Monday, November 20, 2006

Kids' Books Meme

Another "big list of books" meme; this time all of things for the young'uns. I found this at Kid Lit.
(I may do the SFBC list in a day or so, but it feels incestuous to do so -- I mean, I helped form that list, typed it up, and talked about it with reporters.)

Anyway, this one's rules: bold things you've read, asterisk (*) ones you like. I've also italicized the ones I've read to the Things, but that's my own addition.

  • *Charlotte's Web by E. B. White

    I think I liked it; I read it so long ago...

  • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

    Eh. The pictures are pretty, and it might be nice read silently, but it doesn't work all that well out loud, which makes it a lousy picture book.

  • *Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

    One of the greats.

  • *The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss


  • *Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

    Possibly my favorite book ever.

  • Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch

    It looks like solidified treacle, so I've avoided it so far.

  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

    I would never inflict this horrible piece of crap on the Things. Feh.

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

    I can generally take or leave Carle, though I do like his art.

  • Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

    I've heard of it, but never knowingly saw it.

  • The Mitten by Jan Brett

    If this is the one about a lost mitten that becomes a snowman's heart, then yes. That story is very sappy, but cute.

  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

    Not exactly a favorite, since it's basically a list, but I did have it memorized for a while (and even memorized backwards, which is even better). In fact, I read it backwards to Thing 2 last night, to show him how Thing 1 and I used to do it. (There was a time when I read this last to Thing 1 every single night.)

  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

    Never heard of it. But I bet it's one of those "message" books.

  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

    Not exactly a favorite, since Lewis does talk down severely to his audience, but I've always liked it.

  • *Where the Sidewalk Ends: the Poems and Drawing of Shel Silverstein by Shel Silverstein

    Thing 1 in particular loved this to death when we discovered it about a year and a half ago.

  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

    Another clean miss.

  • Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

    Too message-y for my taste (and too wordy).

  • Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss

    Eh. Late and very minor Seuss, kept alive only because most people are too stupid to think of an interesting gift.

  • Strega Nona by Tomie De Paola

    I'm pretty sure we own it, but I don't think we've read it. We have a lot of books.

  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

    I can't explain exactly why, but Thing 1 liked this a lot, though we haven't read it in a long time.

  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Bill Martin, Jr.

    Another one illustrated by the ubiquitous Eric Carle. We read it once or twice, from the library, but it didn't stick.

  • *Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

    I read it to Thing 1 a year or so ago (closely followed by Great Glass Elevator), and afterward he didn't want me to dive into Danny, the Champion of the World or James and the Giant Peach. But I love it, and both boys liked both movie versions.

  • The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

    I know I at least skimmed it. I believe we own a copy. Even my very sentimental boys are not girly enough to want to read this, though.

  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

    There's much less here than appears to the adolescent eye, but it's an OK book.

  • Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

    Not a clue. I bet "Shiloh" is a dog, and I bet he dies at the end...

  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

    About time to dig it back out this year, actually.

  • The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka

    Someone forgot "and Lane Smith" up there; Scieszka and Smith are a great team, though this isn't quite their best. (That's The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales.)

  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by John Archambault

    Thing 2 loves the energy of it.

  • Little House on the Prarie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

    I am male, as are both of my children. I don't have to read this, or feel guilty about never even looking at it.

  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

    See above. (Though I did see the movie version from about a decade ago, which was nice enough.)

  • *The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

    I have the original small hardcovers (now in Thing 1's room, in the vain hope that he'll read them), the big all-the-prose hardcover, the big all-the-poetry hardcover, and the big all-the-prose-and-poetry-together hardcover. I probably have too much Pooh, honestly.

  • The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

    Never saw it as a kid.

  • Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

    See above about boyishness. Librarians tend to be women (and the big readers among kids tend to be girls), so lists like this fill up with extremely girly things. We need a lot more Captain Underpants here.

  • Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

    Never ran into it.

  • Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

    I liked it well enough as a kid, but I haven't read it in close to thirty years. There's a copy lurking somewhere for when the boys get older, if they care.

  • Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

    No idea.

  • The BFG by Roald Dahl

    I've read some Dahl (I have a copy of The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Eight Others that was a great eye-opener as a kid), but not this one.

  • The Giver by Lois Lowry

    It was after my time, and it looks like spinach.

  • *If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff

    Very cute, though some of the spin-offs get a bit silly.

  • James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

    Not yet, though I want to. There's a copy in Thing 1's room, and I might have to take it some day to read myself.

  • Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

    More girly stuff! I feel like I'm hacking through the jungle...

  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

    Not a clue.

  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

    Not a favorite due to Tolkien's excessively twee tone, but it's good enough. Haven't tried it on the boys yet. (Thing 1 doesn't want to be read to these days, and Thing 2 doesn't seem to want long books.)

  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

    Feh. Sanctimonious claptrap. Won't have it in the house.

  • Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner

    No idea.

  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

    I think we've established that I am completely innocent of Lois Lowry.

  • *Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O'Brien

    I liked it a lot at the time, but haven't re-read it. Someday I may spring it on the boys.

  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

    Girly, girly, girly! Get it away!

  • The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

    The lesson is a bit Harrison Bergeron-ian (no fish can be better than any other fish), but it's a gorgeous book, and I guess it's supposed to be about sharing, and not about forcible redistribution of wealth.

  • Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

    No clue.

  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

    Golly! I dunno.

  • *Corduroy by Don Freeman

    One of the great picture books of the 20th century. (Though I like his Norman the Doorman about equally, and that one is a bit more interesting.)

  • Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg

    I honestly can't remember. We may have read it, or I may have poked through it in the library. Oh, what the heck -- I'll bold it. I probably read it.

  • *Math Curse by Jon Scieszka

    Just read it the other night, in fact. A great, great book. And it leads into two other wonderful books, as well -- Science Verse and Seen Art? I hope they do more.

  • Matilda by Roald Dahl

    No, though I expect I will, eventually.

  • Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls


  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

    I don't think I ever read Blume -- I'd shot over to the adult shelves at about the time my peers were reading her (and, as I've repeatedly mentioned, I was not a girl, so I didn't secretly read her teen or adult books ).

  • Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

    Again, I was reading higher-level stuff when I would have liked this.

  • The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White

    I know I had a copy, but I don't think I ever read it.

  • *Are You My Mother? by Philip D. Eastman

    A great read-aloud book, with lots of opportunity for interaction and silly voices.

  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

    As opposed to Lion, Witch, Wardrobe, which was above?

  • Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

    Not my favorite McCloskey -- which is probably Blueberries for Sal (though I like One Morning in Maine as well), but his art is wonderful and the story is pleasant.

  • *One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

    I've been reading it to Thing 2 lately, as he starts to learn to read. Very energetic and fun.

  • *The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

    Read it to the boys just a few months ago. They liked it, but didn't love it.

  • *The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

    A wonderful book; we've got a bunch of Keats books (though he can be very uneven).

  • The Napping House by Audrey Wood


  • Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

    I didn't encounter this until I had the boys, but it seemed to me (and to them) to be awfully scary for little kids.

  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

    I probably expurgated it as I read it to them -- I think some minor character gets turned into stew off-page...

  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt


  • The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

    Read it to them last year, if I remember right.

  • Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

    I'm going to have to replace my girly detector when this is over. The damn thing's going wild.

  • *Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss

    I can't tell you how much of my personal philosophy was molded by "I meant what I said and I said what I meant; an elephant's loyal, one hundred percent." Still gets to me. (As does Horton Hears the Who, which is much scarier.)

  • Basil of Baker Street by Eve Titus

    No, though I did read a whole pile of her similar "Anatole" books to Thing 1 back around 2003-2004; I'd loved those when I was a kid.

  • The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

    It is a pure cliche, but we must have four copies of it around the house.

  • The Cay by Theodore Taylor

    A clean miss.

  • *Curious George by Hans Augusto Rey

    I love the art, though Thing 1 used to get very upset with all of the George stories, and eventually stopped me from reading any of them to him. (He can be very sensitive, especially when he was about four.)

  • Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox

    Sounds like fun, but I've never heard of it.

  • Arthur series by Marc Tolon Brown

    I don't love them, but some are quite good.

  • The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson

    Heard of it; never read it.

  • Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes

    I'm pretty sure I've read it, in the library, but it's too girly for my boys. (They've liked Chester's Way and Owen and even Sheila Rae, the Brave.)

  • Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

    Oh, yes! Let's pretend we're snowed in and have a tea party with all of our dolls! {claps} Not for me.

  • The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton

    Burton is a great talent, and this is her least impressive (and most didactic) book. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel is a great classic, but my favorite (and the boys') is Katy and the Big Snow. Maybelle the Cable Car is also a lot of fun (and has a similar moral to that of The Little House without being so horribly obvious about it.)

  • The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown

    It's very sweet, though I'm not anybody's mother.

  • Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar

    No, though I did read Holes.

  • Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

    Oh, I think I read all of the Amelia Bedelia books back when I was a kid. Little boys love dumb jokes, so I should try them out on my boys.

  • Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh


  • A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

    Thing 1 liked it a lot.

  • Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater

    No idea. Damn, this is a long list.

  • My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

    I don't think so, though I've seen it.

  • *Stuart Little by E. B. White

    I used to love all of the "little people" books -- The Mouse on the Motorcycle, The Borrowers, The Littles, and so on.

  • Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech


  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

    Double no.

  • The Art Lesson by Tomie De Paola

    Don't think so.

  • *Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

    The boys love it, too -- monkeys are always a hit with little boys.

  • Clifford, the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell

    We used to read these books a lot, but not much lately.

  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri

    {sighs} No.

  • Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss

    Yup. A good 'un.

  • The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

    Sounds faintly dirty.

  • The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

    It has got to be a book with a message. I'm glad I missed it.

  • Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

    Too cute for its own good, and sweet enough to rot your teeth, but I liked it.

  • The Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch

    Nope. I've read a couple of Munsch books, but not that one.

So I've read 54 of them, which is decent but not all that high. I've missed most of the YA books on that list, since I mostly jumped over reading YA books. (Though, come to think of it, I think this might just be a very girly list -- I was reading a lot of Paul Zindell and Daniel Pinkwater, neither of whom show up here at all. I call discrimination against boys.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Many great books, I would add Mona's Favorite Word and What do Mommies Do by kathy Ireland my gilrs luv them.

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