Thursday, August 6, 2009

Erin's Top 10 Kids' Books

10. What Do You Do With a Kangaroo? by Mercer Mayer. I've always loved this silly tale about a spunky girl whose daily routine keeps getting interrupted by obnoxious animals. Mayer's adorable, detailed, 1970s-era illustrations show our heroine standing up for herself, although the animals finally get the best of her and become her friends.

9. The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown. This is a heartwarming story of a little bunny who thinks of multiple ways to run away from home. No matter what he suggests, his mother is determined to follow him. A reassuring picture of a mother's love, the book could also be used as a parallel for Jesus' love for us.

8. My Good Night Bible: 45 Bedtime Bible Stories for Little Ones by Susan L. Lingo. This is the one devotional my children ask for again and again. Simple enough for toddlers, it still holds plenty of appeal for my daughter, who is 8. Familiar Bible stories are followed by questions, a short prayer and something comforting to think about while falling asleep.

7. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. The first read-aloud chapter book my son ever sat through, it is a fantastic story of a yummy chocolate world being invaded by naughty kids. The end just goes to show that being nice and well-behaved pays off!

6. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery. When orphaned Anne Shirley surprises her adoptive family by not being a boy, the mischief and confusion have only begun. Anne's propensity for getting into scrapes keeps us laughing, while at the same time we are touched by the life lessons she learns.

5. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. When likeable, wealthy Sara Crewe is suddenly transformed into a penniless orphan, she is sent to the attic of her boarding school and forced to be a servant. Sara is a model of how to be "content in all circumstances" but we still are thrilled as her cold attic is transformed into a warm, cozy retreat by a mysterious benefactor.

4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The engaging adventures of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy as they live through the Civil War without their father are coupled with character lessons including being generous, handling one's temper, the danger of being idle and being honest in matters of the heart. Reading Little Women, I realized for the first time you could love Jesus and still struggle with doing the right thing.

3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. Join awkward Meg, her practical friend Calvin and her precocious little brother Charles Wallace as they try to rescue Meg's father who is missing in space. Down-home country meets science fiction in this otherworldly journey where Meg learns priceless lessons about love and individuality.

2. The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper. 11-year-old Will Stanton, 7th son of a 7th son, shows us even though the struggle of good against evil extends beyond the borders of space and time, we all have a choice to make. The second in Cooper's five-part series, this is the book I pick up every year around Christmas (the book takes place between Mid-Winter's Eve and New Year's Day) to remind me of how important it is to make choices on the side of good. (The movie The Seeker: The Dark is Rising is absolutely awful and bears little resemblance to the series.)

1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis: Definitely my favorite book of all time, I never tire of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy who are helped by talking animals and magical creatures to meet Aslan and fight the evil White Witch. A tale of betrayal and redemption, the novel is also a beautiful allegory for the Gospel accounts of the life of Christ.

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Suvia said...

Hi Erin - Great reviews! Thank you - it's helpful to review the classics I'm trying to link directly to Amazon from your review, but don't know how. Can you remind me?



Kristina said...

Suvia, you can just click the title of each book and it will take you right to :)