors and a Newbery Medal between them.
Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervin Peake -- If you have any precocious teenage readers of weird stuff on your list this year, try Gormenghast, the peculiar classic about young Titus Groan, a prince protecting his crumbling kingdom from the evil intentions of a power-hungry kitchen boy.