Friday, September 21, 2012

Children's Book Lists

Following my email last week about our plans for the current school year, a few people asked about the book lists that I've prepared to read out loud to the kids during the winter, and whether I could post these lists.

Yes, gladly, is my answer.

It was hard coming up with these lists, to be honest.  There is such an incredible array of children's literature to choose from that there are literally thousands of titles that could have made my lists, and I am sure that many incredible books never got onto this year's lists.  I'm also unsure about whether the books I have listed are in the right list for the right kid(s).  Finally, because I've never listed the books I've read for the kids), I don't know whether I've listed too many books to get through this winter, or too few.  But whatever!  I'll modify the lists as I need to.

If, as you read the lists, you see a book that really wasn't all that great, please let me know because I can then consider removing it and putting another one in its place.  I've read most of these books, but not all of them, so I'd appreciate knowing if any are duds.  On the other hand, if you have read a book with your kid(s) that is really worthy of being on a short list, let me know that, too - I'm all ears for hearing about your favourites!

I have four lists:
  • One list is comprised of the selection I've chosen from the first two volumes of the Five In A Row unit study Curriculum.  We'll read one of these books/week (several times) and base part of our school day work on the curriculum that is prepared for each of these books.
  • The second list is comprised of books that I'll be reading to all three kids together during our regular school day.
  • The third list has been put together with Matthew in mind and will form part of our regular evening reading time.
  • The final list contains the titles I'd like to read to Seth and Lizzie this winter during the first part of our day when Matthew is still sleeping.  I've tried to orient these books more towards a younger audience.

So here are the lists, in case they're of help to anyone else.  The font is a bit whacky because I've just cut and pasted from my usual document.

Books I'll read and teach from Volumes 1 & 2 of FIAR (Five In A Row):

The Story About Ping, by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese
Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelmans
A Pair of Red Clogs, by Masako Matsuno
The Rag Coat, by Lauren Mills
The Glorious Flight, by Alice and Martin Provensen
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, by Marjorie Priceman
Grandfather's Journey, by Allen Say
Cranberry Thanksgiving, by Wende and Harry Devlin
Another Celebrated Dancing Bear, by Gladys Scheffrin-Falk
Katy and the Big Snow, by Virginia Lee Burton
The Giraffe that Walked to Paris, by nancy Milton
A New Coat for Anna, by Harriet Ziefert
They Were Strong and Good, by Alice and Robert Lawson
The Story of Ferdinand, by Munro Leaf
Down Down the Mountain, by Ellis Credie
The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter
Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson
Gramma's Walk, by Anna Grossnickle Hines

Read Aloud Books for All Three Kids Together (during the school day):

Catwings, (#1) by Ursula K. Le Guin
Catwings Return, (#2) by Ursula K. Le Guin
Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings, (#3) by Ursula K. Le Guin
Jane on her Own, (#4) by Ursula K. Le Guin
My Father’s Dragon, (#1) by Ruth Stiles Gannett
Elmer and the Dragon, (#2) by Ruth Stiles Gannett
The Dragons of Blueland, (#3) by Ruth Stiles Gannett
The Mouse and the Motorcycle, by Beverly Cleary
Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
On the Banks of Plum Creek, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
By The Shores of the Silver Lake, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Long Winter, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little Town on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
These Happy Golden Years, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The First Four Years, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
A Bad Case of Stripes, by David Shannon
Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo
Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White
The Boxcar Children, by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Shiloh, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
The Moffats, by Eleanor Estes
Stuart Little, by E.B. White
James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl

Read Aloud Books for Matthew (age 8):

The Last of of the Great Whangdoodles, by Julie Andrews

Frindle, by Andrew Clements

The Penderwicks, by Jeanne Birdsall 

Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson

Black Stallion, by Walter Farley

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Konigsburg

Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen

The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke
Knights of the Kitchen Table, by Jon Scieszka
Robin Hood, by Roger Lancelyn Green
Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Mask of Zorro, by Johnston McCulley
The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Orczy
Men of Iron, by Howard Pyle
The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe
Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh
Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls
The Hundred Dresses, by Eleanor Estes
Hardy Boy Books (continue the series)
Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine
Sarah, Plain and Tall, by Patricia MacLachlan
Follow My Leader, by James Garfield
The Secrets of Droon: The Hidden Staircase and Magical Carpet, by Tony Abbott
Various Hardy Boy books
Various Geronimo Stilton books

Read Aloud Books for Seth and Lizzie (ages 7 and 5):

* note: usually Seth and Lizzie pick from our little library the books to start our day with.  I will continue that practice and then supplement it with the following.

Agapanthus Hum and Major Bark, by Jennifer Plecas

Bonaparte, by Marsha Wilson Chall
Amos and Boris, by William Steig
The Bossy Gallito, by Lucia M. Gonzalez
Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes
The Doorbell Rang, b Pat Hutchins
Everything to Spend the Night From A to A, by Ann WHitford Paul

Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep: A Yarn About Wool, by Teri Sloat

Hamster Chase, by Anastasia Suen

How to Catch an Elephant, by Amy Schwartz

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff
Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino
It’s Justin Time, Amber Brown, by Paula Danziger
Letters and Sounds (Get Set for Kindergarten series), by Rosemary Wells
The Lion and the Mouse and Other Aesop Fables, by Doris Orgel
The Little Engine that Could, by Watty Piper
Old Thunder and Miss Raney, by Sharon Darrow
Quick as a Cricket, by Audrey Wood
Q is for Duck: An Alphabet Guessing Game, by Mary Elting
Ring! Yo?, by Chris Raschka
Something BIG Has Been Here, by Jack Prelutsky
“Stand Back,” said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze”, by Patricia Thomas
The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter
Three Cheers for Catherine the Great!, by Cari Best
Town Mouse, Country Mouse, by Jan Brett
Willie’s Birthday, by Anastasia Suen
Yoshi’s Feast, by Kimiko Kajikawa
Young Classics: Alice in Wonderland, by Julie Fior
Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey
Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak
Winnie the Pooh, by A.A. Milne
Basher ABC Kids, by ?
Bear Snores On, by Karma Wilson
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin Jr.
Frog and Toad are Friends, by Arnold Lobel
Hair/Pelitos, by Sandra Cisneros
Flat Stanley series, by Jeff Brown

I hope you've found something useful in the lists above.  I'll look forward to hearing about your recommendations!


  1. I saw some books in there that I should be reading :)

  2. Maybe you should come and join our h/school Sheldon! I could teach you a thing or two! :))


  3. Fantastic list Ruth- thanks so much for taking the time to put this together. Sarah is reading chapter books, so I was looking for good book suggestions. Three books I really liked for younger kids were (1) Ruthie and the (not so)Teenie Tiny Lie by Laura Rankin (2) George can't dance and (3) How are you Peeling by Saxton Freymann-this is a beautiful book of photographs of vegetables that help to teach emotion words. I used it alot with Sarah to help her express what she was feeling.

  4. Thanks for the ideas, Kristin - I'll be checking them out!

    And I hope that my lists will help somehow, too. I have found already, in the past two weeks, that having my book lists has helped me be more intentional about the books I'm ordering from the library and pulling off our shelves. We're still doing the ad hoc reading, of course, but I'm loving having the lists so that I can be a little more deliberate about what I'm reading out loud. I also discovered quite a number of the books on my lists (the chapter books) are also available as audio books at the library; last week we got the first of those to listen to and Matthew is already plowing through some of them. Whether I'm reading a book or whether an audio book is 'reading it' I'm just happy if my kids are being read to!