Children's Book FAQ
The following Children's Book FAQ is reprinted from the USENET newsgroup misc.kids.
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[Early/Middle Readers and Chapter Books]
Aiken, Joan: The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (and other books)
Atwater, Robert: Mr. Popper's Penguins [Toni V.]
Banks, Lynn Reid: An Indian in the Cupboard [Rec. unknown]
Barrie, James: Peter Pan (the original...which was hard work for me because I had to skip all the sexist/racist/violent stuff as we went. Some chapters ended up short : -) [Kate H.])
Baum, L. Frank: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; The Marvelous Land of Oz; Ozma of Oz; Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz; Tik-Tok of Oz [Nancy J.N.] (When my daughter was 3 she asked for Wizard of Oz. I tried to discourage her showing her that there were no pictures, lots of words, very long,... but she was adamant. We ended up reading it 3 times in a row. [Rec. unknown])
Blume, Judy: SuperFudge [Nancy J.N.]
Brooks, Walter R.: Freddy the Pig series [Toni V.]; Freddy Goes to Florida (originally titled: To and Again)
Bulla, Clyde R.: A Lion to Guard Us; Open the Door and See All the People; Ghost Town Treasure; The Secret Valley; The Cardboard Crown; The Moon Singer; The Shoeshine Girl (Don't read these if you have a sensitive kid [Nancy J.N.]); Charlie's House (a historical novel [Nancy J.N.])
Burnett, Frances Hodgson: The Secret Garden (well liked); A Little Princess
Cameron, Eleanor: The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet (and sequels)
Carroll, Lewis (Charles L. Dodgson): Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; Through the Looking Glass
Carter, Forrest: The Education of Little Tree
*Cleary, Beverly: Ramona the Pest (Jamie *loved* all the silliness in this book [Nancy J.N.]); Ramona the Brave; The Mouse and the Motorcycle (video is great); Beezus and Ramona ;Runaway Ralph (great video, too); Ralph S. Mouse; Ramona and Her Father; Ramona and Her Mother; Ramona Forever; Socks; Ramona Quimby, Age 8; Henry Huggins; Henry and Ribsy; Henry and the Clubhouse; Henry and the Paper Route; Ribsy; Henry and Beezus; Otis Spofford; Emily's Runaway Imagination; Muggy Maggie [Nancy J.N.]; Ralph the Mouse series [Toni V.]
Coolidge, Susan: What Katy Did [Kate H.]
Cooper, Susan: The Dark is Rising series
Dahl, Roald: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator [Rec. unknown; Nancy J.N.]; James and the Giant Peach [Valerie B.]; The BFG (Big Friendly Giant)
de Saint Exupery, Antoine: The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince)
Drury Roger: The Champion of Merrimack County [Nancy J.N.]
Eager, Edward: Half Magic (great book!); Magic by the Lake; Time Garden; Knight's Castle
Ehrlich, Amy: Random House Book of Fairy Tales (well received by my son at 3. [Kathleen R.])
Ericson, Russell: Morton and Warton; Warton and the King of the Skies; Warton and the Castaways; Warton and the Contest; A Toad for Tuesday; Warton's Christmas Eve Adventure (Huge favorites...[Nancy J.N.])
Fleming, Ian: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Gannett, Ruth Stiles: My Father's Dragon [Rec. unknown]
Graham, Kenneth: The Wind and the Willows (7-9 yr. olds. This book is pretty sophisticated for this age group, but makes a great read-aloud, because it is fun for adults as well as the children! [Judith R.])
Haas, Dorothy: Burton's Zoom,Zoom Va-Room Machine [Nancy J.N.]
*Haywood, Carolyn: Little Eddie; Little Eddie and the Fire Engine; Little Eddie and the Green Thumb; Eddie Makes Music; Betsy and the Boys; Here's a Penny; Ever Ready Eddie [Nancy J.N.]
Jacques, Brian: Redwall; Mattimeo (these fantasy books were evidently written for adults, but I think a child would enjoy them)
Janson, Tove: Finn Family Moomintroll (Many other books in the same series, but most of them are pretty wierd and on the grim side. This one is a complete delight. [Phil R.])
Juster, Norman: The Phantom Tollbooth
Key, Alexander: Flight to the Lonesome Place; The Incredible Tide; Escape to Witch Mountain; The Forgotten Door
Kipling, Rudyard: Just So Stories [Nola Van V.]; The Jungle Book
Lampman, Evelyn: The City Under the Back Stairs (well liked [Rec. unknown; Hilary M.])
Lang, Andrew: the Fairy Books series (The Red Fairy Book, Blue, Green, etc.)
Lear, Edward: The Complete Nonsense Book
Lewis, C.S.: Chronicles of Narnia
Lindgren, Astrid: Pippi Longstockings (and sequels)
*Lobel, Arnold: Frog and Toad books (These became some of Marc's favorites: Frog and Toad are Friends, Days with Frog and Toad, Frog and Toad Together(?), and Frog and Toad All Year [Bruce G.]) (...they feature the friendship of Frog and Toad, and also consist of 4 to 5 loosely-connected chapters in each book. Other titles by Loebel have also proved to be good ones (Mouse Tales is one that comes to mind).[Carol F.]); Mouse Tales; Stone Soup
London, Jack: The Call of the Wild
Lovelace, Maud: Betsy-Tacy series; Tib series [Sharon L. B.].
Macauley, David: Pyramid; Castle; Cathedral; Mill; Unbuilding; City (nonfiction [Nancy J.N.])
MacDonald, Betty: Miss Piggle Wiggle series
Marshall, Edward: Fox and His Friends (colorful [Graeme W.])
Marshall, James: George and Marsha ( series which is a lot of fun and very colorful. Published by Houghton Mifflin in their Sandpiper Paperback edition. [Graeme W.])
*Marshall, James: The "Fox" Books (Similar format to the others [Frog and Toad; Oliver Pig]-- and again, stories that are a little more involved than picture books. [Carol F.])
MacDonald, Betty: Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books [Rec. unknown]
McDonalds, George: The Princess and the Goblin
Milne, A.A.: Winnie the Pooh [Kathleen R.; Misty N.]; House at Pooh Corner;Now We Are Six; When We Were Very Young [Kate H.]
*Minarik, Else H.: Little Bear's Friend (The back cover says there are 4 other books about Little Bear. Don't know if they're all chapter books, but now we've gotta go find them! [Suzanne J.])
Montgomery, Lucy Maud: Anne of Green Gables series; Emily of New Moon series
Nesbit, Edith (or Edith Nesbit Bland): Five Children and It; The Enchanted Castle; many others
Norton, Mary: The Borrowers [I loved this book as a child [Stella S.]; Kate H.]; Borrowers Afield, Borrowers Afloat; Borrowers Aloft (Wonderful stories of tiny people who live unseen (usually) by big people and adapt borrowed items for their own uses...good young female protagonist Arietty [Rec. unknown; Hilary M.])
Norton, Mary: Bedknob and Broomstick [Kate H.]
*Peterson, John: The Littles; The Littles go to School; The Littles to the Rescue; The Littles Take a Trip [Nancy J.N.]
Quackenbush, Robert: Miss Mallard mystery series (short chapter books [Rec. unknown])
Ransome, Arthur: Swallows and Amazons
Rylant, Cynthia: The Henry and Mudge books [Kathleen R.]
Selden, George: Cricket in Times Square. Illustrated by Garth Williams.
Sharp, Margery: Miss Bianca books (These are the books on which the Disney movie, "The Rescuers," was based. I've never seen the movie, but I doubt it could do the books justice. [Mimi W.])
Silverstein, Shel: A Light in the Attic; Where the Sidewalk Ends (Poetry)
Simon, Seymore: Einstein Anderson Science Sleuth; Einstein Anderson Shocks his Friends; Einstein Anderson ? [Nancy J.N.]
Smith, Dodie: The Hundred and One Dalmations
Sobol, Donald J: Encyclopedia Brown Gets His Man; Encyclopedia Brown Finds the Clues; Encyclopedia Brown Solves them All; Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch [Nancy J.N.]
Spinelli, Jerry: Maniac Magee (Newbury award winner)
Steig, William: Dominic [Nancy J.N.]
Taylor, Sydney: All-of-a-Kind Family
*Van Leeuwen, Jean: Oliver Pig (The first book in this series is just called "Oliver Pig," but there are several others (Oliver & Amanda Pig, Amanda Pig, etc.). These books are each about 60 pages long and are comprised of 4 to 5 loosely-connected chapters. (The chapters can be read as individual stories, but Katie usually wants us to read the whole thing in each sitting. This only takes about 10 to 15 minutes.) Oliver, his little sister Amanda, his parents & his grandmother are featured in the stories, which usually have a few little silly parts that seem to appeal to a pre-schooler's sense of humor. These books may also be targeted at early readers (1st to 2nd grade?).[Carol F.])
Various: folk tales, etc. from other countries (folk section of library) [Rec. unknown]
Various: Great Illustrated Classics (...a BIG hit with my son. These are abridged versions of classic novels, and there is a black-and-white drawing on every-other page...some books are edited better than others. If you resent the notion of "dumbing- down" a classic for the sake of young children getting interested, then don't get these. [Beth J.; Valerie B.])
Warner, Gertrude Chandler: The Boxcar Children
White, E.B.: Charlotte's Web; Stuart Little [Nancy J.N.]; The Trumpet of the Swan
Wilde, Oscar: The Happy Prince, The Selfish Giant, and other short stories (new favorites! Nancy J.N.]
Wilder, Laura Ingalls: Little House in the Big Woods; Little House on the Prarie; On the Banks of Plum Creek; By the Shores of Silver Lake; The Long Winter; Farmer Boy; Little Town on the Prairie (...*huge* favorite[s] of Jamie's [Nancy J.N.])
Willard, Nancy: The High Rise Glorious Skittle Skat Roarious Sky Pie Angel Food Cake
Williams, J. and R. Abrashkin: Danny Dunn and the Automatic House (a favorite of Bob's from his youth); Danny Dunn and the Fossil Cave; Danny Dunn and the Anti-Gravity Paint; Danny Dunn and the Weather Machine; Danny Dunn on the Ocean Floor; Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine [Nancy J.N.]
Wyss, Johann David: The Swiss Family Robinson (rich, complex language--kept us at the dictionary! [Nancy J.N.])
Yolen, Jane: Rebecca and the Robot; Rebecca and the Missing Owser [Nancy J.N.]
*indicates very simple chapter book
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[For Older Kids]
Asimov, Isaac: I, Robot
Duncan, Lois: Various titles (13 years+. She writes mysteries)
Speare, Elizabeth: The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Tolkien, J.R.R.: The Hobbit
Twain, Mark: Tom Sawyer
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[Age Recommendation Unknown]
Adler, David A.: My Dog and the Knock-Knock mystery (mystery book, girl and her dog [Rec. unknown])
Allen, Pamela: Who Sank The Boat?
Asch, Frank: Popcorn (Halloween)
Bate, Lucy: Little Rabbit's Loose Tooth
Belloc, Hilaire: Cautionary Tales
Berger, Barbara?: The Donkey's Dream [Rec. unknown]
Brown, Marc: Arthur's Eyes; Arthur's Christmas
Forest, Heather: The Woman Who Flummoxed the Fairies
Fowler, Richard: Mr Little's Noisy [...] series
Gerstein, Mordicai: The Mountains of Tibet
Gruell, Johnie?: Raggedy Ann books (cooperation, possibly out of print [Rec. unknown])
Heyward, DuBose and Marjorie Flack: The Baker's Dozen (Christmas)
Koda-Callan, Elizabeth: The Magic Locket
Krasilovsky, Phyllis: The Very Little Girl
Lester, Julius: The Tales of Uncle Remus--The Adventures of Brer Rabbit (as told by Julius Lester)
Lord, John Vernon: The Giant Jam Sandwich
Mahy, Margaret: My Wonderful Aunt; 17 Kings and 42 Elephants; The Boy Who Was Followed Home
Murphy, Jill: A Piece of Cake; All in One Piece; Five Minutes' Peace; What Next, Baby Bear?
San Souci, Robert D.: The Talking Eggs (a Creole Folktale)
Schubert, Ingrid: The Magic Bubble Trip
Steig, William: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
Stevenson, James: Could Be Worse; What's Under My Bed
Stafford, Marianne: Amy's Place
Tudor, Tasha: Pumpkin Moonshine (Halloween)
Tyrrell, Anne: Elizabeth Jane Gets Dressed; Mary Ann Always Can
Unknown: Clothilda's Magic
Unknown: Fancy That! [N.B.: LC has two children's books by this title; by Kees Moerbeck/rhyming board book or Pamela Allen/story of the little red hen]
Unknown: Maisie series books (Scottish tales, perhaps not in USA [Rec. unknown])
Unknown: National Geographic's Animal Books that are recommended for kids 4-8 (I think) have been a big hit with my son since infancy. At first he just liked the pictures, but now he knows the names of all sorts of unusual animals and knows various facts about them. [Cici]
Van Allsburg, Chris: Just a Dream; The Garden of Abdul Gasazi; Jumanji; The Jungle; The Polar Express (Christmas); The Wreck of the Zepher (Allsburg's books involve fantasy and are beautifully illustrated; keep your eye out for the small white dog with a black spot around one eye--a main character in the GARDEN book, later seen as a puppet, in a picture, etc. [Kate D.])
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(Don't overlook "grown-up stuff" either, especially poetry, which IMO, just doesn't make it unless it's read out loud. Local favorites include _Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats_ by T.S. Elliot and _Songs of Innocence_ by William Blake. [Nola Van V.]) (One of our neighborhood kids also loved T.S. Eliot and it was quite a kick to see these two 3 YO's running around quoting snatches of "Song of the Jellicles" whenever they saw the neighborhood black and white cat. [Rec. unknown])
Prelutsky, Jack and Jim Trelease, Eds.: Read Aloud Poems for the Very Young (Probably good for 1.5 to about 4 year-olds. My son is 1.5 and he already loves the cadence of the poetry and the pictures. I like these rhymes better than traditional nursery rhymes because they are about things children love. Animals, the beach, teddy bears, bathtime, everything. [Kirsten H.])
Silverstein, Shel: Where the Sidewalk Ends (The poems are hysterical on many different levels. It was given to us by my college age niece who marked her favorite poems from her well worn copy. My daugher (then 5) loved it (and still does). I read them and laugh when I want something funny. Recently my father visited and I read some to him from our (beginning to be well worn) copy. We sent him his own copy for his birthday. [Celia M.]) These can help little preschoolers to develop a more sophisticated sense of humor, if you take the time to explain why the poems are funny [Rec. unknown])
Thomas, Dylan: A Child's Christmas in Wales (I'll confess that I had received a collection of Dylan Thomas' poetry as a gift just before Kate was born and I found myself reading it aloud to her when she was just a few days old. She still loves poetry and writes quite a bit of her own stuff. [Rec. unknown])
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[Info on reading to children]
Reading To Infants - by Laura Dolson
1) They still like just to hear the sound of your voice at this age, so reading almost anything, especially singsongy/rhymey, is great. In a few months, they won't want you to read longer things without pictures as much, but when you get back to it later, there may be some familiarity with it.
2) Get books with large, clear illustrations/photographs. Examples: Tana Hoban books like _What Is It_ and _Red Shoe, Blue Shoe_, and the large Helen Oxenbury Books (All Fall Down, Clap Hands, etc.) The latter have illustrations of large-headed children that really capture the young ones, and a short, rhyming text. All Fall Down and a Sandra Boyton book "Moo, Baa, La La La" were Emily's clear favorites at two months.
Also, be prepared - many babies go through a period from about 4-5 mo to 8-9 mo where they are more interested in books as toys/things to "eat" than in reading them. This is a good age for 1 or 2 spiral-bound books - there are several of these in stores with graded holes in them which make them even more fun. They are fun to play peek-a-boo games with, and the spiral binding makes them easier for the baby to manipulate. Also good for this period are small (3X3) books with colorful illustrations of familiar objects.
By 8 mo or so, Emily was choosing her own reading material - she would take my hand and place it on her book of choice!
BOOKS FOR ONE YEAR OLDS
Graeme Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org)
At this age, kids like the sound of your voice, as well as books they can play with, like lift-the-flap books. The most important thing, I think, is that *you* should enjoy the books, because the child can certainly pick that up from your tone.
As for frequency, I would try and read one or more stories a couple of times a day - perhaps when you get home after work, and just before bed, or just before or after dinner. Have a specific place for reading that is relatively quiet, and leave a pile of books there. Our kids still demand that the same book be read over and over again, so you don't have to worry about variety. You might also see if the local library has a children's room, and go there together once a week.
Certainly kids vary in their tolerance for sitting still, but it improves with time and practice.
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[Books about Children's Books/References]
Wendy E. Betts, Editor "The WEB: Celebrating Children's Literature" *for more information about The WEB, finger email@example.com* Frequent readers, please note: this journal is supported by reader's donations. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to help; or send mail to PO Box 401, Santa Cruz, CA 95061 to send donation or to subscribe to the hardcopy WEB review.
For Love of Reading: A Parent's Guide to Encouraging Young Readers from Infancy Through Age 5 (Masha Kabakow Rudman and Anna Markus Pearce) - This is the best one I looked at for young ones - I love it. [Laura D.]
The Read-Aloud Handbook (Jim Trelease), Penguin Books, 1985 (Recommended by many people)
Babies Need Books (D. Butler), Atheneum, 1980.
Books Kids Will Sit Still For (J. Freeman), The Alleyside Press, 1984.
How to Choose Good Books for Kids (K. Hall McMullan), Addison- Wesley, 1984.
Choosing Books for Children: A Commonsense Guide (B. Hearne), Delacorte Press, 1981.
Raising Readers (L.L. Lanne, et al), Walker and Co., 1980.
Choosing Books for Kids (J. Oppenheim, et al), Ballantine Books, 1986.
The New York Times Parent's Guide to the Best Books for Children (Eden Ross Lipson), Times, 1988
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[Book Services and Mail Order Catalogs]
Chinaberry Book Service...EXCELLENT books for the whole family 2780 Via Orange Way, Suite B Spring Valley, CA 92078 1-800-776-2242
Dover Publications, Inc. 31 East 2nd St Mineola, NY 11501
(They are really good for a wide selection of activity books for kids from preschool on up. They have a large selection of paper doll books, dinosaur books, maze books, books of masks to make, follow the dots, science, stained glass, posters, fairy tales, papercraft, woodworking...[Tina V.R.)
Big Bird Beep Books (Highly recommended - [didn't save poster's name]) Golden Press (a division of Western Publishing) 3100 Mt Pleasant Street Racine, Wisconsin 53404
An address for the Canadian & American distributor of Robert Munsch's books (from the copyright page) is:
Firefly Books Ltd., 250 Sparks Avenue, Willowdale, Ontario Canada M2H 2S4
Below is a UK bookseller who I've ordered from who has provided excellent service, if anyone needs to order UK published books not available in the USA [Buffy H.]:
Pamela Robinson Bookseller 124 Wilberforce Road London N4 2SU United Kingdom Tel: 071-226-1354 - UK numbers, of course Fax: 071-226-6599
Another book catalog [Inho L.]:
Cahill & Company: A Reader's Catalog P.O. Box 64554 Saint Paul, MN 55164-0554 800-755-8531 (24hr/day, 7days/wk)
"Our goal is to bring you good books at great prices. We do that by hunting down hundreds of wonderful titles that, for one reason or another, didn't get the attention they deserved when they were first published."
Ladybug Magazine Box 593 Mt Morris, IL 61054
$24.97 for a one year subscription Other products: Babybug (for the 6mos to 2year crowd) Ladybug - 2 to 6 years Spider - 6 to 9 years Cricket - 9 to 14 years
Hint - Bookstores with large magazine racks, like Borders, may have a copy you can pick up and look through. I bought a copy and "tried it out".
* * *Books on Special Topics
* Celebrating Friendships *
Newf Marie Killilea (Philomel, 1992) Ages 5-10. A huge Newfoundland dog and a tiny kitten develop a rewarding relationship.
Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge Mem Fox (Kane/Miller, 1985) Ages 5 and up. A young boy's friendship with an elderly woman is a lesson in the joy of giving.
The Sugar-Gum Tree Patricia Wrightson (Viking, 1992) Ages 7-11. Conflict is unavoidable--even, as here, between best buddies.
The Son of Someone Famous M. E. Kerr (Harper, 1974) Ages 11-14. Two outsiders develop a special caring for each other.
Always and Forever Friends Carole Adler (Ticknor, 1988) Ages 10-13. Wendy's efforts to create a friendship with Honor, an African-American, are met with suspicion and fear.
* Brothers and Sisters * (Sibling/New Baby FAQ also available)
Little Sister for Sale Morse Hamilton (Cobblehill, 1992) Ages 4-8. Kate discovers that being a big sister isn't so bad after all.
Don't Touch My Room Patricia Lakin (Little, Brown, 1985) Ages 4-6. Aaron makes room in his heart for baby brother.
How Do I Feel? Norma Simon (Whtiman, 1970) Ages 8-13. A boy has a hard time dealing with a twin and an older brother.
I'm Telling! Kids Talk About Brothers and Sisters Eric Arnold and Jeffrey Loeb (Little, Brown, 1987) Ages 8-11. Touching, funny anecdotes about siblings.
What My Sister Remembered Marilyn Sachs (Dutton, 1992) Ages 9-13. Two orphaned sisters meet after eight years and must deal with a terrible secret.
And You Give Me a Pain, Elaine Stella Pevsner (Houghton, 1978) Ages 10-12. After her mother dies, Andrea must work extra hard to get along with her older sister.
* Moving On *
Ira Says Goodbye Bernard Waber (Houghton Mifflin, 1988) Ages 4-7. Ira learns his best friend, Reggie, is going to move.
The Leaving Morning Angela Johnson (Orchard Books, 1992) Ages 5-9. Two children say good-bye to the house and friends they love.
Kevin Corbett Eats Flies Patricia Hermes (HBJ, 1986) Ages 8-11. If Kevin can get his dad to fall in love, maybe they'll stay in one place for awhile.
I Am Susannah Libby Gleeson (Holiday, 1989) Ages 10-14. After her best friend moves, Susannah withdraws into herself.
Boomer's Big Day Constance McGeorge [Marjorie R.P.]
Maggie Doesn't Want to Move Author unknown [Lefty]
Upside Down Mary Jane Miller (Viking, 1992) Ages 8-12. When her mom dates the father of two classmates, Sara must find the strength to accept change.
Where Do I Belong? A Kid's Guide to Stepfamilies Buff Bradley (Harper, 1982) Ages 8-11. Tips on living in stepfamilies.
Why Are We Getting a Divorce? Peter Mayle (Harmony, 1988) Ages 8-12. Why parents split up and how children can handle their wide variety of feelings.
How It Feels When Parents Divorce Jill Krementz (Knopf, 1984) Ages 9-13. Children talk about living through a divorce.
Father Figure Richard Peck (Viking, 1992) Ages 12 and up. When their mother dies, eight years after her divorce, two brothers get the chance to know--and forgive--their father.
Luke Has Asthma, Too Alison Rogers (Waterfront, 1987) Ages 3-7. An upbeat story about a boy's experience with an illness that affects one of every 20 children.
A Time for Remembering Chuck Thurman (Simon and Schuster, 1989) Ages 5-8. After his grandfather dies, a boy recalls the special times they shared together.
A Family Project Sarah Ellis (Macmillan, 1988) Ages 9-12. Jessica and her brothers cope with their baby sister's crib death.
Bridge to Terabithia Katherine Paterson (Harper, 1977) Ages 10-13. A beautifully written story about how a boy handles the sudden death of his best friend.
Learning to Say Goodbye: When a Parent Dies Eda LeShan (Macmillan, 1976) Ages 7 and up. Insight into kids' feelings, plus sympathy and practical advice.
My Book for Kids with Cansur Jason Gaes (Houghton Mifflin, 1987) Ages 4-9. A young cancer patient's account of chemotherapy, surgery and remission paints a portrait of courage.
* Teaching Body Safety *
It's MY Body Lory Freeman (Parenting Press, 1983) Ages 4-6. Teaches young children how to say no to unwanted touching.
My Body is Private Linda Walvoord Girard (Albert Whitman, 1984) Ages 5-10. Julie's parents teach her how to protect herself from unhealthy advances.
No More Secrets for Me Oralee Wachter (Little, Brown, 1983) Ages 7 and up. Four stories on child abuse show children defending themselves, often with adult help.
Hobkin Peni R. Griffin (Macmillan, 1992) Two sisters escape from an abusive father and are happily reunited with their mother.
* Special Challenges *
Josh: A Boy with Dyslexia Caroline Janover (Waterfront, 1988) Ages 8-12. A learning-disabled fifth-grader braves a storm to get help for an injured friend.
Welcome Home, Jellybean Marlene Fanta Shyer (Macmillan, 1978) Ages 9-13. Neil's older sister is coming home after spending most of her life in an institution for mentally handicapped children.
The Man Who Loved Clowns June Rae Wood (Putnam, 1992) Ages 11-15. A friend helps Delrita see that her beloved uncle's Down Syndrome is nothing to be ashamed of.
The Snow Goose Paul Gallico (Random House, 1992) All ages. A respected classic about a painter with a disability who rescues a World War II soldier.
Barry's Sister Lois Metzger (Macmillan, 1992) Ages 10 and up. Ellen learns to live with and love a brother with cerebral palsy.
* Explaining Adoption *
The Chosen Baby Valentina Wasson (Harper, 1977) Ages 4-6. A lovely story about what it means to be adopted.
We Adopted You, Benjamin Koo Linda Walvoord Girard (Whitman, 1989) Ages 7-10. Korean Benjamin, 9, explains being brought up by parents of another culture.
Growing Up Adopted Maxine Rosenberg (Macmillan, 1989) Ages 8 and up. Reassuring and inspiring stories of adoptees from 8 to 48.
Being Adopted Maxine Rosenberg (Lothrop, 1984) Ages 8-10. What it's like to be adopted by a family of different race.
* Self-Help for Teens *
Safe, Strong, and Streetwise Helen Benedict (Joy Street Books/Little, Brown, 1987) Plain talk on sexual assault from a rape crisis counselor.
Social Savvy Judith Re and Meg F. Schneider (Summit, 1991) How to use manners as a foundation for confidence.
The What's Happening to My Body? Book for Girls Lynda and Area Madaras (Newmarket, 1988) One of two books on puberty (the other is for boys) by Lynda Madaras, an experienced sex-education teacher.
What Do I Do Now? Talking About Teenage Pregnancy Susan Kuklin (Putnam, 1991) More than enough to cause teens to think twice before putting themselves at risk for parenthood.
Beating the Odds: Stories of Unexpected Achievers Jane Bode (Watts, 1991) Upbeat and inspirational profiles of 11 young adults who have overcome great obstacles in their lives.
Kenda, Margaret and Phyllis S. Williams:Cooking Wizardry for Kids (It has 200 cooking projects with things such as secret message recipes, take offs on restaurant foods, food for pets, holiday foods, and more. [Melanie S.])
* Explaining Different Holidays *
Hanukkah and Christmas at My House [Laurel B.]
Light the Lights [Tracy B.]
* Books That Teach Tolerance *
Following titles suggested by Kate G.; book descriptions are copyright Lambda Rising Bookstore:
LAMBDA RISING BOOKSTORES
Alden, Joan:Boy's Best Friend (Will, a seven year old asthma sufferer, wants nothing at all for his birthday if he can't have a dog. He sees his birthday come and almost go without a gift. But at the last hour, Will's two moms present him with a dog who will make a difference by being different.)
American Friends Service Committee: Bridges of Respect: Creating Support for Lesbian and Gay Youth ("This guide is presented as an invitation to adults who work with youth to recognize the needs of a neglected, largely invisible population of lesbian and gay young people. It includes a discussion of the special struggles and strengths of these youth and an extensive listing of resources- print and audiovisual materials as well as organizations, programs, and projects-that will be useful to educators, health care and social service providers and youth advocates." QUOTE from theIntroduction)
Bargar, Gary W.: What Happened to Mr. Forster? (Louis is trying to make his sixth-grade year a success, and is being helped by a new teacher, Jack Forster. But parents are suspicious of the bachelor teacher, and he disappears suddenly. Why?)
Bosche, Susan: Jenny Lives With Eric and Martin (The first English- language book ever to explain the gay lifestyle to young readers. Through photos and brief text, this book tells the story of a weekend in the life of a young girl who lives with a gay male couple-her father and his lover. Ages 6-9.)
Brown, Forman: Generous Jefferson Bartleby Jones (Jefferson considers himself lucky to have two dads, because one of them is always free to have fun with him on the weekends. He generously loans out one dad, then the other-- and suddenly discovers himself home alone for the first time.)
Elwin, Rosamund and Michele Paulse: Asha's Mums (Asha's two lesbian mums become an issue for the teacher and the curiosity of classmates. Asha responds that having two mums is not a big deal. They are family.)
Herdt, Gilbert (Ed.): Gay and Lesbian Youth (This book describes the unique experiences of gay and lesbian youth in the growing-up process. The changes in youth in the United States is compared and contrasted with those changes elsewhere to better understand the identities, situation, and relationships of homosexual teens in many societies. Gay teenagers and their parents will better understand the similarities of the problems facing young people today. This book will help all readers understand the unique and emotion-filled world of gay and bisexual youth going through the coming-out process.)
Heron, Ann and Meredith Maran: How Would You Feel If Your Dad Was Gay? (Jasmine, Michael, and Noah are all regular kids except for one thing: they have gay parents. This book, written by two lesbian mothers with help from their sons, will be a lifeline for all young people who have to face the issues and concerns of having gay parents.)
Ireland, Timothy: Who Lies Inside (This is Martin's story: "...The stranger seemed to have wriggled under my skin, or had grown inside me all my eighteen years, only now for some reason that stranger was not content to stay in the shadows but wanted to step out into the light and be seen." Winner of the Other Award, 1984.)
Jenness, Aylette: Families: A Celebration of Diversity, Commitment, and Love (Seventeen children and their parents openly discuss the challenges and benefits of contemporary family life today. Includes interviews with children of gay and lesbian parents.)
Johnson-Calvo, Sarita: Beach Party with Alexis (Alexis and her two moms decide to have a cookout on the beach and invite all of Alexis' multi-cultural friends.)
Kerr, M.E.: Night Kites (Nicki, a fan of MTV and a Madonna imitator, seems at first just like other girls until things begin to unravel on the night of a Bruce Springsteen concert. How people hide, betray, accept, and love is sensitively explored in this moving new novel.)
Martin, Kenneth: Aubade (When it was first published in 1957, this novel created a storm of controversy with its frank revelations about adolescent homosexual feelings and influenced many major figures of the time. Written in the first person by a sixteen-year -old Irish boy, it deals uncompromisingly with the early homosexaul love affair of a young man. With a new introduction by the author.
Michals, Duane: Upside Down, Inside Out and Backwards (80 pages of pictures and stories by artist Duane Michaels. This is a book of comic surprises and foolish follies, of rhymes and tattle tales and missing teeth, of secrets and mistakes and let's pretend for children.)
Newman, Leslea and Annette Hegel: Saturday Is Pattyday (The trials and tribulations of a little girl as she tries to understand and come to terms with the end of her two mothers' relationship. A sensitive portrayal of a child dealing a difficult situation.)
Newman, Leslea: Belinda's Bouquet (Daniel's best friend, Belinda, is cruelly teased for being fat until one of Daniel's mothers takes them both into the garden. There, she gently explains that flowers, like people, take many forms. Each has its own needs, and its own beauty.)
Newman, Leslea: Heather Has Two Mommies (In story form, we learn of a new kind of family structure that is really ordinary in its daily living and caring relationships. Line drawings and simple language tell of Heather growing to preschool age and beinning to question why she has two mommies instead of a daddy and a mommy).; Gloria Goes To Gay Pride (Gay Pride Day is fun for Gloria, and for her two mothers.) [Both also recommended by Sharon A.]
Nones, Eric Jon: Caleb's Friend (The endearing story of a young boy who meets a young merman his own age. The two boys have an intense and close relationship and Caleb learns the price of saving one's life when the half boy half fish must return to the sea in order to live. It is a little mermaid tale for boys.)
Salat, Cristina: Living in Secret (When eleven year old Amelia runs away from her father's home in New York to live with her mother in California, she must take on a whole new identity. If her father tracks her down, there is a chance he will have her mother and mother's girlfriend arrested. This fast-paced, contemporary novel examines the changing face of today's "traditional" family.)
Sarton, May: Fur Person (This charming story is drawn from the true adventures of May Sarton's own cat and recounts his evolution from a Cat-About-Town to a Gentleman Cat and finally his emergence as a genuine Fur Person.)
Stein, Gertrude: World Is Round (This is Stein's only children's book, about a little girl named Rose and her search for identity. This is a charming and witty book, using Stein's usual humor and imagination, based on a young neighbor in the French farming community of Bilignin where Stein and Toklas summered. This story offers a rare view of the real little girl and her friend Miss Stein.)
Valentine, Johnny: Daddy Machine (A fantasy tale of two kids with lesbian mothers who decide they want daddies and, while their mothers are out, create a machine to make their own daddies.)
Valentine, Johnny: Day They Put a Tax on Rainbows and other stories (Three brothers use their unique talents to discover hidden treasure...a girl is washed off her boat during a storm and discovers a kingdom beneath the sea...and a young boy saves his village from a future without rainbows.)
Valentine, Johnny: Duke Who Outlawed Jelly Beans And Other Stories (Five original fairytales about being different make up this enchanting collection of stories with original color drawings by Lynette Schmidt.) [also recommended by Sharon A.]
Valentine, Johnny: One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dads (Two children, one with blue dads, one from a more traditional family,compare notes in this light-hearted, easy-to-read book about parents who are different. They discover that blue dads aren't really that different from other dads.)
Valentine, Johnny: Two Moms, the Zark, and Me (A young child with two moms, a playful animal called a Zark, and the narrow-minded McFinks, all come together in this whimsical story that looks at just what a family is all about. Colorfully illustrated by Angelo Lopez.)
Wickens, Elaine: Anna Day and the O-Ring (Evan has dog named Anna Day, a best friend named Ileana, and two moms. But what's really on his mind is the missing piece to the tent that he got for his birthday. It takes some unintentional help from Anna Day to solve the crisis.)
Willhoite, Michael: Entertainer (Fame and fortune come to Alex, a talented boy who loves to juggle--until he discovers what's really important in life. A story told in pictures.)
Wilhoite, Michael: Uncle What-Is-It Is Coming To Visit!! (Igor and Tiffany learn that their gay uncle is coming to visit. Their mother is interrupted before she can explain what gay means, so some older kids tell them what to expect. The two children are alarmed at what they hear. But the stereotypes are shattered when Uncle Brett finally appears.)
Willhoite, Michael: Daddy's Roommate (In thirty-two pages with color illustrations we see a young boy, his father, and the father's roommate in many situations familiar to all kinds of families.) [also recommended by Sharon A.]
Willhoite, Michael: Families: A Coloring Book (Many kinds of families, including a diversity of races, generations, and cultural backgrounds, are depicted in this book , along with several families including lesbian and gay parents.)
[end of Lambda Rising reviews]
Unknown: Terri and the Ocelot (Great, about adopting as well, 4- 7. [Sharon A.])
Scoppettone, Sandra: Trying hard to hear you (early teens, pretty good, if a bit dated. [Sharon A.])
* Temper Tantrums *
Solter, Aletha: Helping Young Children Flourish [Naomi Fine]
See also : Children's Books FAQ, Page 1