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Children's Books

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.

Jillsifer's picture

will stand up to repeated readings without driving Mommie up a wall?


Hah! Your optimism is sweet, but just prepare to climb that wall.


We (had to) read lots and lots and lots of Richard Scarry's Mr. Frumble stories, which are adorable but STILL wear out after the first seven thousand. Miss Frizzle and the Magic Schoolbus are cool too.


 


 

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

soccermom's picture

Berenstein Bears are good; although they aren't clearly marked as such, there are easier books and more involved ones.


Goodnight Gorilla (no words at all) was a favourite. One of those great children's books with little details in the illustrations that only children will spot (the mouse and balloon on every page)


Goodnight Moon, any poems by Dennis Lee (Canadian poet) [we still can't go past a garbage truck without "What a lucky bit of luck, the garbage men and the garbage truck; one has a can, one has a pan, and one is a big fat Canadian], Eric Carl (the caterpillar eats and eats, rests, then turns into a butterfly], anything by Robert Munsch (some are easier than others, but Love You Forever will make you cry every time).


I'm a big library fan, so we still make that a weekly event and find lots of books that I wouldn't necessarily have picked, but are still great. Also, libraries often sell off books for peanuts, so we built our collection that way too.


 


 

 

 

Jean's picture


Veni, vidi, velcro        I came,  I  saw,  I stuck around.


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NanaC's picture

OMGosh, Jean, "Are You My Mother?"  My kids (including Elizaram) loved that book over 30 years ago! 


Another one for the 30+ year old list would be:  "Go Dog Go," if you can find the older version with the pages that  repeat the phrase, "'Do you like my hat?'  'No, I do not like that hat.'  'Goodbye.'  'Goodby.'" with progressively more ridiculous hats.  Like many other things in life, the "experts" have gone and "improved" it!


And "Hop on Pop" by Dr. Seuss is a riot. Fairly short, and a good pre-reading exercise in phonics too.


Fran


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

Fran

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

Jean's picture

I finally had to hide Go Dog Go. It drove me up the wall. We all liked Hop on Pop though.

Veni, vidi, velcro        I came,  I  saw,  I stuck around.


http://www.thebreastcancersite.com

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Gretchen's picture

LOVE Go Dog Go.  And the Fox in Sox just sends DGS into orbit. I remember when my DFIL came one time and was trying to read it to our kids.  It was not working out well.


The later books of Dr. Seuss or in the series of those early readers are good also for an older child.  If I ran the Rain Forest  and Oh Say Can You Seed  are ecology and garden minded.


Gretchen
Gretchen
Jean's picture

Oh, my!

Veni, vidi, velcro        I came,  I  saw,  I stuck around.


http://www.thebreastcancersite.com

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
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KitchenWitch's picture

>if you can find the older version with the pages that  repeat the phrase, "'Do you like my hat?'  'No, I do not like that hat.'  'Goodbye.'  'Goodby.'" with progressively more ridiculous hats. <


THANK YOU! for more than 3 years, I've been reading "Go Dog Go" thinking something was missing! it's the hat bit.


~RuthAnn


New House Rule:
No juggling anything smaller than a watermelon.

~RuthAnn

NanaC's picture

THANK YOU! for more than 3 years, I've been reading "Go Dog Go" thinking something was missing! it's the hat bit.


RuthAnn, it's more than just the hat... they kept most of the pictures, but changed a lot of the words that go to them... like:  "It is morning.  Time for all dogs to get going.  Go Dog Go!"  (At least I think that was one.)


Fran


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

Fran

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

Mimi's picture

Amy:  if Ellie likes the "Give a mouse a cookie" books, there are others in the series she will like as well, they are just as silly.  If you give a pig a pancake, If you give a moose a muffin and there is even one for Christmas that I cannot remember the title of.  Another one she might like if she liked There is a Monster is In a Dark, Dark Wood (lots of repitition/anticipation)(and she will get to make up her own ending).  Also look for some silly rhyming books, which will tickle her ears (NOT most Dr. Suess, too long).  She might like Mouse Paint and Mouse Count, with some very silly mice who make colors and learn numbers. Brown Bear, Brown Bear is just one of the many books by Eric Carle and they are all delightful.


I am going to go pull out my stash of kindergarten books and look for more inspiration!


mimi

"All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
KitchenWitch's picture

my favorite:



~RuthAnn


New House Rule:
No juggling anything smaller than a watermelon.

~RuthAnn

Gretchen's picture

I had a big ole reply all typed out and the site went wonky and wouldn't post.


Anyway, suggest a weekly trip to the library. DGS went to a reading circle once a week and then they/we took out a stack of books for the week.


What the others have now added about the Mouse series. They are darling.  When her attention gets a bit more, Diary of a Worm is hilarious--and informative.


Our kids loved the Richard Scarry books, particularly Lowly Worm.  And a cute and pretty book that got me the name "Baba" is Jan Brett's The Mitten. It comes in a board book as well as nice big paper addition. The illustrations are beautiful.


Children's books are really expensive and I know it is important to have some for the ownership thereof, but the library is a good addendum.  Also, shop some attic sales. Our son has gotten some absolutely wonderful books that way--and since they shop together, DGS gets to pick them out.


Gretchen
Gretchen
chewy11's picture

If she liked If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, she may like If You Give a Mouse a Muffin  and If You Give a Pig a Pancake. You definitely can't go wrong with The Cat in the Hat.

AmyElliesMom's picture

Well, she just got sent home with the Book Fair flyer, so I'm getting her three If You Give a blank a blank books and a few others.

I have my old copy of Richard Scarry's Best Story Book Ever, and we read that alot, but it's lots of pictures and not so much on the stories. She's doing alot better with her visual maturation, but still has trouble picking out small details in pictures and indentifying objects. Sigh. I LOVE "Goodnight Gorilla", but it just doesn't make sense to her just yet. Too visual. Now if they had it on tape, lol....

As for our local library. Ugh. The children's section is just crammed full of books, no rhyme or reason and no librarian available to help. They have toddler books in with elementary school age books and without going through each book individually, there is no way to tell what is good! It's just awful. They need a kid's librarian there sooo badly.

You guys have given me some great suggestions. Thank you so much. I'm going to go check out amazon's used books and see what I can find, and I'll take a list to the library on Monday.

On the cute front - Every morning when I go to get Ellie, she's surrounded by books. She sleeps with them instead of all her stuffed animals. Elmo and books.

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.

Lword's picture

Some libraries have reading hours (or half-hours) for kids. If you have any time to volunteer or take Ellie there, you might find time to sort through some of those books.


This sure takes me back to childhood where I'd have to be content with a Winnie the Pooh poem or the horrifying Mother Goose, or a song or two until I was old enough for the full stories. It's amazing I turned up reading since I don't recall visiting a library other than one in school before I was nearly 10. But Mom read to me almost every night, so something stuck!


(I've slept with better books than, uh, you know. Give her a night light to read by!)


 


L.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." Mother Teresa
L.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." Mother Teresa
soccermom's picture

<She sleeps with them instead of all her stuffed animals>


Well, you've got a reader there then. Oldest DD still does that at age 11. We'll often pry the corner of a book out of her cheek when we go to bed :)


Too bad about the library. For all the talk about hooking children on reading early, it's useless to provide a whole mess of books and call that a resource. How frustrating.


Someone mentioned garage sales; great place for deals and for extra junkie books that you might not even want but that are good for sticking in the car or stroller. I know you're doing the reading at this point, but even junkie books emphasize the process for Ellie and will entertain her with pictures.


Put out the word that Ellie likes books and that you're anxious for anything; friends may surprise you with extras their kids have outgrown.


 


 


 

 

 

knittermom's picture

Amy,

I looked at my picture book bibliography file and picked out a few authors that are classics and have been well-loved here. Note that while I have a book named for each author, in most cases all of their books are great (I wrote "etc") and I don't necessarily have the best title listed (just too little time to maintain my lists!). I tried to pick out ones at the level you're looking for, but some of these might be too long, so just be forewarned. Ellie will eventually enjoy them all.

I have lists and lists of authors, so let me know if you need more. I second Margaret Wise Brown, BTW, all of her books are wonderful.

Kris

Aylesworth, Jim. Old Black Fly, etc.
Barren, Judi Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing
Brett, Jan. Christmas Trolls, etc.
Burton, Virginia Lee. The Little House; Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Carle, Eric. The Grouchy Ladybug; The Very Hungry Caterpillar; The Very Busy Spider, etc.
Crews, Donald. Freight Train; Truck, etc.
Demi. The Empty Pot, etc.
dePaola, Tomie. Big Anthony and the Magic Ring, etc.
Ehlert, Lois. Color Farm; Color Zoo; Feathers for Lunch, etc.
Freeman, Don. Corduroy; Fly High, Fly Low; Mop Top
Henkes, Kevin. Owen; Sheila Rae the Brave; Jessica; Julius, the Baby of the World, etc.
Hoban, Russell. The Little Brute Family; A Baby Sister for Francis
Hoberman, Mary Ann. A House is a House for Me, etc.
Hughes, Shirley. Alfie Gets in First; The Big Alfie and Annie Rose Storybook, etc.
Keats, Ezra Jack. Goggles; The Snowy Day; Whistle for Willy
Lester, Helen. Tacky the Penguin, etc.
Lionni, Leo. Frederick; Swimmy, etc.
Lobel, Arnold. Frog and Toad Are Friends, etc.
Marshall, James. George and Martha books; Yummers; Yummers, Too, etc.
Martin, Bill Jr. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You. See?; Polar Bear, Polar Bear, Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom; Knots on a Counting Rope
Peet, Bill. Buford the Little Bighorn; Hubert's Hair Raising Adventure
Rey, H.A. Curious George
Rylant, Cynthia. The Relatives Came; Henry and Mudge books, etc.
Sendak, Maurice. Where the Wild Things Are; Nutshell Library
Spier, Peter. Bored-Nothing to Do!, etc.
Stevenson, James. Grandpa's Great City Tour, etc.
Wells, Rosemary. Stanley and Rhoda; Max books, etc.
Wood, Audry. Elbert's Bad Word; Heckedy Peg, etc.


Edited 8/18/2005 6:01 pm ET by knittermom

Aberwacky's picture

Wonderful list--duly copied.


(DH has already packed all my childrens' books, so Grant got to listen to the latest Harry Potter, among others.  He found the Dacor and DCS catalogs fascinating, as well.)


Leigh


 


Just because your children were born in the South doesn't make them Southerners.  If a cat has kittens in the oven, does that make them biscuits?

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
Jillsifer's picture

One of my professors used to tell the FUNNIEST story about how she soothed her colicky infant daughter with readings from The Faerie Queene and King Lear as she was preparing for her doctoral orals. Maybe Grant would enjoy a little MacBeth, with all its thrills and sensory appeal?

 


 

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

Aberwacky's picture

"Out, out, damned spot!

 


Just because your children were born in the South doesn't make them Southerners.  If a cat has kittens in the oven, does that make them biscuits?

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
Gretchen's picture

Our ex DIL's mother (a truly remarkable woman and legendary elementary teacher in Charlotte--still a friend) read "The Lives of the Presidents" to her (only and late in life) child when she was just months old.  We used to tease her mercilessly, but the true learning is that at that age, it really doesn't matter what it is you are reading.

Gretchen

Gretchen
Jillsifer's picture

When G was a baby, I taught him the old-fashioned "Now I lay me down to sleep" prayer--partly to soothe him to sleep (he found it a little boring at first). Then I taught him the Lord's Prayer, then the Hail Mary, then Hail Holy Queen, then I ran out of ideas. We were juuuuust starting the Gettysburg Address when my Mother intervened and told me to knock it off.


But to this day, he knows them all by heart (INCLUDING the Gettysburg Address).


That age is just breathtaking--they soak up WHATEVER you give them.


 


 

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

sanderson's picture

My grandad would recite Hiawatha by the hour when he'd take me fishing...50 years later it's my favorite bedtime read.  He could also do Whitman and Robert Service and I will be getting to those soon. 


On the bedtime story note...we would start a story with the kids at bedtime with a couple of usual characters notably, Bad Breath the Dragon and the Three Little Boys.  We'd start the story and then let them take the adventure where they wanted it to go.  You would be absolutely amazed at how much of their day comes back in such tales.  Great insight for what is being processed in those truly incredible minds.

Jillsifer's picture

Oh, that's the COOLEST!


I have a feeling that if I did that now, I'd hear about surfing knights, camping dragons and God-only-knows-what kind of mutant sharks threatening damsels until the Good and Sainted dolphins came to the resuce.


OTOH, it might be a bit better than the nighttime "spookies" we've had to deal with lately.


Any experience with "old children" (mine is ten) getting "spooked" near bedtime? I KNOW what's causing it--a slight increase in "weird" activity in the neighborhood--a series of small crimes, nothing really serious--and the resulting increased vigilance on my part about locking doors and such--but it seems to be REALLY troubling him. Any ideas?


 


 

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

sanderson's picture

That is a hard one; we moved into our present house when my youngest was 4. It took him many years to get comfortable in this place.  He and his dad made a wooden sword that stayed by his bed...that helped at night.  Night lights helped, too.  We monitored his tv selections quite carefully, especially at bedtime.  Are your neighbors friends?  Putting names to faces and feeling a community is a good basis, even if something bad happens.  I remember reading an interview with Bill Cosby's wife when she said if she had to do it over again she would teach her children, even though it is hard, that not all people are going to be kind to you and pay attention to your gut instinct.  I hate to give energy to negative behavior but the bottom line has to be kids' feeling of safety. 

Jillsifer's picture

Yes, most of our neighbors are friendly--not FRIENDS per se, but friendLY--and even the one lady across the street who truly hates us (we're the wrong religion) wouldn't do any harm or watch idly as someone else did (she's one of those about whom you say "deep down inside, she's a really good person--I just can't stand her").


I love the sword idea--he has ten million swords or swordlike items anyway. I think we'll make one of them his bedside "friend." Oh, and he really doesn't watch television--verrrrrryyyyy limited bits with me right there at his side.


And maybe starting a Neighborhood Watch would be a good idea. I like and respect our PD and I think most folks on our street feel the same way.


About the negative energy: the fact is, some things in life ARE negative and I've never thought that sugar-coating them changes their nature. I've tried to stress that most things are positive and that we do all we can to prepare ourselves to deal with the negative, but sadly, some things about life just SUCK.


Thank you--appreciate the ideas and thoughts.



 


 


Edited 8/20/2005 3:29 am ET by jillsifer

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

Lword's picture

Aw, you poor dears. Can you walk with him around the house during the day and let him tell you where he thinks the security holes might be? If he thinks someone might come in his windows can you hang some bells, beads, whatever so that they will jingle and clatter if the window is tampered with? What about light motion sensors? Would the local police department have a ridealong or other educational program? Do you have a Neighborhood Watch?


It is not easy to fall or stay asleep if something is spooking you. A night in bed with you might help.


I was once petrified at a few years older than his age when Mom and Dad went out and I was home alone, even with the neighbor's phone number. Someone or something was prowling around and whatever, I've blocked it from my mind, so it's very scary and I'd suggest letting him talk it out as much as possible which might sort out realistic fears from the others. Is it possible someone at his school gave him a veiled threat that he hasn't told you about?


It's also possible he's recognizing he's growing up, and that is scary, and wants to get back to that old comfort zone for awhile. Tough age. Does he have suggestions?


Best wishes to you both. This will pass, but it sure hurts while so doing, doesn't it.


L.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." Mother Teresa
L.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." Mother Teresa
Jillsifer's picture

Thank you--that's another good idea--involve him in the security planning. He's such a little old man and sooooooo protective of me; maybe if he feels like he's helping to guard the fortress, he won't feel so powerless, the poor little rat.


I'm almost starting to wonder if he's getting the first hints of some hormonal changes and they're messing with his head.


Growing up, it turns out, is ALSO not for sissies!


 


 

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

AmyElliesMom's picture

Egg Salad! (Or excellent, if you wish.) Wonderful list! Thank you so much!!!

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.

CHandGreeson's picture

The Little Miss and Little Mr. books - they have been reissued and last summer were all over Barnes and Nobles. 


Anything and everything by Kevin Henkes and David McPhail, especially Night Music.


I tend to look for books that have nice illustrators, and then I try to find them over and over again, some of my favorites are the Woods, the Dillons, and Ted Lewin.


There are more, my brain is so slow today!