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Recommended Book Reading List - Stories for Young Children


Checklist

Verna Aardema, Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears: A West African Tale
Karen Ackerman, Song and Dance Man
Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express
Claire Huchet Bishop, The Five Chinese Brothers
Jan Brett, The Mitten
Margaret Wise Brown, Goodnight Moon
Margaret Wise Brown, Little Fur Family Board Book
Marcia Brown, Stone Soup
Margaret Wise Brown, The Runaway Bunny
Virginia Lee Burton, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Geoffrey Chaucer, Chanticleer and the Fox
Barbara Cohen, Canterbury Tales
Barbara Cooney, Miss Rumphius
Roger Duvoisin, Petunia
P.D. Eastman, Are You My Mother?
Ian Falconer, Olivia
Marjorie Flack, The Story About Ping
Mem Fox, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge
Don Freeman, Dandelion
Hardie Gramatky, Little Toot
Donald Hall, Ox-Cart Man
Russell Hoban, A Bargain for Frances
Russell Hoban, Bedtime for Frances
Russell Hoban, Bread and Jam for Frances
Mary Ann Hoberman, A House Is a House for Me
Margaret Hodges, Saint George and the Dragon
Ludwig Bemelmans Author And Illustrator, Madeline, Reissue of 1939 edition
Ruth Krauss, The Carrot Seed Board Book
Munro Leaf, The Story of Ferdinand
Leo Lionni, The Biggest House in the World
Patricia MacLachlan, All the Places to Love
Jacqueline Briggs Martin, Snowflake Bentley
Robert McCloskey, Blueberries for Sal
Robert McCloskey, Make Way for Ducklings
A. A. Milne, The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh
Evaline Ness, Sam, Bangs & Moonshine
Marcus Pfister, The Rainbow Fish
Watty Piper, The Little Engine That Could
Patricia Polacco, Thunder Cake
Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Peter Rabbit
Marjorie Priceman, How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
Cynthia Rylant, Henry And Mudge First Book
Cynthia Rylant, The Relatives Came
Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are
Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who!
Esphyr Slobodkina, Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business
William Steig, Amos & Boris
William Steig, Brave Irene
Sarah Stewart, The Gardener
Ruth Tiller, Cinnamon, Mint, & Mothballs: A Visit to Grandmother's House
Brinton Turkle, Thy Friend, Obadiah
Bernard Waber, You Look Ridiculous, Said the Rhinoceros to the Hippopotamus
Lynd Ward, The Biggest Bear
Jane Yolen, All Those Secrets of the World
Jane Yolen, Owl Moon
Harriet Ziefert, A New Coat for Anna
Charlotte Zolotow, Big Sister and Little Sister
Charlotte Zolotow, Something Is Going to Happen

Source: http://writing-edu.com/literature/booklistA.php

Summaries

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears: A West African Tale [mvpl] [amzn]
Verna Aardema
Song and Dance Man [mvpl] [amzn]
Karen Ackerman
Once a song and dance man, Grandpa reclaims his youth and profession before the delighted eyes of his three grandchildren one afternoon. He simply cannot resist the urge to dress up in clothes left over from his vaudeville days--complete with top hat and gold-headed cane--and to perform tricks, play banjo and tell jokes. He taps, twirls and laughs himself to tears on a thrown-together stage in his attic. Artist Stephen Gammell takes full advantage of lamplight to render Grandpa in shadow and silhouette, trivializing the concept of age and creating a feeling of intense nostalgia. Related from the point of view of the children, the text in Song and Dance Man is soft and understated, and Gammell's artistry is superb. The book won the Caldecott Medal in 1989.
The Polar Express [mvpl] [amzn]
Chris Van Allsburg
The Polar Express book, by Chris Van Allsburg, is the beautifully illustrated book that has been entertaining millions since 1985. The Polar Express is a heartwarming story about the power of belief. This holiday favorite also inspired the recent movie!
The Five Chinese Brothers [mvpl] [amzn]
Claire Huchet Bishop
The Mitten [mvpl] [amzn]
Jan Brett
A Ukrainian boy named Nicki wants his grandmother Baba to knit snow-white mittens for him. She warns her grandson that a white mitten will be hard to find if he loses it in the snow, but of course he promptly does just that! What happens next is the surprising part, as a mole takes refuge in the lost mitten, then a rabbit, then a hedgehog, an owl, a badger, and a fox. If you think the mitten might be a wee bit stretched out at this point, just wait: "Then a big bear sniffed at the mitten. The animals were packed in tight, but the bear didn't care. He crawled in anyway." When a tiny mouse squeezes in, her whiskers tickle the bear's nose. He sneezes, and "Aaaaa-aaaaa-ca-chew!" all the animals fly out of their crocheted cave. As the mitten sails through the air, Nicki spots it, reclaims it, and takes it home to show his smiling Baba.

Jan Brett is the illustrator of many well-known folktales, fairy tales, and poems, such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Owl and the Pussycat, by Edward Lear. Her special signature in her detailed artwork is the intricate borders, seen in this book as birch-bark panels with embroidered details and mitten-shaped vignettes offering additional insights into the story line. Brett is at her best when she illustrates animals, and the expressions on the faces of her creatures are a delight. She carefully researched the costumes, furniture, and house in this traditional Ukrainian tale--all are authentic. A fine story to read on a frosty night with a cup of hot chocolate, and if you ever get your fill of The Mitten, you can always try its delightfully original companion book, The Hat, winner of the 1998 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. (Ages 4 to 8)

Goodnight Moon [mvpl] [amzn]
Margaret Wise Brown

Buenas noches, Luna
por Margaret Wise Brown
Ilustrado por Clement Hurd

En una gran habitación verde, arropado en su cama, está un conejito.
-- Buenas noches, habitación.
-- Buenas noches, Luna -- dice el conejito.

Y así sucesivamente, le da las buenas noches a todas las cosas que reconoce en su cuarto: al cuadro de los tres ositos sentaditos en sus sillas, a los relojes y a los calcetines, a los gatitos juguetones y a los lindos mitones.

En este cuento clásico de la literatura infantil, adorado por generaciones de niños, la poesía que encierra su texto y la ternura de sus bellas ilustraciones con-vierten a éste en un libro ideal para culminar el día.

Little Fur Family Board Book [mvpl] [amzn]
Margaret Wise Brown

There was a little fur family
warm as toast
smaller than most
in little fur coats
and they lived in a warm wooden tree.

The Little Fur Family tells the story of a little fur child's day in the woods. The day ends when his big fur parents tuck him in bed "all soft and warm," and sing him to sleep with a lovely bedtime song.

Cuddle up to a classic with this timeless story! Garth William's soft illustrations join Margaret Wise Brown's rhythmic text to create a gentle lullaby. Bound in imitation fur, Little Fur Family is sure to comfort and delight.

Stone Soup [mvpl] [amzn]
Marcia Brown
First published in 1947, this picture book classic has remained one of Marcia Brown's most popular and enduring books. This story, about three hungry soldiers who outwit the greedy inhabitants of a village into providing them with a feast, is based on an old French tale.
The Runaway Bunny [mvpl] [amzn]
Margaret Wise Brown
Since its publication in 1942, The Runaway Bunny has never been out of print. Generations of sleepy children and grateful parents have loved the classics of Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd, including Goodnight Moon. The Runaway Bunny begins with a young bunny who decides to run away: "'If you run away,' said his mother, 'I will run after you. For you are my little bunny.'" And so begins a delightful, imaginary game of chase. No matter how many forms the little bunny takes--a fish in a stream, a crocus in a hidden garden, a rock on a mountain--his steadfast, adoring, protective mother finds a way of retrieving him. The soothing rhythm of the bunny banter--along with the surreal, dream-like pictures--never fail to infuse young readers with a complete sense of security and peace. For any small child who has toyed with the idea of running away or testing the strength of Mom's love, this old favorite will comfort and reassure. (Baby to preschool)
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel [mvpl] [amzn]
Virginia Lee Burton
Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel Mary Anne make quite a team. The inseparable duo digs the great canals for the big boats to travel through, cuts through the large mountains so trains can pass, and hollows out the deep cellars for the great skyscrapers in the city. But the introduction of gasoline, electric, and diesel shovels means big trouble for Mike and Mary Anne. No one wants an old-fashioned steam shovel like Mary Anne when a modern shovel can do the digging in half the time! Forced to travel far out of the city to look for work, Mike and Mary Anne find themselves in the little town of Popperville. Mike and Mary Anne make a bid to dig the cellar for the new town hall, promising the town that if they can't dig the cellar in just one day they'll accept no payment for the job. Will Mike and Mary Anne be able to complete the job? The whole town of Popperville turns out to watch. Virginia Lee Burton, author of such classic children's books as The Little House and Katy and the Big Snow, offers a touching portrait of love and dedication while commenting on the modernization that continuously shapes our lives. Hamilton's wonderful crayon drawings bring Mike and the indomitable Mary Anne to life. (Ages 3 to 6)
Chanticleer and the Fox [mvpl] [amzn]
Geoffrey Chaucer
King of the barnyard, Chanticleer struts about all day. When a fox bursts into his domain, dupes him into crowing, and then grabs him in a viselike grip, Chanticleer must do some quick thinking to save himself and his barnyard kingdom.

Winner, 1959 Caldecott Medal
Notable Children's Books of 1940-1970 (ALA)
Winner, 1992 Kerlan Award

Canterbury Tales [mvpl] [amzn]
Barbara Cohen
On a spring day in April--sometime in the waning years of the 14th century--29 travelers set out for Canterbury on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint Thomas Beckett. Among them is a knight, a monk, a prioress, a plowman, a miller, a merchant, a clerk, and an oft-widowed wife from Bath. Travel is arduous and wearing; to maintain their spirits, this band of pilgrims entertains each other with a series of tall tales that span the spectrum of literary genres. Five hundred years later, people are still reading Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. If you haven't yet made the acquaintance of the Franklin, the Pardoner, or the Squire because you never learned Middle English, take heart: this edition of the Tales has been translated into modern idiom.

From the heroic romance of "The Knight's Tale" to the low farce embodied in the stories of the Miller, the Reeve, and the Merchant, Chaucer treated such universal subjects as love, sex, and death in poetry that is simultaneously witty, insightful, and poignant. The Canterbury Tales is a grand tour of 14th-century English mores and morals--one that modern-day readers will enjoy.

Miss Rumphius [mvpl] [amzn]
Barbara Cooney
Petunia [mvpl] [amzn]
Roger Duvoisin
When Roger Duvoisin first introduced children to his proud and silly goose, Petunia, in 1950, it was love at first sight. Those children have grown up, but Petunia is every bit as fresh and funny and muddled as the day she was born.

In this, the first of the series of classic books featuring the silly goose, Petunia finds a book—and, deciding that if she owns a book she must be wise, dispenses hilariously mistaken advice to the other animals in
the farmyard.

With its gentle lesson and the kind of humor that kids love best, this new edition of a beloved classic will delight and inspire a whole new generation of readers.
Are You My Mother? [mvpl] [amzn]
P.D. Eastman
This is the classic from which many of our staff first learned to read, starting us on a path of unremitting bibliophilia. Are You My Mother? follows a confused baby bird who's been denied the experience of imprinting as he asks cows, planes, and steam shovels the Big Question. In the end he is happily reunited with his maternal parent in a glorious moment of recognition.
Olivia [mvpl] [amzn]
Ian Falconer
Olivia would be Eloise, if Eloise were a pig. She is good at singing 40 very loud songs and is very good at wearing people out. And scaring the living daylights out of her little brother, Ian, particularly when he copies her every move. She is also quite skilled at reproducing Jackson Pollock's "Autumn Rhythm #30" on the walls at home. When her mother tucks her in at night and says, "You know, you really wear me out. But I love you anyway," Olivia precociously pronounces, "I love you anyway too."

The New Yorker artist Ian Falconer's endearing charcoal portraits of his porcine heroine are spotted with fire-engine red gouache in all the right places--perhaps a tribute to Hilary Knight's red, pink, white, and black celebrations of Olivia's human counterpart? When she dresses up, the bow on her ears, her red lipstick, and her high-heeled shoes are all red. (The only time her shades-of-gray body is pink is when she is sunburned and the area where her bathing suit was is white!) Falconer does a fine job of letting the spare text set up the jokes for the visual punch lines--a dryly humorous interplay that adults will appreciate as much as children.

Preschoolers (and their parents) will see themselves in Olivia--a typical high-energy, over-the-top kid who likes the beach and Degas paintings, but hates naps. On the other hand, she combs her ears and is unusually gifted at sandcastle building. While we are certainly reminded of Eloise, Falconer's portrait is simpler in scope, less demented, and, as a result, less adult. Bottom line: precocious is fun, and we're tickled pink to have Olivia join the parade of, let's just say, individualistic youngsters. (Ages 4 to 8) --Karin Snelson

The Story About Ping [mvpl] [amzn]
Marjorie Flack
The tale of a little duck alone on the Yangtze River, The Story About Ping is a sweet and funny book with wonderfully rich and colorful illustrations. On a day like any other, Ping sets off from the boat he calls home with his comically large family in search of "pleasant things to eat." On this particular day, he is accidentally left behind when the boat leaves. Undaunted, the little duck heads out onto the Yangtze in search of his family, only to find new friends and adventures--and a bit of peril--around every bend.

The exceptional illustrations bring the lush Yangtze to life, from Ping's family to the trained fishing birds he finds himself among to the faithfully rendered boats and fishermen. Certainly intended to be read aloud, The Story About Ping deserves a place on every young reader's (or listener's) shelf. (Picture book)

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge [mvpl] [amzn]
Mem Fox
The offbeat style of this wonderful story--and of Julie Vivas's perfectly matched illustrations--couldn't be summed up better than by the oddness of the first sentence: "There was once a small boy called Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge and what's more he wasn't very old either." Wilfrid lives next to a retirement home, filled with folks like "Mrs. Jordan who played the organ" and "Mr. Hosking who told him scary stories." But his favorite old person is 96-year-old Miss Nancy. Everyone says Miss Nancy has lost her memory, and despite the fact that Wilfrid doesn't even know what a memory is, by accident he helps her find it. Mem Fox's original take on the capacity of children to help the old remember is especially notable for its non-patronizing focus on old people. (Ages 4 to 8) --Richard Farr
Dandelion [mvpl] [amzn]
Don Freeman
Little Toot [mvpl] [amzn]
Hardie Gramatky
Now in print for more than sixty years, this classic story of "the cutest, silliest tugboat you ever saw" continues to delight children around the world. This 8 x 8 edition features watercolor illustrations done in the style of the late Hardie Gramatky.
Ox-Cart Man [mvpl] [amzn]
Donald Hall
A Bargain for Frances [mvpl] [amzn]
Russell Hoban

Frances and Thelma are friends -- most of the time

Thelma always seems to get Frances into trouble. When she tricks Frances into buying her tea set, it's the last straw. Can Frances show her that it's better to lose a bargain than lose a friend?

Bedtime for Frances [mvpl] [amzn]
Russell Hoban
It's bedtime for young Frances--an adorable and irrepressible little badger--and everyone is ready but her. At 7:00 p.m. Frances is wide awake and bursting with youthful excitement. She tries every delay tactic she can muster--from demanding extra hugs and kisses to volleying a series of urgent last-minute questions ("May I sleep with my teddy bear?" "May I have my door open?"). She's almost positive there are spiders, giants, and tigers in her room.

Any parent will quickly identify with this phenomenon--how the last minutes of the day suddenly become the most action-packed. Garth Williams's illustrations complement Russell Hoban's sweet story perfectly, capturing the endless energy and overactive imagination of Frances, and the waning patience of her exhausted parents. Bedtime for Frances is the perfect goodnight story to tell your wide-eyed children. And never fear, like Frances, they too will eventually, contentedly, drift off to sleep. (Ages 4 to 8)

Bread and Jam for Frances [mvpl] [amzn]
Russell Hoban

Frances, one of children's best-loved characters for over 30 years, now springs to life even more in Bread and Jam for Frances,beautifully reillustrated in sparkling full color by Lillian Hoban. In this memorable story, Frances decides that bread and jam are all she wants to eat, and her understanding parents grant her wish'at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacktime. Can there ever be too much bread and jam?

A House Is a House for Me [mvpl] [amzn]
Mary Ann Hoberman
Children's Choice Book Club Edition
Saint George and the Dragon [mvpl] [amzn]
Margaret Hodges
Madeline, Reissue of 1939 edition [mvpl] [amzn]
Ludwig Bemelmans Author And Illustrator
Madeline Hardcover BookPre-ticketed at $16.99. ISBN # 670-44580
The Carrot Seed Board Book [mvpl] [amzn]
Ruth Krauss
Ruth Krauss, author of A Hole Is to Dig, has crafted a story almost Zen-like in its simplicity. A little boy plants a carrot seed and waits patiently, tending to it carefully, while everyone around him insists that "it won't come up." His conviction is steadfast, however, and sure enough, a carrot worthy of first prize at any state fair springs forth from the earth. Krauss's husband, Crockett Johnson (creator of Harold and the Purple Crayon), illustrated The Carrot Seed, and while the little boy is rendered with uncomplicated lines, all of his hope, confidence, and serenity shine through. The image that resonates most strongly in this minimalist tale is the unfaltering faith of the mild-mannered little boy. Young readers learn that standing your ground in the face of opposition and doubt can often result in twice the reward expected (even thrice the reward, if judging by the girth of this carrot). (Ages 4 to 8)
The Story of Ferdinand [mvpl] [amzn]
Munro Leaf

What else can be said about the fabulous Ferdinand? Published more than 50 years ago (and one of the bestselling children's books of all time), this simple story of peace and contentment has withstood the test of many generations. Ferdinand is a little bull who much prefers sitting quietly under a cork tree-- just smelling the flowers--to jumping around, snorting, and butting heads with other bulls. This cow is no coward--he simply has his pacifist priorities clear. As Ferdinand grows big and strong, his temperament remains mellow, until the day he meets with the wrong end of a bee. In a show of bovine irony, the one day Ferdinand is most definitely not sitting quietly under the cork tree (due to a frightful sting), is the selfsame day that five men come to choose the "biggest, fastest, roughest bull" for the bullfights in Madrid.

Ferdinand's day in the arena gives readers not only an education in the historical tradition of bullfighting, but also a lesson in nonviolent tranquility. Robert Lawson's black-and-white drawings are evocative and detailed, with especially sweet renditions of Ferdinand, the serene bull hero. The Story of Ferdinand closes with one of the happiest endings in the history of happy endings--readers of all ages will drift off to a peaceful sleep, dreaming of sweet-smelling flowers and contented cows.

The Biggest House in the World [mvpl] [amzn]
Leo Lionni
Illus. in full color. A young snail realizes that a big house might be a disaster for him.
All the Places to Love [mvpl] [amzn]
Patricia MacLachlan

Within the sanctuary of a loving family, baby Eli is born and, as he grows, "learns to cherish the people and places around him, eventualy passing on what he has discovered to his new baby sister, Sylvie: 'All the places to love are here . . . no matter where you may live.' This loving book will be something to treasure."'BL."The quiet narrative is so intensely felt it commands attention. . . . a lyrical celebration."'K.

Snowflake Bentley [mvpl] [amzn]
Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Most children are captivated by snow, but how many go on to make it their lifework? This beautiful biography, winner of the 1999 Caldecott Medal, tells the true story of a Vermont farm boy who was mesmerized by snowflakes. Wilson Bentley was fascinated by the six-sided frozen phenomena, and once he acquired a microscope with a camera, his childhood preoccupation took on a more scientific leaning. Bentley spent his life taking countless exquisite photographs (many that are still used in nature photography today), examining the tiny crystals and their delicate, mathematical structures. Jacqueline Briggs Martin tells this tale with simple, graceful prose that will engage children's imaginations. Edifying and snowflake-scattered sidebars offer more information about Bentley's methods and snowflake science. The artwork of Mary Azarian, whose 19th-century hand-press illustrations decorate the charming Barn Cat, shines once again in Snowflake Bentley, with woodcuts that reveal an appreciation for detail as well as for the man who loved snow. The lovely illustrations and equally fresh text will inspire and comfort youngsters (and grownups too) who wish they could capture snowflakes all year long. (Ages 4 to 8) --Brangien Davis
Blueberries for Sal [mvpl] [amzn]
Robert McCloskey
Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk go the blueberries into the pail of a little girl named Sal who--try as she might--just can't seem to pick as fast as she eats. Robert McCloskey's classic is a magical tale of the irrepressible curiosity--not to mention appetite--of youth. Sal and her mother set off in search of blueberries for the winter at the same time as a mother bear and her cub. A quiet comedy of errors ensues when the young ones wander off and absentmindedly trail the wrong mothers.

Blueberries for Sal--with its gentle animals, funny noises, and youthful spirit of adventure--is perfect for reading aloud. The endearing illustrations, rendered in dark, blueberry-stain blue, will leave you craving a fresh pail of your own. (Picture book)

Make Way for Ducklings [mvpl] [amzn]
Robert McCloskey
It's not easy for duck parents to find a safe place to bring up their ducklings, but during a rest stop in Boston's Public Garden, Mr. and Mrs. Mallard think they just might have found the perfect spot--no foxes or turtles in sight, plenty of peanuts from pleasant passers-by, and the benevolent instincts of a kindly police officer to boot. Young readers will love the mother duck's proud, loving protection of her wee webbed ones, and those with fond memories of Boston will enjoy familiar locales, from Beacon Hill to Louisburg Square, and over the Charles River--often from a duck's-eye view. Robert McCloskey, creator of Blueberries for Sal, never fails to elicit happy story-time giggles from youngsters, and his soft, brown-toned, Caldecott-winning illustrations make this gentle world come alive. (Ages 3 to 8) --Karin Snelson
The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh [mvpl] [amzn]
A. A. Milne
When Christopher Robin asks Pooh what he likes doing best in the world, Pooh says, after much thought, "What I like best in the whole world is Me and Piglet going to see You, and You saying 'What about a little something?' and Me saying, 'Well, I shouldn't mind a little something, should you, Piglet,' and it being a hummy sort of day outside, and birds singing."

Happy readers for over 70 years couldn't agree more. Pooh's status as a "Bear of Very Little Brain" belies his profoundly eternal wisdom in the ways of the world. To many, Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and the others are as familiar and important as their own family members. A.A. Milne's classics, Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, are brought together in this beautiful edition, complete and unabridged, with recolored illustrations by Milne's creative counterpart, Ernest H. Shepard. Join Pooh and the gang as they meet a Heffalump, help get Pooh unstuck from Rabbit's doorway, (re)build a house for Eeyore, and try to unbounce Tigger. A childhood is simply not complete without full participation in all of Pooh's adventures. (All ages) --Emilie Coulter

Sam, Bangs & Moonshine [mvpl] [amzn]
Evaline Ness
Samantha (known as Sam) is a fisherman's daughter who dreams rich and lovely dreams--moonshine, her father says. But when her tall stories bring disaster to her friend Thomas and her cat Bangs, Sam learns to distinguish between moonshine and reality.
The Rainbow Fish [mvpl] [amzn]
Marcus Pfister
This book by Marcus Pfisher is a tale of the most beautiful fish in the sea that reinforces the themes of friendship and sharing.
The Little Engine That Could [mvpl] [amzn]
Watty Piper
Everyone loves The Little Engine That Could, that classic tale of the determined little engine that, despite its size, triumphantly pulls a train full of toys to the waiting children on the other side of a mountain.

Now the great Loren Long (Mr. Peabody's Apples) has brilliantly re-illustrated this classic story, bringing it exuberantly to life for today's child. Get on board for the publishing event of the year.

Thunder Cake [mvpl] [amzn]
Patricia Polacco
The Tale of Peter Rabbit [mvpl] [amzn]
Beatrix Potter
The quintessential cautionary tale, Peter Rabbit warns naughty children about the grave consequences of misbehaving. When Mrs. Rabbit beseeches her four furry children not to go into Mr. McGregor's garden, the impish Peter naturally takes this as an open invitation to create mischief. He quickly gets in over his head, when he is spotted by farmer McGregor himself. Any child with a spark of sass will find Peter's adventures remarkably familiar. And they'll see in Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail that bane of their existence: the "good" sibling who always does the right thing. One earns bread and milk and blackberries for supper, while the obstinate folly of the other warrants medicine and an early bedtime.

Beatrix Potter's animal stories have been a joy to generations of young readers. Her warm, playful illustrations in soft colors invite children into the world of words and flights of fancy. Once there, she gently and humorously guides readers along the path of righteousness, leaving just enough room for children to wonder if that incorrigible Peter will be back in McGregor's garden tomorrow. (Ages Baby to Preschool)

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World [mvpl] [amzn]
Marjorie Priceman
Illus. in full color. An apple pie is easy to make...if the market is open. But if the market is closed, the world becomes your grocery store. This deliciously silly recipe for apple pie takes readers around the globe to gather ingredients. First hop a steamboat to Italy for the finest semolina wheat. Then hitch a ride to England and hijack a cow for the freshest possible milk. And, oh yes! Don't forget to go apple picking in Vermont! A simple recipe for apple pie is included.
Henry And Mudge First Book [mvpl] [amzn]
Cynthia Rylant

The first book in the acclaimed easy-to-read series featuring Henry and his lovable 180-pound dog, Mudge.

The Relatives Came [mvpl] [amzn]
Cynthia Rylant
In a rainbow-colored station wagon that smelled like a real car, the relatives came. When they arrived, they hugged and hugged from the kitchen to the front room. All summer they tended the garden and ate up all the strawberries and melons. They plucked banjos and strummed guitars.

When they finally had to leave, they were sad, but not for long. They all knew they would be together next summer.

Where the Wild Things Are [mvpl] [amzn]
Maurice Sendak
Where the Wild Things Are is one of those truly rare books that can be enjoyed equally by a child and a grown-up. If you disagree, then it's been too long since you've attended a wild rumpus. Max dons his wolf suit in pursuit of some mischief and gets sent to bed without supper. Fortuitously, a forest grows in his room, allowing his wild rampage to continue unimpaired. Sendak's color illustrations (perhaps his finest) are beautiful, and each turn of the page brings the discovery of a new wonder.

The wild things--with their mismatched parts and giant eyes--manage somehow to be scary-looking without ever really being scary; at times they're downright hilarious. Sendak's defiantly run-on sentences--one of his trademarks--lend the perfect touch of stream of consciousness to the tale, which floats between the land of dreams and a child's imagination.

This Sendak classic is more fun than you've ever had in a wolf suit, and it manages to reaffirm the notion that there's no place like home.

Horton Hears a Who! [mvpl] [amzn]
Dr. Seuss
Surely among the most lovable of all Dr. Seuss creations, Horton the Elephant represents kindness, trustworthiness, and perseverance--all wrapped up, thank goodness, in a comical and even absurd package. Horton hears a cry for help from a speck of dust, and spends much of the book trying to protect the infinitesimal creatures who live on it from the derision and trickery of other animals, who think their elephant friend has gone quite nutty. But worse is in store: an eagle carries away the clover in which Horton has placed the life-bearing speck, and "let that small clover drop somewhere inside / of a great patch of clovers a hundred miles wide!" Horton wins in the end, after persuading the "Who's" to make as much noise as possible and prove their existence. This classic is not only fun, but a great way to introduce thoughtful children to essentially philosophical questions. How, after all, are we so sure there aren't invisible civilizations floating by on every mote? (Ages 4 to 8) --Richard Farr
Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business [mvpl] [amzn]
Esphyr Slobodkina
Caps For Sale
Amos & Boris [mvpl] [amzn]
William Steig
Amos the mouse and Boris the whale: a devoted pair of friends with nothing at all in common, except good hearts and a willingness to help their fellow mammal. They meet after Amos sets out to sea in his homemade boat, the Rodent, and soon finds himself in extreme need of rescue. Enter Boris. But there will come a day, long after Boris has gone back to a life of whaling about and Amos has gone back to his life of mousing around, when the tiny mouse must find a way to rescue the great whale.

The tender yet comical story of this friendship is recorded in text and pictures that are a model of rich simplicity. Here, with apparent ease and concealed virtuosity, Caldecott medalist William Steig brings two winning heroes to life.
Brave Irene [mvpl] [amzn]
William Steig
A New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year

Brave Irene is Irene Bobbin, the dressmaker's daughter. Her mother, Mrs. Bobbin, isn't feeling so well and can't possibly deliver the beautiful ball gown she's made for the duchess to wear that very evening. So plucky Irene volunteers to get the gown to the palace on time, in spite of the fierce snowstorm that's brewing-- quite an errand for a little girl.

But where there's a will, there's a way, as Irene proves in the danger-fraught adventure that follows. She must defy the wiles of the wicked wind, her most formidable opponent, and overcome many obstacles before she completes her mission. Surely, this winning heroine will inspire every child to cheer her on.
The Gardener [mvpl] [amzn]
Sarah Stewart
By the author-and-illustrator team of the bestselling The Library

Lydia Grace Finch brings a suitcase full of seeds to the big gray city, where she goes to stay with her Uncle Jim, a cantankerous baker. There she initiates a gradual transformation, bit by bit brightening the shop and bringing smiles to customers' faces with the flowers she grows. But it is in a secret place that Lydia Grace works on her masterpiece -- an ambitious rooftop garden -- which she hopes will make even Uncle Jim smile. Sarah Stewart introduces readers to an engaging and determined young heroine, whose story is told through letters written home, while David Small's illustrations beautifully evoke the Depression-era setting.
Cinnamon, Mint, & Mothballs: A Visit to Grandmother's House [mvpl] [amzn]
Ruth Tiller
Thy Friend, Obadiah [mvpl] [amzn]
Brinton Turkle
You Look Ridiculous, Said the Rhinoceros to the Hippopotamus [mvpl] [amzn]
Bernard Waber
A hippopotamus learns to be happy with the way she looks in spite of the fact that the elephant tells her that she lacks ears, the leopard that she needs spots, etc.
The Biggest Bear [mvpl] [amzn]
Lynd Ward
Johnny Orchard brings home a playful bear cub that soon becomes huge and a nuisance to the neighbors.
All Those Secrets of the World [mvpl] [amzn]
Jane Yolen
Owl Moon [mvpl] [amzn]
Jane Yolen
Among the greatest charms of children is their ability to view a simple activity as a magical adventure. Such as a walk in the woods late at night. Jane Yolen captures this wonderment in a book whose charm rises from its simplicity. "It was late one winter night, long past my bedtime, when Pa and I went owling." The two walked through the woods with nothing but hope and each other in a journey that will fascinate many a child. John Schoenherr's illustrations help bring richness to the countryside adventure. The book won the 1988 Caldecott Medal.
A New Coat for Anna [mvpl] [amzn]
Harriet Ziefert
Illus. in full color. "A fresh and moving story of a mother's dedication to acquire a coat for her daughter in post-World War II hard times. Anna's mother decides to trade the few valuables she has left for wool and for the services of a spinner, a weaver, and a tailor. Lobel's pictures do a tremendous job of evoking the period. Insightful and informative, this may make children consider how precious the ordinary can become in times of turmoil."--(starred) Booklist. Â
Big Sister and Little Sister [mvpl] [amzn]
Charlotte Zolotow
A small girl runs away from her domineering older sister, only to discover how much she is needed and loved. `A heartwarming picture book for small girls.' —BL.

Children's Books of the Year 1966 (CSA)

Something Is Going to Happen [mvpl] [amzn]
Charlotte Zolotow

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