Bluebear provides excellent creative inspiration for storytelling. Matt Blum A childhood favorite, Danny Dunn is a series of 15 fiction books about a headstrong boy and his exploits with science and math. In addition to grounding most of their plots in real science, authors Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams included a couple of progressive friends to accompany Danny on his adventures. The stories are a good read-aloud introduction to chapter books as kids start to learn to read on their own.
The books are out of print but available used and in libraries. The Last Straw is a personal favorite, because of the focus on the father-son relationship and tight storytelling. There is little doubt these are the books my kids will remember most from their childhood. Kevin Makice Not many books of adult science fiction can appeal to kids. They will relate to the small but tenacious Ender.
It tells the tale of four siblings who come across a talisman that grants wishes… halfway. Harold uses his powerful crayon to transport bedtime into balloon rides, fairy tale gardens, a circus, and a trip to Mars. The playful word choices of the author leverage double meanings to complement the drawings in multiple ways, advancing the plot and reinforcing creativity the modern versions of Harold lack this depth. The stories are great experiences for pre-readers, who learn quickly to tell the story on their own.
Read it to them before they read it for themselves, and reengage the wonder as your children discover Hogwarts for themselves. Part novel and part picture book, the story lends to reading aloud while discovering together how Brian Selznick uses images to tell the story. Erik Wecks. This starts him on an escalating path that has Shredderman thwarting everything from vandalism to espionage. Through Nolan, the author addresses problem-solving, power differentials, and the importance of good mentors.
The books are quick reads that will span a few long bedtime sessions, great for advancing exposure to chapter books for early readers. Kevin Makice. Skip Article Header. Skip to: Start of Article.
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Matt Blum. A childhood favorite, Danny Dunn is a series of 15 fiction books about a headstrong boy and his exploits with science and math. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney depicts the middle school struggles of middle child Greg Heffley, told in the form of his diary. Not many books of adult science fiction can appeal to kids. The classic book Half Magic by Edward Eager is clever, funny, and heartwarming. The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson became a favorite for all three of my kids when they were toddlers.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a lovely homage to early French film making and a most creative book. The masterworks of fantasy fiction. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are must reads for any literate geek. While the long slog to Rivendell in The Lord of The Rings may be difficult for children and adults alike, reading it aloud often allows children to persevere until the rollicking adventure begins. In our home, we have successfully read The Lord of the Rings to two eight year olds.
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Going slowly a chapter at a time, it takes about three to four months. Popular among the 5 and 6 year old set, at least one book of the Junie B.
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Jones series must be read out loud merely because Junie is such a fun character to read. She mispronounces many words and hearing these mistakes is great for training the first and second grade ear. Poignant, sad and yet beautiful in the end. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is the tale of a beloved toy finding its way back to the arms of a child. The gorgeous writing alone makes it worth reading aloud. In this case, magic is replaced with Greek mythology. Percy must come to terms with his demigod lineage and the reality of a world filled with minotaurs, chimeras, and vengeful titans.
Contemporary cultural references and a prior interest in mythology by my kids made these five books and the first two of the follow-up series riveting bedtime reads. It proved a fun race to see who recognized each myth first.
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So you know the story of Peter Pan and Captain Hook, but do you know how they got to Neverland, and why Peter will never grow up? Peter and the Starcatchers and its sequels tell a great tale that serves as a backstory to the tales you know. Great fun, if you know the original story. Savvy by Ingrid Law is a coming-of-age story about a special family whose members are each blessed or cursed with a special ability.
For Mibs Beaumont, her gift comes at a critical time when her father is recovering from a terrible accident. Reading Savvy sparked several bedtime conversations. Law has turned the premise into a series with Scumble released as the follow-up in Calling all dreamers… Poetry is made to be read out loud and no modern poet captures the spirit of childhood imagination and play better than Shel Silverstein. The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents is a book about a cat and a group of rats who run the perfect pied piper scheme… or at least, try to.
Only Terry Pratchett could write animal characters this smart, yet still somehow believable. This book does technically take place in Discworld, but is much more aimed at kids than are the usual Discworld books. This would be a great book for anyone who saw The Secret World of Arrietty , which was loosely based on it.
You think you had an unusual childhood? Try growing up raised by ghosts in a graveyard. Strange, creepy, and altogether wonderful. Here the characters are the stars. Reading a conservative mole, an adventurous water rat and a profligate toad is wonderful fun. The Cartoon History of the Universe is a series of wonderfully researched historical stories, spread over several volumes that cover the beginning of the Universe through modern times.
The content by author Larry Gonick does not shy away from the role violence and sex play in our past, however, making it a reading choice that may not fit some parenting styles. The subject matter benefits from a read-along parental guide and provides a great and lasting foundation for future learning.
It has a lovely fairy-tale sensibility and makes for fantastic bedtime reading — and is quite a bit better than the animated movie it inspired. Jonathan Liu. I discovered the Far Flung Adventures trilogy only recently but had a great time reading them out loud to my daughter. Each book is a stand-alone story, although there are some overlapping characters and locations throughout.
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The three title characters Fergus Crane, Corby Flood, and Hugo Pepper each have wonderful, exciting adventures that are fun to listen to, and the illustrations by Chris Riddell are brilliant. Henry Mulligan is the lead genius of the tales, but the adventures require a team effort and normalize science and technology as a way to solve problems. Everything is told from the perspective of Charlie, one of the members of the MSC. The colloquial language makes it a great platform for attempting different character voices. The Mouse and His Child was written in but it can still give Pixar a run for its money when it comes to storytelling.
All your favorite characters are here along with a great bit of humor and a fleshed out story. The Princess Bride is definitely worth reading to your child when they are home with the flu. Reading aloud gives plenty of opportunity for talking and provides discussion points for talking about relationships with siblings.
If you can find an earlier print pre , the book will contain some fun illustrations by Roy Doty. Dave Banks. This E. Orphan Lewis Barnavelt goes to live with his uncle, who turns out to be a wizard.
Along with the next-door witch, Lewis must find a magic clock hidden in the walls of the house before it destroys the world. This is the first and best book in a Lewis Barnavelt series that spans a dozen books, so if you enjoy it, there are plenty more.
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I think my first encounter with James and the Giant Peach was in 5th grade, when my teacher read it aloud to the class, and it hooked me on Roald Dahl. No fantasy or sci-fi, but lots of imagination and pitch-perfect portrayals of sibling relationships. Is there any book that plays with language and learning quite like The Phantom Tollbooth? Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Save the movies for later — let them exercise their imagination as they savor the descriptions of the most unusual candy factory ever conceived.
Kathy Ceceri. The Silver Crown is another Robert C.
She is soon caught up in a series of events that lead her and another boy to confront a sinister plot that threatens all that is good and free in the world. Roy Wood. The House of Dies Drear , the novel by Virginia Hamilton, was positively creepy when it was first read to me in 4th grade. For one, Chidren's Fantasy books are aimed at young readers under 12 years old, while Young Adult Fantasy is marketed torwards ages 12 - It follows that the themes and stories present in YA Young Adult fantasy may feature teenage protaganists, grittier settings, darker themes and more mature subject matter.
Unfortunately, publishers just lump most YA fantasy and children's fantasy books together under the same marketing category as Young Adult fantasy. But the wizard Gandalf came along with a band of homeless dwarves.