This list was compiled by the sensations evoked by summer---the timeless kind that may or may not actually exist any more, but hey, maybe some of these reads will inspire a timeless afternoon. These were all choices that brought a smile when remembering reading them in the first place, and they were usually the first thought of by those in our family. They range from very young on up to teens....
Young Ones Books:
Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson --- these first two choices were especially requested by our little ones when we were moving house again, good books about finding Home.
The Story of Ping, by Marjorie Flack
Tikki Tikki Tembo, by Arlene Mosel ---when I taught pre-school, this book was most loved by the active children, as was any rhyming, lyrical story...it seemed to entrance them to stillness.
Any Poetry book for young children...it's amazing what they will memorize on their own...
Tawny Scrawny Lion, a Golden Book --- my vegetarian children never tired of a story where contentment only came with carrot soup!
Any Jan Brett book---the illustrations are excellent accompaniments to the tales, and are beautifully done.
Mother Earth and Her Children, a Quilted Fairy Tale , by Sibylle von Olfers --- a new find, one of the most beautifully done children's picture books I've seen, and the story is delightful.
The Topsy-Turvies, by Francesca Simon --- This book is about a family who does everything backwards or in an odd way, and it assured our children it was okay to live in a wierd family-- we're grateful to you Ms. Simon.
and three baby board books that have stood the test of "read more!" for years:
Pat the Bunny , by Dorothy Kunhardt, Fuzzy Yellow Duckling , by Matthew van Fleet, and This Is Me , by Lenore Blegvad (excellent for babies developing self-awareness, and they love it)
For Older Kids/Chapter Books:
Cornelia Funke's books came out strong in the favorites for flopping on the couch and disappearing from current space and time---- Thief Lord is our favorite, but also Dragon Rider, and the series: Inkheart, Inkspell, and Inkdeath . Our twelve year old says they're great.
Harris and Me, by Gary Paulson --- town cousin comes to stay with country cousin...hilarious and well done, a great favorite of the whole clan.
Gruesome Green Witch, by Patricia Coffin/illus. by Peter Parnell --- this is an oldie from the sixties-- I included the illustrator as that's part of the fun of this book. It's typed in green ink , the detailed drawings are lovely, and though it's another "Kid finds another world in the back of a closet" book, it's an original through and through--- I memorized "The Jabberwocky" at age 10 because of this book...
The 21 Balloons , byWilliam Pene du Bois --- great story of imagined world on Krakatoa, pre-explosion.
My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George --- story of a boy who goes to live alone in the forest on the family mountain and makes friends with a fledgling peregrine falcon--better than the next two books that carry on, we all thought.
All of the Dorling/Kindersley Eyewitness Books , which we've spent many an hour browsing through the latest one of interest...
Any and all versions of King Arthur stories...it's fun to search for more variations and read and compare...
James Herriot's books: there's a James Herriot's Treasury for Children that re-tells classic animal stories with lovely illustrations, and his original books beginning with All Things Bright and Beautiful, while not kids books, are great stories of a country vet in England and are definitely kid readable...
Check out the Illustrated Classic Edition Books: we have tons of these 4" x 5" kids books that re-tell the classics for kids. Something about the size of them maybe? made for reading competitions over here to see who could read more of them one summer....Frankenstein, Oliver Twist, Sherlock Holmes , Tom Sawyer ....and many many more.
Tin Tin books, by Herge ----while I had to warm up to these, my sons loved them for years, and still do.
Little Men, by Louisa May Alcott --- the lesser known book that follows Little Women -- we liked this one more, as well as Eight Cousins . Little Men follows Jo and husband and their boarding school of boys, while Eight Cousins is about Rose, who comes to live with her.... eight cousins... while her father is ocean sailing somewhere. Set in Victorian times, Rose lives a progressive life compared to other Victorian girls---this is an interesting book (and so might be the following conversations) for kids to realize how different it is in our world now--- These reek of wholesomeness, and have made our list due to pure enjoyment.
Farmer Boy and Long Winter were our favorites of the Little House books, by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Here I will add the first three books in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan-- The Lightning Thief , Sea of Monsters , and Titan's Curse. These were just finished by our twelve year old, who can't wait to read the next two.
Harriet the Spy , by Louise Fitzhugh --- One adult's favorite here who didn't like reading much as a kid (or now), so I include it with joy that there are books even those who don't like reading, like.
Harry Potter books --- I like to ask kids who love these, "Because of Voldemort or in spite of Voldemort?" Usually I get, "In spite of Voldemort..."
At this point I will try to avoid ranting too long about how so many young children in current books are asked to save the world-- from creepy evil snake/men, from time splintering into world oblivion, from Lucifer, from aliens---whatever.....and I'm sure some kids love it, but that's just me.
Jack London stories, all of them---all enjoyed by our kids, oh, age 10 and up, say..
Golden Compass series, by Philip Pullman -- I was told by our 12 year old that these are WAY better than the movie of the first one.
Warriors series, by Erin Hunter --- one child here is a very advanced reader, and s/he loves these books to go back to for the sheer joy of nothing tough to ponder about--- just many reads about what is going on with the neighborhood cats and their secret lives when we're not looking.
Oh, definitely Mythology Books ---- our best books to read aloud in the car when driving across country three times in one summer, as we did one year ----there are kids versions of Greek, Norse, Roman-- and our favorite for driving along in the middle of nowhere, The Odyssey. We also read Journals of Lewis and Clark while driving through Idaho and we were in the vicinity of the trail they took, we read Gulliver's Travels and made up ideas of what kind of people might we meet next---thankfully we didn't meet any of them...
Oh, and best girl angst (if I remember correctly) ? Cress Delahanty, by Jessamyn West...another oldie, but I must've read that book over a dozen times while aged 12 and 13...
....and there are so many more....I wish for you all many happy hours with your nose in a book.
Whew----I made it through my first post!! Thanks for reading.....
...and for those who happened to read "My Second First Post", I am seriously tech-challenged---I re-found this under Drafts, I hadn't lost it, and am typing this addendum with a beet-red face.
JUNE 11, 2010 4:37PM