Best Books for Kids
Check your public library for any of these BOOKS FOR KIDS.
A new addition to Australia's Children's Literature
'Bush Talk – Two Boys and a Mischievous Marsupial' by Michael Garratt
Bush Talk is a great story for children and I feel boys in particular would find it absorbing.
The book is face paced and the characters are well drawn.
The challenges the characters face and how they are resolved plus the larger than life Molly makes 'Bush Talk' a welcome addition to Australian children's literature.
Mem Fox comments on Books for Kids.
John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat Jenny Wagner and Ron Brooks (ill) Australia, Penguin Books (Puffin) 1980 This book has not been out of print since first published. It can be read on a number of levels. The atmosphere in the book is quite remarkable. The use of metaphor, allegory and superb illustrations are important features. In fact this book is a book for all generations.
Books for Kids – Stories to Share with Your Child
- The Mouse and the Motor Cycle – Beverley Clearly
- Ramona the Pest - Beverley Cleary
- Queen of the Universe - Libby Gleeson
- A Bargain for Frances - Russell Hoban
- Fantastic Mr Fox - Roald Dahl
- The Story of Holly and Ivy - Rumer Godden
- The Twenty Seventh Annual Hippopotamus Race - Maurice Lury
- Charlotte's Web – E. B. White
- Frog and Toad All Year - Arnold Lobel
- Pippi Longstocking - Astrid Lindgren
More Books for Kids
Book 20: Queen of the Universe – Libby Gleeson. Illustrator David Cox.
An easy-to-read SOLO for beginning readers. Sydney, Omnibus Books, 1997. This an example of how a kid's book can absorb a young reader. Although simply written it is amazing how the reader's interest and sense of suspense is maintained until the surprise ending.
Book 19: Where is the Green Sheep – Mem Fox and Judy Horacek. Australia,
Penguin Books, 2004. I love this book and have read it to adults and children. I read it to my partner and he was completely engrossed! There's the blue sheep, red sheep, bath sheep and bed sheep. But the green sheep is no where to be found! A friend read this umpteen times to her prep grade and the kids were beside themselves with excitement at each reading. Superb illustrations match the story.
Book 18: Old Pig. - Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks. Great Britain, Viking, 1996
Sensitive treatment of death – treated as part of the life cycle.
Old Pig, who lives with her grand-daughter has reached the end of her life.
One day Old Pig does not eat breakfast in the usual way and is very tired. She begins to put her affairs in order. She says goodbye to the world she loves by going for a long walk with her grand-daughter. Ron Brooks, the illustrator, has produced delightful illustrations of the world she will be leaving. One night Old Pig and grand-daughter say goodbye to one another
and Old Pig slips away. I have read this book to many children and they understand what is happening. Very sensitive and gentle treatment of a loving relationship.
Book 17: Leo the late Bloomer: Robert Kraus and Jose Arugeo. New York, Windmill Books, c1971. Leo the little tiger couldn't do anything right. He couldn't read or write or draw and he was a sloppy eater. His mother wan't worried. "Leo's a late bloomer," she said. Father wasn't as sure! However one day, Leo bloomed! Kids will love the colourful illustrations.
Book 16: Reynard's Wonderful Plan – Enid Blyton and Sylvia Ward.London, Alligator Books, 2004
Reynard the fox thinks up a cunning plan to eat up all of Mrs. Pheasant's tasty friends. But the animals are aware of his tricks and outwit him.
Great size print and colourful illustrations for the new reader. A child could read this story themselves and really enjoy it. As usual Enid Blyton tells a story that kids respond to.
Enid Blyton certainly has her detractor's but judging from the number of sales of her books since the 1930's many people enjoyed reading her books as a child and are now sharing her stories with their children. Enid Blyton was a favourite author of mine when I was a child. I am grateful for her role in my life. She is still the world's favourite children's author.
Book 15: Bedtime for Frances. Russell Hoban and Garth Williams. London, Jonathan Cape, 1996
Frances, the little badger, made her debut over thirty years ago. This is the first Frances book. She delays her bedtime by asking for for kisses and milk, then says she sees tigers and giants and things going bump in the night. This book has been a favourite for a long time as every parent and child can relate to the situation. First of many Frances adventures.
This is a delightful bedtime story.
Book 14: Rascal Takes Off – Paul Jennings. Australia, Penguin Books, 2004.
Paul Jennings is one of the most popular children's authors here in Australia. This story is one of the RASCAL Stories – (Real Books for Beginners) Perfect for beginning readers. Rascal is a little dragon. In this story he is in competition with flying dinosaurs. The author suggests you read the book to your child first and before long they will read it back to you. There are 4 stories in the series so far.
Book 13: Brilliant Billy's BIG Book of Dinosaurs: Simon Hutton. London, Andersen Press, 2007. This book will appeal to boys. Billy is a dinosaur expert. His aim in life is to win a writing contest where the prize is a dinosaur book. He would use the prize to turn his Mum into a dinosaur expert like him. A face paced clever story with an ending that would appeal to those children who don't win but try their best. The competition between the young boys is handled with humour.
Book 12: Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown. London, Egmont Books, c1964. Stanley Lambchop woke up one morning underneath the bulletin board that had fallen on him during the night. He wasn't hurt but when the board was lifted he was as flat as a pancake. Stanley gets used to being flat and has many adventures. His brother Arthur, was a times quite put out by all the attention Stanley receives. However it is Arthur who helps him to round out again. The first in a series of Stanley Lambchop adventures. Easy reading books for 7+
Book 11: The Tale of Peter Rabbit: Beatrix Potter. Melbourne, Budget Books, 1994. Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were – Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail and……Peter. I can remember that beginning to the story from childhood.
I can remember clearly my fear that Mr McGregor would find Peter and hurt him. The stories of Beatrix Potter and her beautiful illustrations are classics. This one is my favourite. Peter sneaks into Mr. McGregor's garden to eat his fill of vegetables. But Peter runs into trouble and loses his way home. Just loved reading it again. A must read story for all little kids.
Book 10: Puss in Boots: Tony Ross. London, Methuen/Moonlight, c1981. This is a comic rendering of the highly popular fairy tale. It is a classic itself. Great fun. The author is the illustrator as well. The pictures are fascinating. Jack was the youngest son in the family. He did all the work without complaint. When his father died Jack inherited the cat. His older brothers were more fortunate. Even good natured Jack thought he had been badly done by.
Book 9. Hop on Pop: Dr Seuss. N.Y., Random House: Beginner Book, c1963
A simple book for really young readers. Words easy to decode, with the zaniest illustrations. Simple vowels and consonants easily learned using this book. Lots of fun while subtly preparing child to read.
Book 8: The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Eric Carle.Middlesex, Penguin Books c1969. Life Cycle of a Butterfly beginning as the very hungry caterpillar. Little kids respond to all the lovely foods the little caterpillar eats. Includes a pickle, a cupcake and five oranges. Published in 1969 this book is a must for every young child.
Book 7: Where the Wild Things Are: Maurice Sendak. Great Britain, Random House, c1963. This book is a Caldecott Medal winner (USA) 1964. The story of Max's adventures as he sails away to the land where the Wild Things are has become an acknowledged modern classic of children's books.
Book 6: Scuffy the Tugboat. Gertrude Crampton and illustrated by Tibor Gergely. Racine, Golden Press, c1955. Scuffy is a toy tugboat with a wish for adventure. He finds himself carried away by the river current to a bigger more confusing world. He is rescued and happy to be home again. Since 2001 this book is the eighth best selling children's book of all time.
It is a Little Golden Book.
Book 5: Edward the Emu. Sheena Knowles and Rod Clement. Sydney, Angus & Robertson,1990 Edward is tired of being an emu. So he decides on a change. Seal, lion or snake is a possibility. He decides being an emu is OK when he meets Edwina. Rhyming text and lively illustrations makes this book a joy to read.
Book 4: Mulga Bill's Bicycle: A.B. Paterson Sydney, Harper Collins Publishers, 2011. Written by Australia's foremost poet this book is a classic. Mulga Bill's famous bicycle ride ends up in Dead Man's Creek. The Niland sisters' humorous illustrations brings this Australian classic to life.
Book 3: Winnie -The-Pooh: A.A. Milne (many different publishers). For some unknown reason this book is one of my favourites. I think it is because of Winnie the Pooh the bear with little brain and Eeyore the gloomy donkey. It is very English but the characters have universal qualities. I was called Tigger by one of my colleagues! E.H.Shepherd's illustrations are superb. I enjoy reading it often. This book is a classic of children's literature.
Book 3: Edwina the Emu. Australia, Harper Collins, 1997. The companion book for Edward the Emu. Edward and Edwina are very happy and soon 10 little eggs appear. Edward freaks out and Edwina says she'll get a job (male emus actually sit on the nest till the chicks hatch). Edwina applies for jobs including, ballerina, chimney sweep and waiter. Disaster happens when a customer orders eggs! Humorous illustrations and a rhyming text. The book is great fun.
Book 2: The Poky Little Puppy. Janette Sebring Lowrey. New York, A Golden Book, 1942. One of the first 12 Little Golden Books. Over 15 million copies have been sold. This book is now regarded as a classic children's book. Out sold even Dr Seuss.
The Poky Little Puppy has 4 brothers and sisters. He outwits them a number of times. His siblings are caught and punished for repeatedly digging a hole under the fence and escaping into the outside world. Poky Little Puppy has fun and escapes punishment until at last fate catches up with him. Delightful illustrations by Gustaf Tengren.
Book 1: Tiddalick: the frog who caused a flood. Australia, Puffin Books, 1980. This book is an adaptation of an Aboriginal Dreamtime legend. All the rivers, creeks and billabongs in Australia were emptied by the thirsty frog. The birds and animals worked together to restore the water. Introduces many Australian animals. The illustrations characterise the animals in an imaginative way.