My only New Year’s resolution this year has to do with homeschooling. When I feel that urge to push through more curriculum . . . don’t. Take a deep breath, and pull back. Finish the lesson another day.
How totally Zen of me.
As a necessary consequence of this new strategy, I have drastically increased “free reading” time. This in turn increases our library visits. This in turn increases my desire to find great kids’ books. I find myself scanning the shelves for titles or authors that sound vaguely familiar. Hence this post.
Probably, better lists already exist.
I don’t care.
The following list ranges from Kindergarten to about 6th grade reading level. Enjoy.
1. Virginia Burton’s books. We had “The Little House” when I was little, so perhaps that is why it’s my favorite. They are all good, though.
2. Harry the Dog. Awesomeness, especially the way he patiently puts that blow-hard opera singer in her place.
3. Junior’s Adventures, by Dave Ramsey. Chik-Fil-A introduced me to this series, by putting a free book (Careless at the Carnival) in my son’s meal. It was a wordy little thing, and I figured he would hate it, being only three years old at the time. I was wrong. He loved it, and demanded repeated readings. Same goes for the other Junior books. These stories convey abstract concepts (like debt) in a way that even young ‘uns can understand.
4. Curious George. I know, duh. Oh, how a curious little preschooler loves to realize he isn’t the only one who accidentally gets in trouble. The important thing is to realize that there are authentic George stories and later, inauthentic stories. For the older reader is another interesting story: The Journey That Saved Curious George : The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey.
5. The Sneetches and Other Stories, by Dr. Suess. I know, everyone knows Dr. Suess. However, my anecdotal experience has taught me that many folks have never heard of The Sneetches, Too Many Daves, or What Was I Scared Of?
Are you among the ignorant? If so, remedy this deficiency! Top-notch comedy lies within. Who among us can resist a name like Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate? Who among us can top dramatic oration like this:
“And there I was! Caught in the Snide! And in that dreadful place . . . Those spooky, empy pants and I . . . Were standing face to face!”
6. Speaking of top-notch comedy, Two Frogs is brilliant. As a British import, the book’s price is not cheap. There are worse ways to spend your money, however. The story begins with two frogs in the middle of a large pond. One of the frogs is holding a stick. “What’s that for?” asked the other frog. “For protection,” said the frog with the stick. “This stick is to beat off the dog . . . “
7. What’s Smaller Than A Pygmy Shrew? This book does a fantastic job of bringing perspective to microscopic levels. Even a thick gal like me can understand.
8. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing series, by Judy Blume. Older brothers sure can relate to the narrating character in this series.
9. Anything from Roald Dahl. James and The Giant Peach is my favorite. What is yours?
10. Anything from Beverly Cleary. From Socks to Ribsy to Ralph the Mouse, cuteness abounds, and the kiddies are happy to read about it.
11. Ted Bell’s books. These books are for the older reader. We have only read Nick of Time, but boy howdy was it well received. The plot is both exciting and historically enlightening.
12. One Hundred Hungry Ants. This book is another that I dismissed as forgettable. I was wrong. Not only does it teach math, but it also captures a child’s imagination.
13. Ten Timid Ghosts. I have no idea why this book was so popular in my house. All I can say is, the boys loved it. As in, they wore it out. The book shows how things that seem scary may not be so bad, after all.
14. Jan Pienkowski’s stuff is great. We have a couple of her pop-ups. Just don’t let preschoolers handle her pop-ups without supervision. They are too fragile.
15. Pippi Longstocking. I appreciate any story that puts a positive spin on the sad case of an orphaned child. Kids appreciate it, too. They don’t exist for our amusement alone, after all.
Add more to my list! Just comment below.
Tagged: list of children's books