The Duchess Bakes a Cake
Ferdinand the Bull!
Reading over other folks replies has made me nostalgic. Ahhh... The Dumplings are teens now, and I remember so many of the books you all have mentioned. One absolute favorite is For Every Child, a Better World, by Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson may have had a hand in this). International human rights, addressed on a young child's level. I think it is out of print, but it is still available. I know because I just bought a used copy, in preparation for becoming a foster parent again.
I loved the Animalia books for the quality of the art. I have often chosen books for the illustrations - I am irritated with the crappy condescending cartoony stuff that decorates so much children's stuff, books included. Bill Peet is an author with good art, poetry, and good stories. And I love anything by Dr. Seuss, except when it gets over commercialized. The books are enough - I don't need cereal bowls, backpacks, or clothing to match.
Most of my kids let me read to them at bedtime until they were 12 or so. We loved series that would last for months: Little House on the Prairie, Rick Riordan's series, Harry Potter, The Golden Compass and sequels, The Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, The Bobbsey Twins, Tintin, I can't remember what all else. Oh, yeah, Narnia of course. And the whole Wizard of Oz series.
Hello - thanks for all the good ideas. I am going to come back to this treasure trove again and again! I tried the Year at Maple Hill Farm and it gave my 3 yr old son nightmares! (he needs to spend more time in the country - it was the shaggy dog he didn't like) and 10 minutes till bedtime was incredible, he LOVES it. Fantastic revelation. We really do not have as many good books over here in the UK I don't think. Thank you
Well, there are the books that my girls love now (currently age 3) and in the past:
The Little Mouse, the Hungry Bear and the Red, Ripe Strawberry
The "Pigeon" series by Mo Willems
Flicka, Dicka and Ricka series
"Knuffle Bunny" series by Mo Willems
"Peter Rabbit" series
"Big Red Barn"
"Frog & Toad" series
"Little Bear" series
"The Mitten" and basically anything else by Jan Brett
"Angus" series by Marjorie Flack
"Blueberries for Sal"
"A Sick Day for Amos McGee" by Stead
And then the books that I am keeping on a list for them to try at the appropriate ages (elementary, pre-teen and teen):
“Comet in Moominland” (and the other Moomin books) by Tove Jansson
“Freckles” and “Laddie” by Gene Stratton-Porter. Also, “A Girl of the Limberlost” and “The Harvester” but those are for a more pre-teen audience.
Louisa May Alcott beyond “Little Women” – “Under the Lilacs”, “Eight Cousins” (which has a sequel called “Rose in Bloom”), “An Old Fashioned Girl” and “Little Men”.
“The Bronze Bow”, “Calico Captive” and “The Witch of Blackbird Pond” by Elizabeth George Speare.
“Carry On, Mr. Bowditch” by Jean Lee Latham
“Betsy-Tacy” by Maud Hart Lovelace (and the whole Betsy-Tacy series).
“Understood Betsy” by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
“The Trojan War” by Olivia Coolidge
“The Children’s Homer” and “Children of Odin” by Padriac Colum
“Black Ships Before Troy” by Rosemary Sutcliff (and basically all of Rosemary Sutcliff’s historical novels for pre-teens).
“The Sword in the Stone” T.H. White
“Stories of Beowulf” and “English Literature for Boys and Girls” by H.E. Marshall
Children’s mysteries (she wrote a ton) by Augusta Seaman. Particularly “The Shadow on the Dial”.
“Heidi” by Johanna Spyri, also the sequel “Heidi Grows Up”
“The Railway Children” by E. Nesbit. Also: “The Five Children and It”, “The Phoenix and the Carpet” and “The Story of the Amulet”.
“Tom’s Midnight Garden” by Philippa Pearce.
“Misty of Chincoteague” by Marguerite Henry
“Black Beauty” by Anna Sewell
“The Prince and the Pauper” and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain
“Ballet Shoes” and the whole “Shoes” series by Noel Streatfeild
“Daddy-Long-Legs” by Jean Webster
The whole “Childhood of Famous Americans” series of books.
“Treasure Island” and “Kidnapped!” by Robert Louis Stevenson
“Pushcart War” by Jean Merrill
Kipling’s “Captains Courageous”, “Rikki Tikki Tavi”, “Jungle Book” and “Just So Stories”
Andrew Lang’s “Fairy” series of books.
“The Last Unicorn” by Peter S. Beagle
“The Princess Bride” by William Goldman
“The Neverending Story” by William Ende
“From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” by E.L. Konigsburg
“Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” by Robert C. O’Brien
“The Borrowers” series by Mary Norton
“The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking” by Astrid Lindgren
“A String in the Harp” by Nancy Bond
“The Wolves of Willoughby Chase” (and basically everything else she wrote) by Joan Aiken
“Charlotte’s Web” and “Stuart Little” by E.B. White
“Caddie Woodlawn” by Carol Brink
“Black Stallion” and “Man O’War” by Walter Farley
“Anne of Green Gables” (and the entire Avonlea series) and “Emily of New Moon” (and the entire Emily series) by L.M. Montgomery
“The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien
“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” series by C.S. Lewis
“The Book of Three” and the entire Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander, as well as the “Westmark” series by Lloyd Alexander
“Tuck Everlasting” by Natalie Babbitt
“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” (and its 20 some sequels) by Frank L. Baum
“Island of the Blue Dolphins” by Scott O’Dell
“The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster
“A Little Princess”, “The Secret Garden” and “Little Lord Fauntleroy” by Frances Hodgson Burnett
“Peter Pan” by J.M. Barrie
“Pollyanna” by Eleanor H. Porter
“Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” by Kate Wiggen
"The Little House" Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
"Over Sea, Under Stone" and the rest of the "Dark is Rising" series by Susan Cooper
"Song of the Lioness"/"Mastiff", etc. series by Tamora Pierce
"Watership Down" by Richard Adams
"A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith
"All of a Kind Family" by Sydney Taylor
"Johnny Tremain" by Esther Forbes
"Mary Poppins" and the rest of the series by P.L. Travers
"Paddington Bear" by Michael Bond
"Children of the Green Knowe" and the rest of the series by L.M. Boston
"Chitty chitty bang bang" by Ian Fleming
"Nancy Drew" - not great art, but I remember loving them.
"The Rescuers" by Margery Sharp
"101 Dalmatians" by Dodie Smith
"Frances" series by Russell Hoban
"Tanglewood Tales" by Hawthorne
"King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table" and "Robin Hood" by Green
"Wizard Children of Finn" by Mary Tannen
"The Master Puppeteer" and "Of Nightingales that Weep" by Katherine Paterson
Thanks! I've been keeping a running list, as I remember old books that I read as a child, and that kids I know still enjoy. It is a rather old-fashioned list -- my mother kept many of her childhood books and I read them years later when they would otherwise be out of print or very hard to obtain (in the days before Amazon).
A couple of the books don't have the most current attitudes (for example, the description of the "natives" met during their travels in Carry on, Mr. Bowditch, which while not horrible is probably not the most P.C.) but my preferred approach is to use that as a springboard for discussion, rather than to avoid making the book available.