HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
June 25, 2007, Herald Journal

Timeless reading adventures


With summer vacation here, it’s a great time to indulge in reading for enjoyment. Many libraries, including our local public libraries, host summer reading events, programs and clubs to keep our young minds indulged in reading adventures.

There are certainly timeless stories that we have read in our own childhood that we want our own children to treasure and experience as well.

An article in “Raising Readers” by Jenny Sherman, compiled a list of books every kid should read.

These recommendations are a mix of timeless tales and new terrific tales, as the article identified them.

For the preschool and elementary age (up to age 8):

• “So Sleepy Story” by Uri Shulevitz, a tale of a boy and a house that wake up and drift off to sleep.

• “On the Day You Were Born” by Debra Frasier, a great gift for a new baby. In fact, my daughter received this as a gift when she was born.

• “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, illustrations by Lois Ehlert, a wonderful rhythmic children’s alphabet book.

• “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrations by Clement Hurd. Originally published in 1947, a poetic goodnight story.

• “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak.

• “Anno’s Journey” by Mitsumasa Anno, a wordless picture book that can take your mind through endless stories.

• “Freight Train” by Donald Crews, 1979 Caldecott Honor Book.

• “The Firekeeper’s Son” by Linda Sue Park, illustrations by Julie Downing, set in nineteenth century Korea, based on a signal system that used bonfires to warn the king of invasion. In it a boy must fill in for his injured father to give the all-clear signal.

Carver County Libraries also recommend these awesome stories for great family read-alouds.

Books for preschoolers:

• “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” By Bill Martin Jr. This has been a favorite of all of my children as toddlers and preschoolers.

• “Corduroy” by Don Freeman.

• “Goodnight Moon” (also listed above).

• “Guess How Much I Love You” by Sam McBratney.

• “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Keats.

• “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle.

For children ages 4 – 8:

• “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss (of course).

• “Curious George” by H.A. Rey

• “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff.

• “Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse” by Kevin Henkes (my daughter’s favorite).

• “The Napping House” by Audrey Wood (I love this book).

These are all wonderful stories that may be on your shelves, or under your children’s beds, or in your car already.

A future article will highlight some recommended “reads” for older elementary as well as young adults. Stay tuned.

Caldecott Medal winners

Did you know that the Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott?

It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for Children.

The 2007 medal winner is “Flotsam” by David Wiesner.

2007 Honor Books: “Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet” by David McLimans; “Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led her People to Freedom” by Carole Boston Weatherford.

Other Caldecott Medal winners include:

2006: “The Hello, Goodbye Window” by Juster Norton

2005: “Kitten’s First Full Moon” by Kevin Henkes

2004: “The Man Who Walked Between the Towers” by Mordicai Gerstein

2003: “My Friend Rabbit” by Eric Rohmann

2002: “The Three Pigs” by David Wiesner

2001: “So You Want to Be President?” Illustrated by David Small, written by Judith St. George

2000: “Joseph Had a Little Overcoat” by Simms Taback

Indulge in a story (or two) with your children this summer for pure enjoyment. You won’t be sorry.

Don’t forget to check your local public library for their summer reading programs.