Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Readable Children's Books — by Guest Mom Allysha

“Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.”

So go the famous opening lines of “Winnie-The-Pooh” by A. A. Milne. I love the crew of the 100 acre wood, with an especial fondness for, I must confess, Eeyore, who is indeed woefully funny.

In college I took a class about writing children's books. It wasn't until I had children of my own, however, that I learned The Truth: many children's books are Quite Boring and Really Awful to read aloud. If you are a mother or father you know this. You know that the best kind of book is one the equally appeals to both parent and child. Which is why I like the
Winnie-the-Pooh stories. My children like them. I like them. I have been known to keep the whole stack by my bed and chuckle to myself as I read through the lot. The two volumes of poetry, Now We Are Six and When We Were Very Young, if you aren't familiar with them, are as equally charming as the story books Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner.

Some other books I enjoy reading to my children are:

Frog and Toad
...(fill in the rest of the title here, because any Frog and Toad story will do). I like Arnold Lobels' amphibians for the same reason I like Winnie the Pooh. The stories are funny and accessible to everyone involved. In fact I think these are better stories for the younger set, and yet are equally suited to keep adults completely entertained.

The Rainbow Book of Nursery Rhymes
by Sam Childs. I think this book is officially out of print, but you can still find it online. It's really beautiful. And utterly readable, as nursery rhymes are.

Drummer Hoff by Ed and Barbara Emberly. With gorgeous color woodblock print illustrations, this is a fun read. It can get kind of tongue-twistery, so don't hurry through too fast!

Ballerina! by Peter Sis. Simple illustrations. Simple story. But if you have little aspiring dancers at your house, they will really love this book. I always replace the little girl's name with the name of one of my daughters, and that is always a big hit.

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Blogger Completely Seven said...

Don't forget Paddington, and anything by Patricia Pollaco. And if you have a girl, when she gets a bit older you have to read her the first three Betsy-Tacy books. Very precious. OK, I will stop...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 at 6:51:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Edi said...

I read a lot to my kids and if I'm going to spend a lot of time reading to them I want to get some enjoyment out of it too! Therefore, especially on lengthy chapter books, the story needs to interest me in order for me to continue reading.

Right now we are reading the trilogy "My Side of the Mountain" by Craighead...we finished book one and are on the second one (less interesting). Recently finished The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe w/the kids - first time I ever read it and really enjoyed it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 at 7:17:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have books I like for the pictures much more than the words, so we skip many of the words and talk about the pictures instead.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 at 9:10:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Mary said...

I share my love of books with my niece Elizabeth. She is 10 and loves sharing what she's reading with me. She just told me about a book a classmate had referred to her called, Bitter Tastes, by Author V.B. Rosendahl. Elizabeth loved it because it reminded her of my telling her about loving Nancy Drew when I was growing up. "Bitter Tastes" is a good old-fashioned mystery. I think I will read it when she gets it back from her friends!. Thank you for the book recommendations. I'm always on the look out for reads for Elizabeth.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 at 11:02:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Zeynep said...

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 6:27:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Zeynep said...

For older children, I love the "Nicholas" series, recently translated into English. I enjoy reading the whole series outloud and crack up in every single chapter - my 5 year old started his stamp collection thanks to these series (he has 2 now!) and my 8 year old rereads the books for school reading assignments, he enjoys them so much.

Another favorite is "The Wild Baby" (the original book) and the "Sam" series by Barbro Lindgren - the illustrations and the storytelling is incredibly witty and enjoyed by my very own "wild"(ish) kids :).

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 6:33:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Nicole B said...

Dont forget "Donkey-Donkey" and "Petunia," by Roger Duvoisin. They keep my husband and i entertained...and they actually have a moral!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 9:23:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Cafe Johnsonia said...

Great choices! We LOVE Pooh Bear around our house.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 1:38:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Heather said...

Thanks! Always on the look-out for great kids' books. Have you read "Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm" by Martin & Alice Provenson? Definitely a delight for both children and parents.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 6:22:00 PM EDT  
Blogger cemarcano said...

For easy to read chapter books that are fun and interesting, I suggest the Junie B Jones series. We have a great time reading those. I like your comment about the book appealing to both parent and child. You are sooo right!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 9:56:00 AM EDT  

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