Sunday, September 03, 2006

Children's Books that All Kids Should Read

By Brandi M. Seals

There are so many children's books out there. The list is almost endless. But there are a few books that have stood the test of time. They will be as much of a favorite for your children as they were for you.

Next time you are in the market for a new children's book, consider getting one or all of these all time great books. They will make a great gift for any child you know:

1.) Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
This book, first published in 1974, is filled with wonderful little poems that your kids will want to recite all day long. Where the Sidewalk Ends is the bestselling children's poetry book ever. It features 130 poems, each different yet funny and touching all at the same time.

Pick up a copy of this book, which retails for less then $20. Your kids will get a kick out of all the poems.

2.) Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Where the Red Fern Grows tells the story of Billy Colman and his two coonhound pups. The trio wanders relentlessly through the Ozarks Mountains, trying to catch a raccoon, any raccoon. In time, the trio wins the annual coon-hunt contest by captures the ghost coon. Along the way the dogs must fight with a mountain lion. Although the dogs win the fight, their wounds prove to be too much. Upon visiting the graves of his dogs Billy sees a red fern growing between the grave, which holds a special meaning to him.

Billy recounts an Indian legend in which a little boy and girl were lost in a blizzard. The pair froze to death and when they were found the next Spring a red fern was growing between the bodies. The story went on to say that the seeds of a red fern can only be planted by and angel and that the fern could never die. The site where one grows is sacred land.

3.) The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
This wonderfully illustrated book showcases the life of one caterpillar. Readers will follow as long as the very hungry caterpillar eats a leaf, an apple, and much, much more. Children are taken on the caterpillar's journey as he eats and eats before finally turning into a butterfly.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar will be well received by any toddler. It retails around $20, and can usually be found at most libraries.

4.) Corduroy by Don Freeman
Corduroy tells the story of a teddy bear named Corduroy and his adventure in a store. Day in and day out Corduroy sits on the shelf of a department store. A little girl was about to buy him when her mother noticed the bear was missing a button from his overalls and refuses to let her get the bear. That night, Corduroy is determined to find his button. He wanders through the somewhat frightening store always on the look out.

During his adventure in the big store, Corduroy tries to pull a button off a mattress, but ends up falling off the bed and knocking over a lamp. Unfortunately for the bear, the night watchman hears the crash and finds Corduroy. Corduroy is taken back downstairs and put on the shelf. Corduroy gives up the search for the button and the next morning, a little girl buys him with money she saved. She even sews a replacement button on for Corduroy.

5.) Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
Judy Blume is one of the all-time best children's authors around. She has several books to her credit including Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. This book is the start of a series of related books that include Superfudge, Fudge-a-mania, and Otherwise Known as Shelia the Great. They all offer different looks into the lives of the Hatcher kids and those around them.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing details Peter's, the eldest Hatcher child, life. He is in fourth grade and is trying to learn how to deal with his baby brother Fudgie. Fudgie is a cute kid that meddles too much, and is all around just plain old problematic for Peter.

Each of these books would be wonderful additions to any collections. I even find myself reading them over and over again.

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