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Children's literature: reading it, writing it, and loving it!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Kid Lit Picks: Picture Books & Early Readers

With Christmas being just a week from today (yikes! or yay! depending upon the status of your Christmas-to-do list), I'll combine my favorites for picture books, early readers, and chapter books. Rather than write a summary, I'll provide an Amazon link.

Here goes! In no particular order, my favorites for the younger set are:

A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh (series)

Skippyjon Jones (series) by Judy Schrachner

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day  by Judith Viorst

The Complete Tales (Peter Rabbit) by Beatrix Potter

The Bernstein Bears (series) by Jan & Stan Bernstein

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Brown

Amelia Bedilia (series) by Peggy Parish

Frog and Toad (series) by Arnold Lobel

Corduroy (series)by Dan Freeman

Curious George (series) by H.A.Rey

Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino

Madeline (series) by Ludwig Benelmans

Five Little Monkeys (series) by Eileen Christelow

Rosie's Walk byPat Hutchins

Little Quack (series) by Lauren Thompson

I hope my kid lit picks these past few weeks have been helpful - if not for gift-buying, then to add to your reading list (unlike the bartender, librarians won't card you to check your age!).

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Kid Lit Picks: YA

As promised, here are ten more of my favorite kid lit books. I'm completely incapable of choosing my top ten, so these are simply ten of my favorites. They fall into the YA (Young Adult) age range, but since many adults enjoy YA novels without even realizing they're reading a YA novel, you may have read some of these or may want to put them on your to-read list and than give them as gifts:

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - Join a young Bilbo on his adventure-the adventure that brings the "ring of power" into The Shire.

The Lord of The Rings (trilogy) by J.R.R. Tolkien - I know I just said that I can't choose my top ten, but this is the one exception. This series definitely takes the number one slot in my all-time-favorites list. If you don't know the story, I'm not sure where you've been the past twelve years! The movies have brought these books into virtually every book store in the states.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - It's WWII Nazi Germany, an orphaned girl picks up and delivers laundry for her foster mother. One of the homes she visits is the mayor's who has a room full of books.

The Giver by Lois Lowry - A dystopian future in which everyone is numbed by taking a pill every day from the time they hit puberty. Except The Giver. His job differs from that of everyone else's.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams - A humorously written story about a very common guy with a friend who isn't as human as he looks and who saves his life by hitching a ride or two around the galaxy.

Anne of Green Gables (series) by Lucy Maud Montgomery - Growing up on St. Edward Island as an orphan (with red hair no less) and living with her aged aunt and uncle has its trials and joys.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett - An orphaned girl discovers a neglected garden on her uncle's estate.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee - A story of racism and kindness.

Crank by Ellen Hopkins - Difficult to read because of the subject matter and based on the author's experience with her daughter, Crank is an eye-opening look into a teen drug-addict's world and how quickly a "good" girl can become a part of that world.

The Call of The Wild by Jack London - A story of tenacity and courage.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Kid Lit Picks: Middle-grade

We all have favorites: favorite places, people, foods, traditions, games, sports, colors, ice cream flavors, etc etc etc. With the gift-giving season upon us, I thought I'd take the opportunity over the next few weeks to share with you some of my favorite kid lit; and since I'm particularly fond of middle-grade fiction (8 - 12 years-old), I'll start there. Here are ten books/book series that top my list but most definitely do not exhaust it:

Harry Potter - an obvious pick.

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer is an eight-book, fantasy meets sci-fi, series with cyber-savvy fairies, an underage criminal mastermind, characters you gotta love, humor, and plenty of action.

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl - James escapes his solitary life as the only child living with two spinster aunts. He faces many dangers and makes new friends as he travels inside a giant peach with giant insects. The audio version, read by the author, is especially fun.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Levine - I can't resist a story based on my favorite fairy tale. In Ella Enchanted, Ella struggles against the curse to obey every order she's given.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis - As a child, long before I'd ever heard of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, I had imagined that one of the closets in my childhood home led into another world. Reading C.S. Lewis' classic series simply confirmed it. Sadly, I wasn't adventurous enough as a child to test my theory.

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren - Pippi is definitely a glass-half-full kind of gal. Her mother watches after her from a "peep hole in the sky," and her father is away at sea. Pippi is sweet, fun-loving, and always up for an adventure.

Matilda by Roald Dahl - a brilliant little girl with parents who are quite the opposite and a headmistress who hates her. Matilda's life is challenging to say the least. Fortunately, she has the brains and knows just what to do.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle - Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin travel through space and time in search of Meg and Charles Wallace's father.

The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black - The Grace children and their mother are forced to move into an old family mansion-one that hasn't been a home for quite some time. As the children explore the many rooms and the grounds, they find much more than dusty old furniture.

The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder - The story of the Ingalls family as they survive and thrive and love and grow together in the untamed Midwest of the 1800s.

Happy reading!