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question/favor of the day

question/favor of the day

LVery little sleep. Bad dreams. Big headache. In lieu of morning blog, a question instead. This one is designed so you can help me out with a project. I'm compiling a list of children's books (preferably picture books) that can be read to classrooms (k-5) in a relatively quick amount of time by community members.

So...what is your favorite children's book, either one that was read to you or one that you would read to a child? Feel free to expound on why you enjoy the book.

*please note that I have to have this list available tomorrow. So comment early and often. Thank you.


You expected me to suggest some Dahl, right? Well, "The Enormous Crocodile" is a good one for younger kids. Great scribbly pictures and a simple yet fun story. Older kids might get a kick out of "The Magic Finger", which has a strong anti-hunting stance. (A family of hunters are turned into birds by the narrator's magic finger.) Both are a bit subversive in their glorification of naughtiness, but nothing that parents would complain about, I think. Should give the kids lots of laughs too.

For a longer book, I think you can't go wrong with "The BFG". My third grade teacher read it to us and it seriously changed my life. It turned me into a bookworm and a lifelong Dahl fan (and you know where that's led me). It's funny, rude, suspenseful, and touching. I think every kid identifies with a runt, even when he's a runt giant.

Lastly - "Charlotte's Web". I can remember the exact morning at my babysitter's when I read the ending of that book. I cried and cried. I thought it was the most beautiful thing in the world. And it's great to show kids that the books are always better than the movie versions.

Oops, yes, I was going to say Charlotte's Web. I'll be damned if I can remember any other books that had such a profound effect on me, outside of Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary.

I distinctly remember two books from when I was growing up. I read many more. The first was read to me by my 4th grade teacher. "The bridge to tarabinthea". Not an impressive or overly engaging book but good never the less.

The next are my favorites. I read them even now. "The Chronicales of Narnia" If I had to pick one it would be "Prince Caspian", but you would be a crule woman to force me to choose.

"The Velveteen Rabbit." Can't go wrong with that timeless story. My mom still loves it when I read this story to her.

How bout "George & Jemma play pass the bong"

See George Inhale...

See Jemma giggle...

See George faint.

My preschool-aged children love the Rabbit series by Alan Baker...White Rabbit's Color Book, Brown Rabbit's Shape Book, etc.

From my own childhood, definitely the Narnia Chronicles and A Wrinkle in Time...I am PUMPED that they're making this into a miniseries this spring. PUMPED, I tell you!

Short books with pictures, right?

Ok, my girls are preschool and kindergarten age so that's what grades my book recommendations go under:

[] The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle)

[] The Polar Express (Chris Van Allsburg)

[] The Honest-to-Goodness Truth (Patricia C. McKissack)

[] The Little Engine That Could (Watty Piper)

[] The Giving Tree (Shel Silverstein)

[] Miss Spider's Wedding (David Kirk)

[] The Rainbow Fish (Marcus Pfister)

[] Where the Wild Things Are (Maurice Sendak)

And any poems/stories from A Light In The Attic or Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein - I remember my class giggling over these in 2nd grade.

Dr. Suess! Any and all of his books. Bridge to Taribithia for sure.

Ummm... The Queen, The bear and the Bumblebee by Dini Petty (not sure if you can get that down in the States or not though) it's a good little story with the moral of being happy with who you are rather than trying to be something you aren't.

Hmm. K-5 spans a wide range. Certainly, Narnia. The Phantom Tollbooth. By 5th I was reading A Wrinkle In Time and some Tolkein, I think. Ender's Game, for the advanced kids. (Hmm, maybe not.) OH-- The Anne of Green Gables series! I read that late, and loved it. (There's also that lovely PBS series of the show.) The Boxcar Children for the younger ones (I thought they were much cooler than the Bobbsey Twins).

Doh, I just remembered that these were supposed to be shortish. Heh. Sorry.

What about The Emperor's New Clothes? I think it has a nice lesson on arrogance and falsity. The Phantom Tollbooth is a fun one that you can learn while you read. Shoot...if I was at home I could give you a bunch of names...I Looove children's books. What time do you need them tomorow? I could try and email you tonight from home with some more names.

"Where the Wild Things Are" Maurice Sendak. Hands down favorite. Hope that helps......

"Harold and the Purple Crayon" and other Harold books by Crockett Johnson. Imagination for days. ... The "Harry" books by Gene Zion, esp. "No Roses for Harry." ... "The Paper Bag Princess" by Michael Martchenko. Every little girl should have this one. ... the "Clifford" books by Norman Bridwell. ... "Amelia Bedelia" books by Peggy Parish.

definately "Stellaluna" - a story about a little lost bat who gets adopted by a momma bird. Just an overall wonderful story about diversity and how we're not so different after all.

How the hell could one not mention "Curious George"? Hows about "Charlottes Web"?

Damn fine reading.

Skip that. I see Charlottes Web mentioned. Thats what I get for speed reading.

Loved Narnia, even though I later got all the Christion stuff (gag). Oooh

Harriet the Spy

I read that soooo many times when I was that age. The Bagthorpe books are good, too, by Helen Cresswell. Funny, and the protagonist is about that age... I read them over and over again:


Anyway... good luck, and have fun! Neat project.

Well, by 5th grade, kids can be pretty advanced, so I'll answer more for the K-3:

1. The Orchard Cat (by Stephen Kellogg)--Utterly Magnificent.

2. The Chronicles of Prydain (by Lloyd Alexander--five book series which incl. The Black Cauldron)

I second the nominations for the Boxcar children, Wrinkle in Time, and Narnia series!

Miguel at Feral Living collected a list of some children's book titles a few months ago--you might check with him, if he doesn't answer here.

I am not sure how popular these books are in the States but any and all Robert Munsch books are highly recommended. I have read Angela's Airplane, Thomas's Snowsuit, I Have to Go, Something Good, The Paper Bag Princess and Love You Forever so often to my nieces, nephews and god daughter that they had the books memorised by the time they could read.

Mike the Steam Shovel

Little Bear (Maurice Sendak)

Madonna's Sex.

(okay, so I was trying to be funny. I don't remember any kids books.)

The Pied Piper of Hamlin is always a good cautionary tale.

george and martha

in the night kitchen

the giving tree

caps for sale

tuck everlasting

ramona quimby

and don't forget judy blume books

how about:

"the giving tree"

"the little house"

the "madeline" series

"alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day"

- The Monster at the End of This Book : Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover

- Anything Dr. Seuss

- The Giving Tree, Where The Sidewalk Ends, A light in the Attic

- Cracker Jackson (Not a picture book though, was read to me by my fourth grade teacher. Deals with some growing-up and real life issues.)

St. George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges with Illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman is a beautifully illustrated book and a Caldecott medal winner as well.

The Day I Sold My Dad For Two Goldfish by Neil Gaiman illustrations by Dave McKean is another great book...and since you are a Dave McKean fan, you should enjoy it as well.

I have two copies of Goldfish. One of which I will be reading to DJ's class as the token guest reader for the day.

Ohh, Madelinka, by Peter Sis.. It's aimed at probably 4-8 year olds, but its elaborate illustrations and clever design (of cut-out portions of pages looking into other pages and looking down from "above" the page) make it suitable for anyone else, too. The only downside is some of the illustrations are so fine, kids might not be able to get close enough..

Also, Channukah in Chelm (by I forget who), which I read last month to some 4-10 yr olds who were howling in laughter at absolutely everything by the end.. Kind of so funny that it's okay it's not especially timely..

Oh, and the Gashlycrumb Tinies, by Edward Gorey. Although...maybe they won't let you read that to kids since it would give them the wrong ideas.

Probably a little late coming in here with suggestions but I used to read at my kids' school library - younger kids (K-2) love Jan Brett books - A favorite is The Mitten. Crescent Dragon Wagon has some good ones too - Like Alligator Arrived with Apples or Bat in the Dining Room.

the little prince by antoine de saint-exupery. not a lot of pictures, but all the right words.

This is probably coming too late, so I won't bother saying anything useful. I read "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson when I was 9, and although it had no illustrations and was a long tedious book for adult readers about DDT and other pollutants killing various organisms, I can honestly say that it "changed my life" more than any other book I read as a child. At around the age of 11 or 12, I found "The Naked Ape" by Desmond Morris engrossing, especially the parts on human sexuality. I learned to read with "The Honey Hunt" by the Bernstains, and my oldest daughter enjoyed those books, but my youngest doesn't. I have always hated Babar, on the other hand, but my youngest daughter is a big fan of those books. My kids have a tendency to not like lavishly-illustrated American children's books, which my wife thinks may be more for the adults shopping for them than for the kids reading them. My oldest likes Dahl, the youngest will too, I suspect, or else. The only books I can remember a teacher reading were the Hardy Boy mysteries, in about 3rd grade, and I absolutely loved them. I also remember finding "Alice in Wonderland" disturbing and boring...

Clarification: when I say I "hated" Babar, I mean a deep and abiding hatred that continues into the present.

Uh, yeah, better late than never... well, maybe not. But I'll add my choices anyway.

The "Frances" books by Russell Hoban for little kids.

William Steig - "The Amazing Bone" and others.

Roald Dahl of course - "The Witches"

One favorite from my childhood was "From the Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" by E.L. Konigsberg.

Francis, I loved that book. The very idea of hiding out in a museum overnight...I read that book about 100 times, as recently as last year.

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