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Saturday, December 19, 2020

Reader Question: Book Bucket List for Children

 

My darling children (Kindergarten and 3rd Grade) are off for Winter Break soon - I was wondering if anyone had recommendations for children's "Book Bucket List" must reads?

Thank you! 

 

40 comments:

  1. They are just the right age for the Geronimo Stilton and Thea Stilton books. The mouse siblings run The Rodents' Gazette newspaper in New Mouse City and get involved in solving all sorts of mysteries and crimes along with travel,exploration, and plenty of actual real world culture as they circumvent the globe. My son and I have enjoyed them for three years and have read about 90 of them. Not 'great' literature, but lots of fun for both of us.

    Best Regards,

    Heinz-Ulrich

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  2. All of the Pooh books, including the poetry, are of course timeless. I love the Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling.

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  3. For your kindergartner

    "I Want My Hat Back" by Jon Klassen (if only for the two-spread that shows the rabbit and the bear staring at each other)

    "Extra Yarn" by Mac Barnett (illustrated by Jon Klassen)

    For both kids:

    "Happy Birthday to You" by Dr. Seuss

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  4. We have two grandchildren ages two and five. Since covid we have been sending and reading, by way of Zoom and FaceTime the following, for the two year old books by Sandra Boynton and any pop up books found on Amazon. The following authors are all on Amazon, The Crayon books by Drew Daywalt, esp The Crayons Christmas, books by Ashley Spires,Mo Willems,Oliver Jeffers, Jan Brett, some of Tasha Tudors , W B White and a sweet book for the younger grandchild The Winter Bear by Ruth Craft&Erik Blegvad. Hope this helps. Happy Holidays.

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  5. *cracks knuckles*  I LOVE this reader question!  I am expecting our first here within a few weeks and have loved filling the nursery with books of all kinds!  Poor kid doesn't stand a chance!  :) 

    SOME of my favorites:
    - Beatrix Potter 
    - The Jenny books by Esther Averill
    - The Little House books
    - Trixie Belden
    - Hardy Boys (I did love mysteries as a kid, Nancy Drew was a favorite when I became older!)
    - Boxcar Children
    - Paddington books
    - The Chronicles of Narnia
    - Louisa May Alcott (my favorite is "An Old Fashioned Girl" and yes Polli was a top name on the girl's name list for awhile!)

    Around the 3rd grade mark I remember reading a lot of Scott O'Dell, L. M. Montgomery, Gary Paulsen, and Jean Craighead George.  All books that helped me realize there was a larger world outside of myself.  Another of my favorites is Ann Rinaldi; historical fiction based around various situations/events in American history.  Some of the content in her books can be a bit older; I would encourage you to read these first as you are the expert in your child's maturity levels!  Richard Scarry absolutely helped with vocabulary; The Phantom Tollbooth I didn't read till college but absolutely fell in love with.  A lot of these books were written a number of years ago and were written with a different cultural lens.  Anyway, I'll cut myself off now.  I hope this helps in some way!  - hrplo

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    1. Not sure of your age but if you're a Boomer, you'll find that the classic series for boys and girls (Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, etc.) that you read were dumbed down in the 1970s. Done under the guise of "modernizing," this involved simplifying the vocabulary and sentence complexity. I recommend you read before you buy — or be sure to get vintage editions.

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    2. Just to follow up on (and correct) my comment above about "modernization," the change started in 1959 and continues.

      See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hardy_Boys#1927%E2%80%931959

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    3. I had no idea! Not a Boomer but I fall in the "Millennial" era. (All of these names are absolutely ridiculous). I have a few Nancy Drews from the 40's and I am definitely going to have to compare with newer versions. Thanks for the info! - hrplo

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  6. Ulysses, by James Joyce. Puts my grandchildren to sleep in under a minute. Puts me to sleep shortly thereafter.

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  7. I should think your 3rd grader would be ready for Charlotte's Web (E.B. White).

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  8. The Henry Reed books for the 3 grader. By Keith Robertson.

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  9. Roald Dahl and Beverly Cleary!

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    1. www.beverlycleary.com/fun-games

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    2. The Mouse and the Motorcycle is a children's novel written by Beverly Cleary and published in 1965. It is the first in a trilogy featuring Ralph S. Mouse, a house mouse who can speak to humans (though typically only children), goes on adventures riding his miniature motorcycle, and who longs for excitement and independence while living with his family in a run-down hotel.
      Ralph is a mouse who lives in the run-down Mountain View Inn, a battered resort hotel in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California. Ralph longs for a life of danger and speed, wishing to get away from his relatives, who worry about the mice colony being discovered. One day a boy named Keith Gridley and his family visit the hotel on their way through California. Keith leaves a toy motorcycle on his bedside table. While Keith is away, Ralph attempts to ride it, but cannot figure out how to start it. Startled by a telephone ring, both Ralph and the motorcycle fall into a metal wastebasket.

      Keith discovers his missing motorcycle in the wastebasket. Although Ralph's mother worries that he is in contact with humans, Keith shows Ralph how to start the motorcycle—make an engine-like noise—and lets Ralph ride it at night. While Keith and his family explore California, Ralph recklessly rides the motorcycle through the depths of the hotel. One night he is spotted by Keith's mother, who initially thinks she is imagining things, but later is sure that she saw a mouse riding a motorcycle.....then things turn into a real adventure, a race against time.

      The story and characters were inspired both by Cleary's son.

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  10. The Cricket in Times Square (series of seven total I think), By George Selden.

    After Chester lands, in the Times Square subway station, he makes himself comfortable in a nearby newsstand. There, he has the good fortune to make three new friends: Mario, a little boy whose parents run the falling newsstand, Tucker, a fast-talking Broadway mouse, and Tucker's sidekick, Harry the Cat. The escapades of these four friends in bustling New York City makes for lively listening and humorous entertainment. And somehow, they manage to bring a taste of success to the nearly bankrupt newsstand.
    Join Chester Cricket and his friends in this classic children's book by George Selden, with illustrations by Garth Williams. The Cricket in Times Square is a 1961 Newbery Honor Book.

    About the author:
    George Selden (1929-1989) was the author of A Cricket in Times Square, winner of the 1961 Newbery Honor and a timeless children's classic. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Selden received his B.A. from Yale, where he was a member of the Elizabethan Club and contributed to the literary magazine. He spent three summer sessions at Columbia University and, after college, studied for a year in Rome on a Fulbright Scholarship. People often asked Selden how he got the idea for The Cricket in Times Square. "One night I was coming home on the subway, and I did hear a cricket chirp in the Times Square subway station. The story formed in my mind within minutes. An author is very thankful for minutes like those, although they happen all too infrequently." The popular Cricket series grew to seven titles, including Tucker's Countryside and The Old Meadow. In 1973, The Cricket in Times Square was made into an animated film. Selden wrote more than fifteen books, as well as two plays. His storytelling blends the marvelous with the commonplace realities of life, and it was essential to him that his animal characters display true emotions and feelings.
    (this was a quick cut and paste from Google)

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    1. How could I have forgotten about this?? Love it so much. Thank you!

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    2. I agree wholeheartedly.

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  11. Maybe Tintin and Asterix series? As a kid, I loved the "Great Illustrated Classics" adaptations of 19th century, French adventure novels, like the Three Musketeers and the Count of Monte Cristo.

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  12. Lots of good suggestions here from the readers. An additional one, absolutely, and so appropriate to this season, is Sepp Bauer's The Christmas Rose. Perfect for the ages of your children. All about Christmas, kindness, kindness to and of animals, two young children, etc. The illustrations are vintage gems, very peaceful for children and adults and they are so good that many adults who collect and display Christmas books buy this book just for the pictures. It will become a perennial family favorite and will last if you order hardcover and you can still order it in time for Christmas. Or at the least, Christmastide. If Christmas is the holiday at your house: I think that stressing Christmas, and not just snowmen, Charlie Brown, Theodore Geisel ("Dr. Suss") , all nice in their own light, is a good thing. Also , celebrating Christmastide - the time after we go to bed on Christmas Eve, lasts for 12 days, is the very best way to ward off or combat holiday depression. Read a Christmas book with your children each of the 12 days up to 12th Night. And do something "nice", purposefully as the Internet wannabe gurus say nowadays, caroling to neighbors or the sick/aged, (used) Christmas tree for the birds outside with raisins,orange slices,stale cake, etc., written thank you notes, New Year cards ( Hallmarks only 50 cents @ " " Dollar Tree"!) Do the Audubon Christmas Bird Count if it's December 26 or January 2 , as will be in many towns this year. Celebrate New Years Day like Christmas, almost, in that you have a fine meal and cheer and dress nicely. And have a 12th Night Dinner party! Crackers, 75% off Christmas candy as " door prizes", all that. You will see,People: Blues Be Gone. Makes me so sad that some churches go all out now on " Blue Christmas " yet have no big deal going on anything during Christmastide or Epiphanytide . Wasn't long ago every Episcopal, at least , Church had the Christmas morning service ! Attention church vestries, especially with all of the impoverished musicians out there, who would like to perform the vast library of Christmas and Epiphany music and a free will offering could be taken. With current day electronics, " logistics " or " timing" is no excuse. You likely haven't a local newspaper submission deadline for Christmas events any linger so that is not an excuse, either. For those of us not completely devoted to Crosby at Christmas, there is lot to listen to at,Christmas that is fresh. Merry Christmas , or whichever you celebrate, Friends!

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  13. Just so, by Kipling!

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  14. ~Little Bear Series, by Else Holmelund Minarik, Maurice Sendak (Illustrator)

    ~Frog and Toad series, by Arnold Lobel

    ~Sam Campbell's Living Forest Series: Classic Tales [Boxed Set: A Tippy Canoe And Canada Too; Beloved Rascals; Loony Coon; Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo And Still Mo] also Too Much Salt and Pepper (porcupines) and all the rest of the books, series or not.

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  15. “The Wind in the Willows” is one of the greats, but may need to be read to them rather than read by them. And I second the recommendation of “The Cricket in Times Square” !

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  16. Great recommendations! I would suggest for the eight year old, illustrated editions of Heidi, The Five Little Peppers and How they Grew, Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates, A Little Princess, and the Secret Garden. These are for a girl I guess, though a boy would also like Hans Brinker! For the little one, Blueberries for Sal, Make Way for Duscklings, One Morning in Maine, and Madeline!

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  17. Sam, Bangs & Moonshine by Eveline Ness. Perfect for younger children. It is a story about a little girl who has recently lost her mother and has a great deal of difficulty telling the difference between real and "moonshine" -- something many adults seem to be grappling with. If you are interested in helping your children LEARN TO READ, I would skip the "easy readers" (with the exception of Frog & Toad which are delightful). My son became a very proficient reader with the help of Calvin & Hobbs -- lots of adventures, unusual words and enjoyable by all.

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  18. For the salt water inclined, Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons series

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  19. Old favorites for the younger child (both might like them) with a New England slant, a trio of Robert McCloskey books: Make Way for Ducklings, Time of Wonder, Blueberries for Sal. Our kids all liked Corduroy. Others our kids liked (for the older child, perhaps): the Great Brain books, Wonder, the Phantom Tollbooth, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Legend of the Indian Paintbrush.

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  20. I just love the Charlie and Lola books. It's also an animated cartoon series. I like the cartoons because Charlie and Lola speak such lovely English.

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  21. I love all the suggestions here. Some are old favorites and some are new to me, waiting to be explored. One of my favorites (of many) are the sailing books by Arthur Ransome about Swallows and Amazons which Anonymous yesterday at 3:52PM mentioned. I was gifted the first book as a youngster but it didn't take. Many years later I rediscovered them and zoomed through all 12 books in the series and couldn't put them down.

    One book that was a favorite when I was 10 years old was Charles and Mary Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare...readable summaries of stories behind Shakespeare's many plays. I guess by the time I was a twenty something, there was nothing I loved more than attending a performance of a Shakespearean play. Not a bad result from childhood reading.

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  22. Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books. And so many of the wonderful books already mentioned.

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    1. Or about about her Great grandmother:
      Little House in the Highlands Series- by Melissa Wiley
      Meet Martha the little girl who would grow up to be Laura Ingalls Wilders great-grandmother. Its 1788, and six year old Martha lives in a little stone in Glencraid, Scotland. Martha's father is Laird Glencaraid, and the life of the Lairds daughter is not always easy for a lively girl like Martha. She would rather be running barefoot through the fields of heather and listening to magical tales of fairies and other Wee Folk than learning to sew like a proper young lady. But between her dreaded sewing lessons, Martha still finds time to play on the rolling Scottish hills.

      Author: Melissa Wiley

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  23. "Johnny Tremain," which is supposed to be a novel for all ages and which lives up to that. Rachel Forbes won a Pulitzer for her Paul Revere bio, then turned around and used the same body of research in the Newberry-winning "Johnny Tremain." It's one of the best books ever written about life in Boston during the Colonial-Revolutionary period, and it's accessible to readers from late elementary school on up

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  24. I agree with the above recommendations of "A Cricket in Times Square" and "Johnny Tremain." Anything by Beverly Cleary.

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  25. Mr. Popper’s Penguins
    The Story of Ping
    In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
    The Velveteen Rabbit

    SLF

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  26. Some great suggestions above, particularly "The Wind in the Willows" and Charles and Mary Lamb's delightful summaries of Shakespeare. Classics.
    As to classics, let's not forget Lewis Carrol's "Through the Looking Glass" and "Alice in Wonderland". With the original illustrations by Sir John Tenniel - still the best. An added benefit: Your child, now an adult with children of her own, can re-read these classics and discover a new-found joy in them: chock full of allusions both literary and contemporary, parodies, puns (some real groaners), math riddles, logic and nonsense. A romp for both kids and adults.

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  27. Carl Barks' Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge comics. Fantagraphics is currently publishing a whole complete series of book collecting these world class comic stories. Many considers these to be the very best in the world, in their heyday a single isssue of duck comic book with Barks sold only in US over 3 million copies every month during the 1950s. Great stories which captures the American spirit and are full of adventures.

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  28. For the kindergartner: “The Little House” and “Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel” by Virginia Lee Burton, “May I Bring a Friend?” by de Regniers, “Katy No Pocket” by Emmy Payne (and illustrated by H.A. Rey of Curious George fame), and the Mr. Small series by Lois Lenski. Lenski also wrote an exceptional series for older kids, including the Newbury-winning “Strawberry Girl”, “Judy’s Journey”, and “Blue Ridge. Illy, among others. For Mother Goose, if you can find Marguerite d’Angeli’s version, nab it. The illustrations are exquisite.

    All these in addition to the above recommendations, of course.

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  29. Dare Wright's Lonely Doll Series. First introduced in 1957 with Edith, the lonely doll who makes new friends with teddy bears Mr. Bear and Little Bear. The book is made up of simple posed black & white photographs of their sweet friendship.

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  30. So many good books to explore with children. Time of Wonder or anything else by Robert McCluskey would be wonderful. Classics like Wind in the Willows, Phantom Tollbooth, Where the Wild Things Are, Dr. Suess ... etc. are classics for a reason.
    My children liked the following series - Boxcar Children, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, Magic Treehouse, Ivy and Bean, The Three Investigators, Junie B. Jones and The Magic School Bus. Chrysanthemum or anything else by Kevin Henkes. Not sure if they are ready for Roald Dahl yet but those books were a particular favorite of my son (he referenced one of the stories in one of the essays he had to write for his college applications - he starts University of Chicago in the Fall). My son also liked books of facts. One of my daughters liked creepy books such as Goosebumps.
    Instilling a love of reading pays off in so many ways. Enjoy this time with your children.

    JRC

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  31. The BFG by Roald Dahl for a chapter book, and any book by Jan Brett for a picture book.

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