Should have read classics discussion

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Children's Classics No One Should Miss

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Petra met a man today who interviewed Pol Pot (petra-x) I have been asked by my friend, who is a conservation officer on an island of 150 people here in the Caribbean, and has a 7-year old daughter what 7 books I would recommend for her to buy for her daughter's class of 22 children. She would read them to the class on her visits.

I don't want to go the route of Roald Dahl or Judy Blume, but something more seminal to our shared English-speaking culture. I have the obvious ones like The Secret Garden, Wind in the Willows, Winnie-the-Pooh (not the Disney version) etc., but I'm interested to know what other people would consider classics every child should read.


message 2: by Magda (new)

Magda Allani | 25 comments I Capture the Castle without a doubt though this may be better suited to slightl to slightly older children.


message 3: by Magda (new)

Magda Allani | 25 comments Oh and Pollyanna and Anne of Green Gables


message 4: by Miranda (new)

Miranda | 20 comments Charlotte's Web!


Petra met a man today who interviewed Pol Pot (petra-x) I've never read Charlotte's Web or I Capture the Castle maybe I should. I think Pollyana and Anne of Green Gables are lovely books, but that the boys wouldn't enjoy them as much as the girls.


message 6: by Daphne (new)

Daphne (daphne2163) Beatrix Potter Books
Black Beauty
Robinson Crusoe
Swiss Family Robinson
Tom Sawyer
Huckleberry Finn
Alice's Adventure in Wonderland
Adventures of Robin Hood
Peter Pan
The Jungle Book
White Fang
The Little Prince
Little Women
The Giving Tree
Where the Sidewalk Ends


message 7: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Litchfield (tlitchfield) | 7 comments 7 years, that is the high end of 1st grade and 2nd. So I would definately choose an assortment for reading levels.
The Giving Tree
Charlotte's Web
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
The Little Prince
If you give a Mouse a Cookie or Pig a Pancake
Velveteen Rabbit
Nate the Great
American Girl (teaches history)
Jumanji

Some aren't "classics" but have been around a very long time.


Petra met a man today who interviewed Pol Pot (petra-x) American Girl teaches American history, we are West Indians!

Thank you all for the excellent suggestions. I know most of the books and will check out the rest.


message 9: by Kerri, the sane one (new)

Kerri | 328 comments Mod
Petra X wrote: "I've never read Charlotte's Web or I Capture the Castle maybe I should. I think Pollyana and Anne of Green Gables are lovely books, but that the boys wouldn't enjoy them as much as the girls."
You might be surprised...my boys actually have enjoyed both of these. They especially enjoy all the mishaps Anne gets herself in.


message 10: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 153 comments Petra X wrote: "I have been asked by my friend, who is a conservation officer on an island of 150 people here in the Caribbean, and has a 7-year old daughter what 7 books I would recommend for her to buy for her d..."

Arthur Ransome, Swallows and Amazons. Wonderful, as are all the books which follow in the series.


message 11: by Kerri, the sane one (new)

Kerri | 328 comments Mod
Petra X wrote: "I have been asked by my friend, who is a conservation officer on an island of 150 people here in the Caribbean, and has a 7-year old daughter what 7 books I would recommend for her to buy for her d..."
One thing to think about here is what books serve as good read-a-louds. Does your friend want to read the entire book on each visit to the classroom? Or will she be visiting several times in a week to read in order to maintain continuity and interest in the book over time if it is a longer read? Also, what is the make-up of the class, any special interests they might have or things she or the teacher want to connect to in order to enhance any of the other things the kids are learning? There are so
many great children's classics as you can tell from everyone's great suggestions so far. I think you should focus on those classics that are a bit shorter, at grade level or slightly higher, and has characters that both girls and boys can connect to. It would be nice if your list also had a bit of variety and possibly included authors that have additional books at the same reading level so that the students might be inspired to read more from that author on their own.


Petra met a man today who interviewed Pol Pot (petra-x) Thank you all for your input, it was interesting and gave me plenty to check out and discuss. The list has been finalised and ordered for my friend.

The books we eventually went with were, for the children:

The Borrowers (series) by Mary Norton
Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Moomins/Moominland series by Tove Jannson
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll,
The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
The Coral Island by R.M. Ballantyne
The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley
The Story of Dr. Doolittle by Hugh Lofting

And for my friend to read aloud to the class:

Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne illustrated by E.H. Shepard
A collected edition of Hans Christian Anderson's tales
A collected edition of the Brothers Grimm stories
A collected edition of Tales of Mother Goose by Charles Perrault
Aesop's Fables by William Caxton
Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris

All non-Disney versions of course!

I left out all school reading books like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Charlotte's Web etc. as they will read those anyway.

Thanks again for everyone's help.


message 13: by Lisa (new)

Lisa James (sthwnd) You might want to think twice about Grimm for kids this age. They aren't "grimm" for nothing. Those are DARK tales, & in the original versions of the Grimm tales, invariably the children end up being eaten by the witch, etc.

The Black Stallion, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew & Little House on the Prairie series were never mentioned. Those have all been out a very long time as well. Others I would recommend as a mother of 5 would be The Little Prince, Make Way for Ducklings, the Little Quack series, and ANY of the classic Dr. Seuss books, as they are very suitable for reading aloud, they have a wonderful cadence, bright colors, fun characters, & they teach lessons.


message 14: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 153 comments Lisa wrote: "You might want to think twice about Grimm for kids this age. They aren't "grimm" for nothing. Those are DARK tales, & in the original versions of the Grimm tales, invariably the children end up b..."

You will find at least some child psychologists (and parents and educators) who recommend them for that very reason; they allow children to expose their fears and the darker aspects of life in a safe and fictional environment.

I love the gentler books like those you suggest, but I also think that the darker stories have a valuable role in childhood, particularly when read to children so that there is a parent or other adult next to the child assuring a safe environment in which to confront the natural fears that children have.


message 15: by Lisa (new)

Lisa James (sthwnd) I read them when I was really young & enjoyed them, there was a real thrill for me in the fact that they WERE so dark, LOL. It makes me wonder if that's why I am the way I am today, truly in touch with my darker nature, mostly fearless, unless you include my irrational phobias of spiders & clowns, & I have no problem with kids reading them, I just wonder at them for this specific age bracket. I would have said let those wait till they were in the 9-10 year old age bracket. My own kids read them when they were little, & loved them too, but, I wonder if that was because I read them & loved them?


Petra met a man today who interviewed Pol Pot (petra-x) As I said, the books are ordered now! I have added one, Lulabaganda which I shall give as a present.

I very much dislike the Disneyfication, or sanitation if you like, of 'dark' stories. Eeyore is no longer sarcastic, but a cute little stuffed donkey, the children (except for the lame boy) in the Pied Piper don't all drown and Snow White's stepmother doesn't die from dancing in red-hot shoes! Worst of all, the Little Mermaid no longer endures the great pain of walking on knives until she finally commits suicide when there is no hope of gaining the Prince but actually marries him. Oh dear, Hans Christian Anderson must have turned in his grave! I don't see that children should read all that is cute and fluffy and everyone is really nice and even the people that aren't reform by the end of the book.

There are a lot of differences between US and UK/European ways of raising children and I think what is considered suitable for children to read is part of that.

I don't know the Black Stallion, but Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and Little House on the Prairie are all-American classics and we are West Indians with a closer affinity to the UK and Europe in terms of literature and education. I do stock all of these in the shop so the kids can always get them for their own personal reading.


Petra met a man today who interviewed Pol Pot (petra-x) I only know the stories of the Thumb-Sucker and the Little Boy who would not Drink his Soup. These stories are from Hoffman's Tales, still popular in Europe. You can read about them here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Struwwel... and the actual text here http://www.gutenberg.org/files/12116/...

I would be really interested to hear Lisa's and everyone's opinions of these stories.


message 18: by Lisa (new)

Lisa James (sthwnd) Oh, sorry Petra, you didn't specify when you started this thread that you were looking for Euro/UK classics only. I apologize for misunderstanding what you wanted & didn't want.


Petra met a man today who interviewed Pol Pot (petra-x) Lisa wrote: "Oh, sorry Petra, you didn't specify when you started this thread that you were looking for Euro/UK classics only. ."

I am sorry you misunderstood me because I wasn't looking to exclude American writers at all. Uncle Remus is all-American author I think. Suggestions of books that teach American history wouldn't fit in though.

I was really looking for classics from anywhere that had literary merit. I am not 100% sure that the Moomins fit in with that but the rest do.

There are a great many American writers who have contributed classics to an international literary cannon - E.B. White, Mark Twain, Walter Dean Myers, Jack London, Louisa May Alcott and Maurice Sendak come to mind. But all of them are read in the school! I was quite open to American classics of that standard if they had been suggested.


message 20: by Epee (new)

Epee (epers) | 1 comments I think you have put together a good list. Collections of fairy tales will be good for your friend to read aloud.


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