This is one of our family’s all-time favorite read-alouds. It has all the Dahl elements: plucky kid, silly and sometimes threatening monsters, rollicking plot. Plus this title has his best wordplay and punny inventiveness. Though I don’t recommend starting it at bedtime as the opening scene is a little scary. The rest of the book is fine for tenderhearted readers. After all, it is about a Big Friendly Giant.
As a kid it was the picture of the giant peanut butter sandwich that stayed with me. In my 30’s I found a children’s librarian (aren’t they brilliant?) who told me what book contained that image. Don’t you wonder which picture your child will find mindboggling. This is a classic.
This is a classic from 1964. I grew up with it and was so happy to find it still in print to share with my kids. They loved it! We once spent a snowy weekend with about 8 kids (and lived to tell the tale!) and this was the hands-down group favorite. We read it repeatedly with rousing choruses of “FORTUNATELY” and “UNFORTUNATELY.” There’s a reason this is still around. It’s simply great.
This was one of the first books my daughter memorized. She was about 3 and we had been reading it every day for a year. We are huge fans of the Bond/Numeroff team and this is their best. A modern classic!
This is a delightful romp for new readers by an award-winning author. With enough sparkly pictures to encourage young readers to keep turning pages and an adorable pig as heroine we cheer this new series. Make up a plate of toast and dig in!
Smart Delphine, sassy Vonetta, and little Fern are sisters off to visit their mother in Oakland in the summer of 1968. They leave their father and grandmother, Big Ma, to see their mom for the first time since she left them and their home in Brooklyn after Fern was born. But when they get to Oakland they don't receive the anticipated warm hugs from their long-lost mother. Instead, they get brisk, strict instructions and severe warnings not to enter Cecile's kitchen. (One of those instructions was to call her Cecile, not Mom.) Read as Delphine and her sisters attend and help at a Black Panther summer camp, go into San Francisco for a day of sightseeing, and find out who they and their mother really are. One Crazy Summer is a good book for ages 9-13 -- by Josie, age 12 :)
This is a wonderful mix of classic (think The Secret Garden) and modern (one of the girls struggles with her quick temper and the 4-year-old NEVER takes off her butterfly wings). The sister relationships are varied and realistic, and the plot is fun for younger kids as a read-aloud and older kids who will sympathize with the early growing pains of the oldest sister.
Anne of Green Gables? Did someone say Anne of Green Gables?? I personally L-O-V-E love this book. I mean, how can you not love a story about a girl who sets her best friend drunk (by accident of course), mistakenly dyes her hair green, flavors a cake with liniment, and all sorts of other odd things of that sort? This spunky lively imaginative redhead will really make your day. Or week (it’s a relatively long book.) --Josie, age 10
Clementine is a good book. Sometimes life just isn’t fair, especially when you have a brother who didn’t get stuck with a food name. Besides, it’s not Clementine’s fault if she gets in trouble all the time. --Josie, age 8
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is a rather ordinary Viking finding it hard to be a hero. Hiccup is the son and heir of the Hairy Hooligans and a lot is expected of him like capturing and taming a vicious dragon called a Monstrous Nightmare. Plus he has to compete against his cousin, Snotlout, a natural-born hero. This is a story of becoming a hero the hard way. --Matteo, age 9
Piggie and Gerald are best friends, but sometimes they feel mad, sad, or other emotions! I read these books all the time, and you should too! --Matteo, age 6
I can’t quite put my finger on why I like this book so much. Here’s some of my thinking:
1. I love books about books.
2. It has an old-fashioned quality—sweet and gentle but not fusty.
3. It’s about knowing when it’s OK, even necessary, to break the rules.
4. I adore the picture of the lion letting children stand on him to reach the highest shelves.
All of that adds up to my heartfelt recommendation that you buy this book for a deserving child. And, yes, they’re all deserving.
If you like stories about adventure mice, especially ones that have characters named General Marchmouse in them, you should read Tumtum and Nutmeg. It is about a mouse couple who have three General Marchmouse adventures that almost ruin the wonderful, happy lives the two hold very close to themselves. Together the mice must work to save themselves from the evil vicious Aunt Ivy a rodent-hating school teacher, and the mouse-killing pirating River Rats. Tumtum and Nutmeg is a very enjoyable book. --Josie, age 8