NEW! Google Custom Search

AmyElliesMom's picture

Ellie is finally interested in story books (rather than picture books) and I need some recommendations on good books. Right now she's liking "Another Monster at the End of the Book", so I'm thinking silly, whimsical and fun books. She also loves "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" and they are reading "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" at school, and the teacher says she likes that.

So, what are some other good story books that aren't too long - maybe take 5 minutes or so to read, are funny, don't have pictures that are too packed full of stuff (no I Spy for her just yet) and will stand up to repeated readings without driving Mommie up a wall?

Too bad the only people who know how to run the country are busy driving cabs and cutting hair. ~ George Burns


Save the Earth! It's the only planet with wine and chocolate.

DeannaS's picture

I can't believe with all the foodies on this list, no one has mentioned the world snacks series. They're lovely little rhyming books that introduce you to world foods with collage art.

Hola Jalapeno (World Snacks) by Amy Wilson Sanger
First Book of Sushi (World Snacks) by Amy Wilson Sanger
Yum Yum Dim Sum (World Snacks) by Amy Wilson Sanger
Let's Nosh (World Snacks) by Amy Wilson Sanger
A Little Bit of Soul Food (World Snacks) by Amy Wilson Sanger
Mangia! Mangia! (World Snacks) by Amy Wilson Sanger

I can recite much of Hola Jalapeno by heart:

Hola Jalapeno!
I said Hello! my chile friend
Senorita Quesadilla, cheese is melting out your end.
Here's la cocina en mi casa - that the kitchen in my house,
where I eat a big burrito, almost wider than my mouth.
Corn tortillas make my tacos, my tostadas, and my chips.
Tomato salsa por favor, and guacamole dip.
....(more here about enchildas and tamales and stuff)...
Stir a cup of cold horchata, with a stick of cinnamon spice.
Adios my green amigo, I can't eat another bite!

"As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists." - Joan Dye Gussow

soccermom's picture

You're right that we're missing food books. Hola jalapeno sounds perfect for my little 8-month-old nephew. Reviews on Amazon say this is the best in the series. What do you think?





DeannaS's picture

It's the only one we own. I've read some of the others, and I agree that it's the best one of the ones that I read. But, then again, we're awful partial to Mexican food, too.

I can tell you that we read it over and over and over and over, ad naseum. He's a bit "over it" now. But, he still does occasionally drag it out and make us read it again.

"As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists." - Joan Dye Gussow

soccermom's picture

I've found it at a local bookstore online and will try to pick it up tonight. Just reading the words you included sold me on this one--especially the cheese melting out her end. I can see that my DDs will be fighting to read him this one.

Thanks for the tip.





elizaram's picture

I'm on an e-list for homeschooling moms of preschoolers. A few months back, the list admin asked for people's favorite pre-K storybooks. This was the result. The books that are double-starred got multiple recommendations.

Most of these are picture books, but there are some chapter books
listed here that very young children enjoyed.

Ahlberg, Janet and Allan
     Each Peach Pear Plum

     Can You Make a Piggy Giggle

Alborough, Jez,

     Huggly, The Monster Under the Bed (series)

Asch, Frank
     Happy Birthday Moon

Aylesworth, Jim
     Old Black Fly

Karen, Baicker (and Sam Williams)
     Pea Pod Babies

Barklem, Jill
     Brambly Hedge
     The Secret Staircase

Barrett, Judi
     **Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs

Berenstain, Stan and Jan
     **The Berenstain Bears (series)

Bishop, Jennie
     The Princess & the Kiss

Bourgeois, Paulette (and Kim LaFave)
     In My Neighborhood, Police Officers.
     In My Neighborhood, Postal Workers
     In My Neighborhood, Garbage Collectors
     In My Neighborhood, Fire Fighters

Brett, Jan
     The Mitten

Brown, Ken
     Scarecrow's Hat

Brown, Margaret Wise
     **Goodnight, Moon
     **Runaway Bunny
     Scarecrow Boy

Burgess, Thornton
     The Bird Book for Children

Burton, Virginia Lee,
     **The Little House
     **Katy and the Big Snow
     **Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel

Cannon, Janell

Capucilli, Alyssa Satin
     Biscuit books (series)

Carle, Eric
     Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me
     Pancakes, Pancakes
     **The Very Busy Spider
     **The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Carlstrom, Nancy
     Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?

Cooney, Barbara
     Miss Rumphius

Crooke, Trish
     So Much

Degen, Bruce

dePaolo, Tomie
     Bill & Pete
     Bill & Pete Go Down the Nile
     Old Befana
     **Strega Nona

Eastman, P. D.
     Are You My Mother?

Ehlert, Lois
     Color Zoo

Feiffer, Jules

Flack, Marjorie
     Ask Mr. Bear

Fleming, Denise
     In the Tall, Tall Grass

Fox, Dorothea Warren
     Miss Twiggley's Tree

Fox, Mem
     **Boo To A Goose
     **Koala Lou
     Reading Magic (a book for parents)

Freeman, Don

Ginsburg, Mirra
     Clay Boy

Graham, Margaret Bloy (and Gene Zion)
     **Harry the Dirty Dog

Henkes, Kevin

Hest, Amy,
     Kiss Good Night

Hissey, J.
     Old Bear

Hoban, Russell
     **A Birthday for Frances
     **Bedtime for Frances
     **Best Friends for Frances

Hobbie, Holly
     Toot and Puddles

Hughes, Shirley
     **Alfie books (series)

Hutchins, Pat
     The Doorbell Rang

Ichikawa, Satomi
     Tanya Loved to Dance

Jeram, Anita (and Sam McBratney)
     Guess How Much I Love You

Joosse, Barbara
     I Love You the Purplest

Kalman, Bobbie
     What is a Mammal?
     What is a Fish? (series)

Kasza, Keiko
     Don't Laugh, Joe

Kellogg, Steven
     Paul Bunyan

Kent, Jack
     The Caterpillar and the Polliwog

Kraus, Robert
     Whose Mouse Are You?

Kraus, Ruth
     Hole Is to Dig

LaFave, Kim (and Paulette Bourgeois)
     In My Neighborhood, Police Officers.
     In My Neighborhood, Postal Workers
     In My Neighborhood, Garbage Collectors
     In My Neighborhood, Fire Fighters

Lionni, Leo

Lithgow, John
     **Marsupial Sue (see review below)

Lobel, Arnold
     **Frog and Toad (series)

London, Jonathan
     Froggy books (series)

Lucado, Max,
     **Just in Case You Ever Wonder
The Children of the King
     **You are Special

Ludy, Mark
     The Farmer

Martin, Jr., Bill
     **Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?
     **Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom

Mayer, Mercer
     **Little Critter books (series)

McBratney, Sam (and Anita Jeram)
     Guess How Much I Love You

McClerren Alice

McCloskey, Robert,
     **Blueberries for Sal
     Make Way for Ducklings

McCourt, Lisa
     **I Love You Stinky Face (see review below)

McKissack, Pat
     Flossie & the Fox

McMullan, Kate
     No, No, Jo!

McPhail, David
     Mole Music

Mills, Lauren
     The Rag Coat (it's a tear jerker!)

Minarik, Else
     **Little Bear books (series)


Munsch, Robert
     **Love You Forever
     **The Paper Bag Princess

Murphy, Mary
     How Kind!

Murphy, Mary
     I Kissed the Baby

Numeroff, Laura,
     **If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
     **If You Give a Moose a Muffin
     If You Give a Pig a Pancake

Oxenbury, Helen
     Tickle, Tickle

Payne, Emmy
     Katy No Pocket

Penn, Audrey
     The Kissing Hand

Potter, Beatrix
     **The Tale of Peter Rabbit (series)

Priceman, Marjorie
     How to Eat an Apple Pie and See the World

Rathmann, Peggy,
     **10 minutes till Bedtime
     **Good Night, Gorilla

Rey, H. A.
     **Curious George and Friends

Rohmann, E.
     My Friend Rabbit

Rosen, Michael
     We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Rylant, Cynthia
     When I Was Young in the Mountains

Scarry, Richard
     **Richard Scarry's Biggest World Book Ever (and 300 other

Sendak, Maurice
     **Where The Wild Things Are
     **In The Night Kitchen

Seuss, Dr.
     **Dr. Seuss's ABC
     **Fox in Socks
     **Green Eggs and Ham
     **Hop on Pop
     **On Beyond Zebra
     **One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Shelby, Anne

Shulevitz, Uri
     The Treasure

Showers, Paul
     What Happens to a Hamburger?

Simmons, Jane
     Daisy (series)

Spier, Peter
     Noah's Ark

Steig, William
     Pete's a Pizza

Stoeke, Janet
     Minerva Louise

Tafuri, Nancy
     Have You Seen My Duckling     
     Spots, Feathers, Curly Tails
     The Biggest Boy
     This Is The Farmer     

Viorst, Judith
     **Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Waddell, Martin
     **Owl Babies

Wild, Margaret
     Our Granny

Willems, Mo
     That Crazy Pigeon!

Williams, Margaret
     **The Velveteen Rabbit

Williams, Sue
     **I Went Walking

Williams, Vera
     "More, More, More," Said the Baby

Williams, Sam (and Karen Baicker)
     Pea Pod Babies

Wilson, K. (and J. Chapman)
     Bear Wants More
     Bear Snores On  (series)

Wood, Audrey
     The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear
     **The Napping House
     Weird Parents

Yashima, Taro
     Crow Boy

Zion, Gene (and Margaret Bloy Graham)
     **Harry the Dirty Dog

Zolotow, Charlotte
     I Know a Lady


Emerson, Sally
     The Nursery Treasury

Dyer, Jane
     Animal Crackers

Hartman, Bob
     The Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book

Milne, A. A.
     The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh

Prelutsky, Jack
     Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young

Regniers, Beatrice Schenk de
     Sing a Song of Popcorn

Schulman, Janet
     20th Century Children's Book Treasury

A Family Treasury of Little Golden Books


Henley, Karyn
     My First Hymnal
Lindvall, Ella K.

     Read-Aloud Bible Stories Vol. 1-4
Lingo, Susan
     My Good Night Bible

Martin, Jr., Bill
     Adam, Adam, What Do You See?

Martin, Mildred A.
     Missionary Stories with the Millers

Santorum, Karen
     Everyday Graces

Schoolland, Marian
     Leading Little Ones to God

Taylor, Kenneth
     Right Choices


-The Berenstain Bears' Big Book of Science and Nature
-DK's "Guide to ...." books ("Guide to Dinosaurs","Guide to Birds")
-Let's Read and Find Out About (series)
-Jim Arnosky books
-Usborne books (Starting Point Science series) Just read a one or
two page spread at a time, as they often appear overwhelming with a
ton of text.
-Usborne's "Great Search" books ("The Great Animal
Search", "The Great Prehistoric Search", etc.)


Elmo's BIG Lift and Look Book

Fisher, Valorie,
     Ellsworth's Extraordinary Electric Ears

Martin, Jr., Bill and Archambault, John
     **Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom

Seuss, Dr.

Carter. David A.
     How Many Bugs in a Box? (A pop-up counting book.) 

Steer, Dug
     Snappy Little Bugs  (pop up)
     Snappy Little Farmyard (pop-up)
     Snappy Little Numbers (pop-up)
     Snappy Little Colors (pop-up)

BOOK REVIEWS (Oops!  I lost the name of the List Member who
contributed these…so sorry!)

I Love You Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt.  This is a sweet bed-time
book that shows a mother tucking her child into bed, but the
imaginative child has some questions: "Mama, what if I were a super
stinky skunk and my name was stinky face? Would you still love me
then?"  To which momma replies, "I would give you a bath and
sprinkle you with sweet smelling powder and if you still smelled
bad, I wouldn't mind and I would hug you tight and whisper in your
ear I love you, Stinky Face."  A silly but poignant book about a
parent's unconditional love!

Marsupial Sue by John Lithgow (yes, the actor!) This beautifully
illustrated book comes with a CD that has two tracks.  On one, John
Lithgow himself SINGS the book (and so much fun to sing along!). 
The other track is just the music so you can sing by yourself.  The
book is a wonderful lesson in being yourself.  "Marsupial Sue, a
young kangaroo, hated the hopping that kangaroos do..." She tries to
be many other things, but in the end she learns to be happy with who
she is.

When I was young, all my friends were imaginary. Now that I'm older, all my friends are virtual.

knittermom's picture

Love adding books to my booklist - just in time for Luke <g>. Thanks!


sbsterling's picture

Along with everyone else's suggestions, I like George and Martha by James Marshall. Also, our library has a room in the basement where they sell the books that they pull out of circulation for 25-50 cents as does the Salvation Army.

Edited 8/22/2005 7:07 pm ET by sbsterling
Nihon's picture

My best recommendation is Llama, Llama, Red Pajama.  The story is a cute "going to bed" theme, and the illustrations are just priceless.  The look on the baby llama's face when he gets freaked out and thinks that Mama Llama's gone is hilarious - I wish I could get it on a t-shirt or something.  The book is new this year and as far as I can tell is only available in a pricey paper pages format, but if you can sucker someone into getting it for you for Christmas, it's worth it. 

AJ12754's picture

Another thing that is fun -- and which my girls (and me too) really looked forward to every night -- was having me read aloud  one chapter per night of a longer chapter book.  It helped build their listening skills, attention span, and ability to retain what we read as I would ask them to remind me a bit about what we had read the previous night before we started on the next chapter -- turns out their retention was usually better than my own. 

They especially loved the children's versions of the Greek myths (can be pretty violent for younger readers but the D'Aulaire's edition -- which someone else was talking about a few days ago -- has great illustrations) and the King Arthur stories.  Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little were big hits, as was Mr. Popper's Penguins.   Also, the children's version of Anne of Green Gables kept my kids riveted -- I can't remember the publisher of those editions of famous children's classics (they are shorter and the vocabulary is geared to younger kids), but they are all pretty good.

Not exactly an answer to the question you asked but I hope you find it helpful.

Cave obdurationem cordis

AmyElliesMom's picture

I was thinking about the Greek Myths, and Aesop's fables, actually. Great minds and all... Any suggestions on a good, simply illustrated Aesop's fables or ancient myths storybook?

Busy pictures are confusing for her, so she tends to avoid looking at them (for now), but I think she'd like both the length and the stories of Aesop's fables. She LOVES the version of Kipling's "How the Camel Got His Hump" in our storybook treasury. It has alot of good stories in it, but it's softcover and a pain in the neck to hold and the pictures are small.

Anyway, I'm rambling...

What about suggestions on a good book of kid friendly (but not totally pc-ified) Grimm's Fairy Tales? Something between the Disney versions and the horror movie versions?

Oh, and does anyone have an opinion on Sandra Boyton? Her stuff looks really silly and fun, and "Philadelphia Chickens" especially looks right up Ellie's alley.

Too bad the only people who know how to run the country are busy driving cabs and cutting hair. ~ George Burns


Save the Earth! It's the only planet with wine and chocolate.

NanaC's picture

My son's 2 and 5 year old kids love Boynton's books.  Their favorites are Birthday Monsters  and Barnyard Dance, but my favorite is the Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs one.  They are all very short and very silly, with simple pictures.  The 5 and 7 year olds like the Berenstain books.  (And, of course, the 9 year old likes Harry Potter.)


"Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we might as well dance!"


"Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we might as well dance!"

AJ12754's picture

I think the D'Aulaire's book of Greek myths is the best -- the illustrations are fabulous and help reinforce the point of the myth.  The stories are told in a way that is interesting to both children and adults -- they have a book of Norse myths too.  It was hard to find when my kids were little so I have never seen it but I hear it is great.  The publisher of those books doesn't do a great job with pb binding so I suggest hardback so the book doesn't fall apart (like mine did).

Borders and B&N usually have it and in that same section you can probably find illustrated versions of Aesop (although I never did), King Arthur and maybe even Arabian Nights.  DK (Dorling-Kindersly I think) has great illustrated books in all areas (fiction and non-fiction) -- exceptionally well-done and for lots of different ages.   They also have a website if you can't find them in your bookstore.  And Amazon has them as well and they have that feature that allows you to preview pages and read reviews so that may be helpful as well.

Although I am not especially religious, I wanted my daughters to have a good grounding in the literature, the lessons and language of the Bible and I used the Children's Illustrated Bible (maybe DK).  We had gotten through about half the Old Testament when my daughter looked at me and said "these are just the best stories mama!"  -- it was a really great mom moment.  Each story has sidebars that help the adult reader explain aspects of the stories in light of the ancient Near Eastern culture.  I easily got as much or more out of that one as my kids did.

Re -- fairly tales.  I just got an illustrated edition and read aloud, modifying the stories as I thought age-appropriate and since this was before my kids could read, they never knew the difference.  In fact, I did that with some of the myths as well.

I think it is great that you are reading Kipling to your daughter -- I so wish I had because I love his stuff. 

Have you thought about Winnie the Pooh? I wasn't a big fan really -- but my kids adored him.

I don't know anything about Boynton at all. Sorry to ramble on -- apparently I can talk books and cooks all night.





Cave obdurationem cordis

AmyElliesMom's picture

We've got some Winnie the Pooh stuff, but it just doesn't hold her interest at all.

Oh, and a recommendation from me: Is Your Mama a Llama? Great rhythm and rhyme and a good story, too. Pictures are a bit busy, but the colors are nice. She also likes "Time for Bed" by Mem Fox. We read it every night.

And if you can find it, there is a book with the title "The Incredible True Story of the Cow Who Jumped Over the Moon" or something like that. It's out of print, so it costs about $30 on Damn collectors driving up prices out of range for kids to have good books. We got it out of the library.

Too bad the only people who know how to run the country are busy driving cabs and cutting hair. ~ George Burns


Save the Earth! It's the only planet with wine and chocolate.

AJ12754's picture

Thanks for the recommendations -- I am actually going to pass them on to my sister-in-law whose kids are much younger than mine.  My girls (sigh) are now entering high school.  My only consolation for the years passing so quickly is that on occasion they will still read a book on my recommendation.  And now they have started recommending things to me.

Thanks muchly -- I envy you the fun years ahead.  I would start all over again.  But this time I'd add Kipling :-).

Cave obdurationem cordis

RuthWells's picture

The Boynton stuff is great! Philadelphia Chickens is a perennial favorite with our boys.

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw