Monday, June 05, 2006

Favorite Children's Books

What are some of the Children's Stories you think no child should do without? Here's my short list:

  • Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak

  • Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, William Steig

  • The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein

  • The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis

  • In the Night Kitchen, Maurice Sendak

  • Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein

  • Why Mosqitoes Buzz in People's Ears: A West African Tale, Verna Aardema

  • The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus, Joel Chandler Harris

  • The Story of Ferdinand, Munro Leaf

  • Amos & Boris, William Steig

  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter

Anyway, that's enough to get the rest of you started. Help me fill in the blanks I'm sure to have missed. Oh, and good news for Maurice Sendak fans--they're adapting it to film in 2008. Jen, no excuses, I expect you seated next to me and my kids for opening night. Put in notice now if you have to.


Tillerman said...

Everything by Roald Dahl. If we have to choose one say The BFG.

Jennifer said...

Sylvester! Good one.

Excellent list. If you were to expand it, I'd suggest The Dot and the Line by Norton Juster (and/or The Phantom Tollbooth).

Also, The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein is one of my favorites.

Dave said...

first and foremost, Ben, your list is incredibly accurate, wonderful, indispensable, yet, incomplete. it is my hope that you read my list and say "ooooo, that is so good, i should have thought of that!"

my criteria is anything i read up through 8th grade, or in my children's lit. class

The Education of Little tree
My side of the mountain
The Polar express
Curious george(s)
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
The Giver
A Wrinkle in Time
mein kampf (just seeing who is paying attention)
Make way for ducklings
Tales of a fourth grade nothing
Everything by Dr. Seuss. no exceptions!
Ender's game
The velveteen rabbit
Harold and the purple crayon
The Hobbit (LotR is NOT childrens... the hobbit is)

these books have all had some sort of impact on my life, and i am an avid reader today because of them.

I wanted to add some others (jonathan livingston seagull, the mouse and the motorcycle, enclopedia brown, mr popper's penguins) but those are books that i enjoyed, but arent quite good enough to put on a pedestal. to put them on the same list as Dr. suess, and the hobbit would be insulting, but they deserve merit, never the less.

im sure someone down the line is going to put a book on their that is going to make ME say "ooooo that is soooo good, I should have thought of it!" So, my apologies, but i'm sure my list is incomplete

Dave said...

by the way, great call on the Roald Dahl.... James and the giant peach and Charlie and the Chocolate factory were 2 of may favorites.

Rebecca said...

Totally agree! And Tillerman, Jennifer, and Dave -- GREAT choices to add. My additions: Anything by Chris Van Allsburg, and more by Madeleine L'Engle (although "A Wrinkle in Time" is the best to start with).

Also, for the small kids:
Olivia (and other Olivia books) Miss Nelson is Missing (and the sequels)
The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash (and sequels)
Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day
Much Bigger Than Martin
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (and others by this author - Math Curse, The Stinky Cheese Man, etc.)
Strega Nona
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

For the bigger kids:
The Witch of Blackbird Pond
The Phantom Tollbooth (which Jennifer w.(k.) also suggested)
Gathering Blue (companion to 'The Giver.' There's also another companion novel, but I don't remember the title off the top of my head)
The Westing Game
Anastasia Krupnik (and all the other Anastasia books)
The One Hundredth Thing About Caroline
Nightbirds on Nantucket (and many other by Joan Aiken)
The People in Pineapple Place (and sequel(s))
The Wishgiver
Devil's Donkey
Dr. Dredd's Wagon of Wonders

...and so many more!!!

Rebecca said...

Oh my god! I can't believe I forgot one of my all-time favorites, "Tuck Everlasting."

Cate said...

In addition to all the ones already on this list, I suggest that no child should be without:
The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
Harold and the Purple Crayon (Crockett Johnson)
The Runaway Bunny (Margaret Wise Brown)
No, David (David Shannon)
Stellaluna (Janell Cannon)
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (Mo Willems)

Eric Carle books are a MUST--from The Very Hungry Caterpillar to Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

James Herriot's illustrated children's books, i.e., Bonnie's Big Day, Only One Woof and the Christmas Day Kitten

Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little when the attention span gets a little longer

I could continue, but as this list shows, there are plenty of good books for kids out there!

Jen said...

I hoped that Eric Carle was going to make it on the list- The Very Hungry Caterpillar was a favorite bedtime read. I would get hungry flipping thru pages of lollipops, swiss cheese, and apples.
Ben, I don't think you like this book, however my life would not be complete without it- Goodnight Moon. My favorite part about the book was finding things in the book. The cat, mice, kittens, mittens, etc. The cat and mouse always moved on each page... So despite your unappreciation for the book, I'm going to read it to Thomas when I'm there. If you don't have a copy I'll bring my own, damnit!
Maybe I'll just read mein kampf instead.

Ben said...

Thomas owns *two* copies of the piece of crap known as Goodnight Moon, which I will refer to in the future as POC.

Great. You get to look around the pretty pictures and try to find things. Meanwhile, the text offers no stimulation whatsoever. Sometimes it doesn't even rhyme. Sometimes the rhyme is forced--i.e., Goodnight Hush...goodnight hush...let's see, what rhymes with that...Oh! Goodnight bowl full of mush. That'll work!

Hey, when you're done reading him POC, why don't you sit him down in front of the Tele Tubbies for a couple hours. Would you like to kick one of my cats while you're here?

In other news, the very hungry catapillar is a good one. I got hungry reading Jen's post about it...

Dave said...

i'd like to kick norbert

Nicole said...

Ben, get your wife a copy of Robert Munsch Love You Forever, because you have a little boy. When I had my son 14 years ago, it was given to me in the hospital and TBH, it still makes me cry. All his books are pretty good actually.
Paper Bag Princess is a favourite here as well and my daughter has recently fallen in love with the Little House on the Prairie series.
I also still love Judy Blume books and Ramona the Pest series.

Carolyn said...

THANK YOU! Finally I am not alone in my hatred for "Goodnight Moon"!! Having this book read to me was pretty much as bad as having to eat meatloaf as a kid. I will not be subjecting my kids to this book... I'll give them a nice hop on pop or one fish, two fish instead.

Anyone read "Mr. Willabee's Christmas Tree?" I think that tops off my list, particularly because it meant that Christmas morning was right around the corner.

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