Saturday, August 8, 2009

Tanya's Top 10 Kids' Books

10. Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room by Jan and Stan Berenstain. This title teaches the importance of caring properly for your things and your space: how to sort and organize toys and how to know when it's time to get rid of certain things. The result - an orderly, neat room - allows for more fun and shows respect to those around you.

9. The American Girl Collection by various authors. This collection, obviously targeting young girls, provides nonfiction books that cover everything from relationships and personal hygiene to crafts, and fiction titles that teach American history through the lives of peers. The most recent (written by Jacqueline Dembar Greene) takes place in 1914 and centers on Rebecca, a Russian Jewish immigrant who lives in New York City.

8. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Rife with adventure, fantastical creatures, danger and intrigue, this seven-book series offers a beautiful allegory of biblical truth. Readers may enjoy the surface story or dive deeper into its thematic and spiritual relevance.

7. Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery. An orphaned girl with nothing but her spunk and imagination discovers where she belongs in the early 1900s. Anne's fiery personality juxtaposed with her sensitive heart cause readers to fall almost instantly in love with her.

6. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. In a world where status, money and gender play all the cards, four girls who grow to become women with the gentle, wise guidance of their mother and a desperate love for literature and the arts.

5. The Remarkable Farkle McBride by John Lithgow. A young prodigy who quickly tires of each instrument he masters, and in the end he decides composing is his favorite gig. This author loves words and plays beautifully with them, creating unique poetic rhythms with an extraordinary vocabulary.

4. Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. The author's watercolor illustrations are timeless, her text whimsical, her characters unforgettable.

3. The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm. This book is not a traditional Bible, but rather looks at Scripture as one big picture. From Genesis to Revelation, what is the central theme and purpose of the Bible? This story book answers those questions with truth and cohesive logic. Click here to learn more in our full review.

2. The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne. I adore the sweet language and meter of the text, the tender illustrations, the innocence and humor. Because they are broken into chapters, the complete collection is a perfect choice for transitional readers.

1. The Writings of Shel Silverstein. This year is the 35th anniversary of Where the Sidewalk Ends. I grew up reading these poems and still treasure them. In The Giving Tree, Falling Up, A Light in the Attic and others readers find writings that are silly, fun, strange and profound.

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