I agree. This book is a definite classic. I first became aware of this story as a child. The 1985 movie by Rankin-Bass that is. Imagine my shock to learn it was based on a story from 1902.
Today at 23 years old the movie (especially the intro song, Immortality) brings a tear to my eye. I'm so glad I found the book/story here and am extremely grateful. Bless you!