Clean Reads discussion

Best for Children

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message 1: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (emarsh13) Okay, so we've had this discussion a little before for older kids, but here's my conundrum. My four year old (I KNOW!) is reading and needs books that are at his level, and I have lived by the Step into Reading books at the library. But what do I read to him when it's our reading time?? We've read Charlotte's Web, which he absolutely loved, and are reading the Jr. Classics version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which he also loves. What are some good chapter books that you'd suggest? He's very mature, and has a great imagination.

message 2: by Tessa (new)

Tessa (tesswhite) Chronicles of Narnia, Doctor Doolittle, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, Winnie the Pooh, Shel Silverstien, Dr. Seuss.

message 3: by joy (new)

joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire* (joytotheworld) | 98 comments little house in the big woods, and the whole series. a bit girly. well, i'm a girl... that's what my mom read to me during reading time. by the time we were through with the series, then i read them back to her. :)

message 5: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 0 comments Peter Rabbit and the rest of the Beatrix Potter books--gentle stories AND great vocabulary.

The 'Freddy' books -- Freddy the Pilot--etc. (Freddy is a lovable and capable pig.)

There's a big picture book of Greek myths by d'Aulaire that is fabulous.

The Adventures of Uncle Wiggly. Each chapter a different adventure and the chapter endings are hilarious.

The Secret Garden. A smart 4-year-old can understand this.

Paddington Bear. He means well, but makes a lot of mistakes. Very sympathetic.

Trickster stories -- (Uncle Remus stories and Anansi the spider)

Aesop's fables

and fairy tales that you like

message 6: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 0 comments And go through some song books. A very young child can develop a musical ear if they are sung to.

message 7: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 0 comments When my youngest was that age, she read the old "Honey Bunch and Norman" books.

If you haven't borrowed the "Snipp, Snapp, and Snurr" books from the library, do so, even if they have to get them by interlibrary loan. Three boys, triplets, in Sweden and their adventures.

Natural history -- "Minn of the Mississippi" -- the story of a snapping turtle. Another by the same author is "The Tree on the Trail". There is a third, but I forget the title.

message 8: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 0 comments I found it -- the third title is "Paddle to the Sea".
These lovely books are disguised lessons in natural history, geography, etc. They first came out around 1941 and they are classics. The author is Holling Clancy Holling.

message 9: by Jeanne (last edited Sep 16, 2010 09:02PM) (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 0 comments I've just added the three HCH books to my list of books, so if you look at my profile and scroll down a bit, you can see all three.

message 10: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (mejojac) | 50 comments Kate DiCamillo has some fantastic books, including a kids series about a pig named Mercy Watson. They are clever and my kids giggled all the way through. Her other books are fantastic as well.

What about Stuart Little or The Mouse and the Motorcycle? My kids have all loved the Magic Tree House books. I'll keep thinking... but it sounds like you've got some fun ideas here already!

message 11: by Emily (new)

Emily | 8 comments The Pippi Longstocking books are HILARIOUS! My kids LOVE them! Anything by the author (Astrid Ingren) are fantastic (Klaus on the Roof, The Children of Noisy Village, etc). These books keep my kids laughing!

message 12: by MaryBliss (new)

MaryBliss | 59 comments There are some good suggestions here. My son at this age also enjoyed listening to
The Battle of Bubble and Squeak by Philippa Pearce
101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith (NOT the Disney version)
and any of the Andrew Lang fairy tale books. Two or three tales from the latter in the evening make for a pleasant, reassuring read.

message 13: by MaryBliss (new)

MaryBliss | 59 comments Also, Mistress Masham's Repose, by T.H. White. A little known classic.

message 14: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (emarsh13) You guys are phenomenal!! These are excellent suggestions, keep 'em coming! I wish there were a way we could compile a list for the group ... wouldn't it be handy to have a Clean Romances list? Or a Good for Too-Smart-For-Their-Own-Good Little Kids list?

I'm tempted to make a list and just keep adding to it on my bookshelf!

message 15: by Becca (new)

Becca | 24 comments I loved Chronicles of Narnia at that age. Other suggestions:

The Magic Shop books by Bruce Coville (my favorites!)
The Ramona books by Beverly Cleary
The Boxcar Children books by Gertrude Chandler Warner
if he likes Narnia, then Fablehaven by Brandon Mull, which is another of my favorites
Mrs. Coverlet's Magicians by Mary Nash
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

And maybe when he gets a little older (you'll have to judge by his reading and comprehension level):
The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper (my favorite series of all time!)
Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
The Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan (So good, especially for boys)
and the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage (Funny and totally entertaining)

message 16: by Lisa (new)

Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa) (letsread) | 3 comments I have read "The Dragon Slayers Academy" by Kate McMullan to my kids. I think it has 18 or 19 books to the series. It is super funny. There is a princess who dresses up as a boy, because she doesn't want to go to Princess Prep, a wizard who gets all of his spells wrong, a dragon who the main character adopts (even though he is learning to slay dragons), and a pig who speaks pig Latin. I enjoyed reading these books more than my kids liked hearing them. My son who doesn't like t read just asked if he could read these on his own!

message 17: by Mary (new)

Mary | 26 comments Jeanne wrote: "When my youngest was that age, she read the old "Honey Bunch and Norman" books.

If you haven't borrowed the "Snipp, Snapp, and Snurr" books from the library, do so, even if they have to get them b..."

I read the Snipp,Snapp & Snurr books to my children and they, nor I,will ever forget the title. It's delightful

message 18: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 0 comments Another great read-aloud is the original Pinocchio by Carlos Collodi -- in translation of course since I don't read or speak Italian. I found the original to be much more touching, and more fun, than the Disney version. I even found a video animation based on the original to show my daughter and her friends after we read the book.

message 19: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 17, 2010 12:46PM) (new)

My daughter loved the "Illustrated Classics" - abridged version of classic book with nicely done comic illustration such as "Ivanhoe", "Swiss Family Robinson", "Hedi", "Robin Hood". In fact, she's 22 years old now and still has those books in her collection.

message 20: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 0 comments Shawn,

Are you referring to the wonderful abridgements that have a full-page illustration on every facing page?

Or are you thinking of the Classic comic books, also wonderfully done?

I like both of these for getting kids interested in the classic stories. Sometimes they even read the originals later.

I also like to play "Authors" (the classic version) with kids. Do you remember this card game?

message 21: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 17, 2010 01:14PM) (new)


The wonderful abridged book versions with illustrations - not the comics. One time we suggested donating them to Goodwill or a local library, but our daughter adamantly refused since she now uses them as reference books for her art jobs. :)

Actually, I don't remember that card game. Sounds interesting though.

message 22: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 0 comments The 'Authors' card game has 52 cards, like any deck. On the face of each card is the face of an author. My old deck has all American, English, and one French author, Balzac. The new version replaced poor Balzac with Edgar Allan Poe. Maybe they thought people couldn't pronounce the names of the books listed for Balzac.

At the top of the card is the name of a book. Below the author's picture there are three more book titles. The game is played like "Go Fish" -- a player asks for a title he doesn't have (from the bottom of the card) and if the other player has it, he has to give it to the one who asked. If the 'asker' doesn't get the card he asked for, he takes a card from the 'draw' pile. When a player gets four cards representing the same author, he puts them down in front of him. This is called a 'book'.
Whoever makes the most 'books' wins.

message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Cool. Think one day kids will be using a deck with our names? :)

message 24: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 0 comments Now there are variations on this game -- "Science fiction authors", "Mystery authors", etc. I also have a similar game called "Composers".

message 25: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (emarsh13) I loved that game!! I had the Balzac version.

message 26: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 0 comments Shawn,

I hope so. Each author needs at least four books though. I have a long way to go!


Do you still have the Balzac version? It's really a nicer set than the replacement. The pictures of the authors are bigger and Shakespeare is the Ace!
They changed everyone's numbers in the new set.

message 27: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (emarsh13) I don't ... my brother "helped" and half the cards were lost when I was 13. Have you checked Ebay? I got it new for Christmas ... but I feel old saying it was a while ago.

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