Kid Lit

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Kid Lit

  • B.K. Marcus

    What are your favorite children’s books?

    After seeing my fatherly read-aloud advice in my recent Skybar interview, Jeff Riggenbach sent me a list of his favorite books from childhood. I won’t presume to disseminate them here, but maybe we can cajole @riggenbach himself to share them in this thread.

    Meanwhile, I’ll give you my own list, not from my childhood but from reading aloud to the family in recent years.

    The first full chapter book we ever read to our son, Benjamin, was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

    The next was The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

    After that came Alice through the Looking Glass, a couple more Oz books, and then two of my favorite books ever:

    Peter & Wendy (aka Peter Pan) by J.M. Barrie

    The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

    I would not have read either novel if I hadn’t been seeking child-appropriate fiction, but I now count them among my favorite novels written for any age. To that short list I’d also add Watershp Down by Richard Adams. It think that’s one I may even have been assigned to read in grammar school, but I never did my homework, and I didn’t think I’d like a book about rabbits. If you’ve had a similar hesitation, I suggest overcoming it. It is a serious book about serious issues. It is beautiful and moving. (And I’ve heard it argued that it is also a liberty-loving novel. In a few senses, that’s obviously true. But I don’t know anything about the author’s political philosophy other than what we can infer from the story, which, like all great literature, is complex.)

    What are your favorite books from childhood — or from your children’s childhood?

    Please share your titles here.

    You’re also welcome to come talk both kid and grownup books at the Bookworm Hangout tomorrow (Wednesday) night at 8 Eastern: No assigned reading; just enthusiasm and/or curiosity.

    Whether or not you can make it, please let us know what you’ve been reading and whether or not we should pick up any of the same books.

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    • Rebecca Lau

      I read these books as an adult. I work with elementary age students.

      Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Clearly

      Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

      The Enormous Egg by¬†Oliver Butterworth – probably the only liberty-oriented book on this list. It’s about a boy that lives on a farm and one of his chickens gives birth to a dinosaur. Someone in government tries to make owning dinosaurs illegal.

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        B.K. Marcus

        And the boy lives in Freedom, New Hampshire! Why can’t I find an ebook edition of this one? Is it a picture book?

        The Enormous Egg. I will definitely seek this one out. Thanks!

        Rebecca, are these 3 books your most recently read, or are they your most highly recommended?

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      Bretigne Shaffer

      Another fantastic – and pretty realistic – free market children’s book is The Toothpaste Millionaire. It’s about two friends who figure out how to manufacture toothpaste cheaply and they market it successfully and get rich. …until the big established toothpaste makers find out and run them out of business with the help of the govt. It’s really inspirational.

      I also love The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and yes, Harry Potter. I just recently read The 101 Dalmatians to my son and we both loved it. Of course Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland…

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