Children's Fiction Books
Kevin Henkes (Hardcover)
Genre: Fiction - Picture Story Books; Book Theme: School life
"Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse" by Kevin Henkes is one of the best children's books of the 20th century. Lilly the mouse loves school and her teacher Mr. Slinger. But one day Lilly brings a brand new purple plastic purse to school and shows off the purse at an inappropriate time. When her teacher has to take the plastic purse away, Lilly becomes angry. At the end of the school day, Lilly gets her purse back along with a thoughtful note from her teacher. In the end, Lilly retains her good feelings for school life and her teacher. This picture book appeals to kindergartners and first graders. "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse" is a good real-aloud book for both home and classroom. Apart from fun reading, the book can also be used to teach appropriate classroom behavior.
Ian Falconer (Hardcover)
Genre: Fiction - Children's Picture Books; Book Themes: Animals, Family
Ian Falconer's "Olivia" is a Caldecott Honor award winner and one of our favorite picture books. Ian Falconer's expressive pictures are illustrated in black and white with splashes of bright red. The main character Olivia is an energetic pig who wears her family out. Olivia the pig sings, runs, tries on every piece of clothes she has when dressing up, and builds a giant sand castle at the beach, just to name a few. Ian Falconer captures the busy life of a preschooler with a humorous touch. "Olivia" is a good book to read with children in preschool and kindergarten.
Gene Zion, Margaret Bloy Graham (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Children's Picture Books; Book Theme: Animals
With a charming tale and wonderful illustrations, Harry the Dirty Dog, written by Gene Zion and illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham, is one of the best classic picture books that have delighted children for decades. Harry is a white dog with black spots who doesn't like to take bath at all. One day, he runs away just before bath time and gets himself very dirty. When Harry returns home, his family doesn't recognize this black dog with white spots. Harry tries every trick he can do to show them he is Harry, to no avail. Finally, the dirty dog jumps into the bathtub and begs for a bath. Harry is recognized after he becomes a white dog with black spots again. Margaret Bloy Graham's expressive illustrations depict a lovable character that children can identify with. Harry the Dirty Dog is a great book for toddlers and preschoolers.
Arnold Lobel (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Picture Story Books; Book Themes: Animals, Friendship
"Frog and Toad Are Friends" by Arnold Lobel is a great book for beginning readers. The friendship between Frog and Toad is depicted vividly in five short chapter stories that are funny, engaging and easy to read. "Frog and Toad Are Friends", a Caldecott Award winner, is one of the best classic picture story books.
C.S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Fantasy Books
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, the first book published in the Chronicles of Narnia series (although number two of the series in chronological order), is one of the best children's books of the 20th century. This classic fantasy book tells a captivating story of four Pevensie children, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, who enter the magic land of Narnia through a wardrobe in an old English house. It is Lucy who first looks inside a wardrobe and discovers the magical world of Narnia. She befriends a faun named Mr Tumnus who tells her that the land of Narnia is being ruled by the evil White Witch Jadis. The witch has cursed Narnia so it is always winter but never Christmas. Then Lucy's siblings also venture into the land of Narnia. They meet talking animals like Mr. and Mrs. Beaver and help the Great Lion Aslan free Narnia from the witch's reign. Unfortunately, Edmund is seduced by the White Witch's false promises and betrays his siblings. The Great Lion sacrifices himself in order to save Edmund. The wicked witch is ultimately defeated and the four children become kings and queens of Narnia. This classic tale is filled with fantastic characters, exciting adventures and battles between good and evil. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a great chapter book for children in 4th grade through 7th grade.
Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Paperback)
Genres: Fiction - Fantasy Books, Humorous Stories
"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl is a favorite children's fantasy book. In this classic chapter book, Charlie Bucket is one of five children who win golden tickets to visit Willy Wonka's magic chocolate factory. For Charlie, life will be changed forever. Author Roald Dahl produces a few very memorable characters, such as Willy Wonka, Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde, and Grandpa Joe. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is a humorous story that has delighted children for decades.
Eleanor Estes, Louis Slobodkin (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Realistic Fiction; Book Themes: Friendship, School life
"The Hundred Dresses" by Eleanor Estes and Louis Slobodkin is a Newbery Honor award winner and a classic children's book in the genre of realistic fiction. The story's main character Wanda Petronski, a Polish-American girl from a poor family, is teased by classmates at school for being different and for saying she has one hundred dresses at home while she is wearing the same faded dress to school every day. Only after Wanda's absence from school do Maddie and Peggy find out the true story about the one hundred dresses and try to make amends. "The Hundred Dresses", one of the best chapter books of the 20th century, appeals to kids in second grade through sixth grade.
Madeleine L'Engle (Paperback)
Genres: Fiction - Fantasy Books, Science Fiction
"A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle is a truly great classic children's book and one of the best chapter books of the 20th century. Its literature awards include Newbery medal. The main characters of the story are three children: Meg Murray, her brilliant younger brother Charles Wallace, and her friend Calvin. They travel through time and space to rescue Meg's father, who is held prisoner by dark forces on the planet of Camazotz. "A Wrinkle in Time" is a good read aloud book. Children in 4th grade through 7th grade can learn about the battle between good and evil and the power of love from this science fiction and fantasy book.
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