Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Favorite Kids' Books

My favorite kids' books for younger readers:
  • The Poppleton books by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Mark Teague. Anything Teague illustrates in worth reading, but the Poppletons are the most fun.
  • Good Dog Carl books, for pre-readers. The stories are told almost exclusively in pictures, and they are wonderful.
  • The Rainbow Goblins – gorgeous pictures and a great story.
  • The Napping House, by Don and Audrey Wood. They have other good books, too, especially Piggies.
  • The Boynton board books for toddlers. I have lost track of how many of these I have given as gifts over the years.
For older kids:
  • Swiss Family Robinson, unmodernized – great read-aloud for (especially) boys who are just about done being read to. Lots of ingenuity in figuring out how to live on the island. Some of the language is a little challenging, which is why it is a good read-aloud.
  • Homer Price – older book, set in the 1930s, great for boys as a read-aloud or for reading.
  • The Redwall series, by Brian Jaques. Great action, but be careful about reading the feast scenes before a meal.
  • Royal Diaries – a series of novels (for girls, primarily) set in different cultures and ages.
  • A Barrel of Laughs, a Vale of Tears – very funny, gently skewers all kinds of “quest story” conventions.
  • The fairy-tale retellings of Robin McKinley and Gail Carson Levine.
And my favorite kids’ books, personally:
  • The Elephant’s Child, by Rudyard Kipling, of course.
  • The Dark Materials trilogy – definitely 15+, I think, due to the complexity (and darkness) of the story.
  • The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, by Selma Lagerlof – a Scandenavian boy shrinks small enough to ride on a wild goose; this is the tale of the adventures they have together.

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