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Beginning Children Classic Reader Books (Ages 5-8)



BEGINNING CHILDREN CLASSIC READER BOOKS (Ages 5-8)

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1. FROG AND TOAD ARE FRIENDS
by Arnold Lobel
HarperCollins, 1970, Paperback, 1990
ISBN: 0064440206
Frog and Toad are the best of buddies. Kids love reading these simple stories of the two friends’ funny adventures.
by Lillian Hoban
HarperCollins, 1996
ISBN: 0060249552
As monkey youngsters Arthur and Violet look forward to the first day of school, they compare lunch boxes and expectations — all in an easy “I Can Read Book” style.
3. BREAD AND JAM FOR FRANCES
by Russell Hoban
illustrated by Lillian Hoban
HarperTrophy Paperback, 1993
ISBN: 0064430960
Frances decides that she would like to have her favorite food — bread and jam — as her only food. Surprisingly, her parents allow her to enjoy bread and jam for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Can she ever get too much of a good thing?
4. LITTLE BEAR
by Else Holmelund Minarik
illustrated by Maurice Sendak
HarperCollins, 1957
ISBN: 0064441970
Little Bear’s adventures with Hen, Duck and Cat are some of the very first early-reader stories. Bear’s loving parents provide a warm family atmosphere, too.
5. AMELIA BEDELIA
by Peggy Parish
illustrated by Fritz Seibel
HarperCollins, 1963
ISBN: 0064441555
Amelia Bedelia is a zany housekeeper who takes things a bit too literally. Whether she’s “dressing” a chicken or “stealing” second base in a baseball game, her understanding of things always causes a mix-up. Luckily her talent for baking delicious treats helps her keep her job.
6. A BEAR CALLED PADDINGTON
by Michael Bond
illustrated by Peggy Fortnum
Houghton Mifflin, 1960, Paperback, 1968
ISBN: 0440404835
A teddy bear found in London’s Paddington Station becomes the cuddly star of this and several subsequent stories.
by Dr. Seuss
Random House, 1956
ISBN: 039480001X
The Cat in the Hat turns the household upside one rainy day while Mother is out. Seuss’s exuberant text is a must for beginning readers.
8. DANNY AND THE DINOSAUR
by Syd Hoff
HarperCollins, 1958
ISBN: 0064440028
Danny visits the museum where he meets a very large new friend. The boy and his dinosaur explore the city for the afternoon, before they both have to head home.
 
by Dr. Seuss
Random House, 1960
ISBN: 0394800168
“Sam I am” does his darnedest to entice a picky eater with this famous colorful dish.
 
by Ruth Stiles Gannett
illustrated by Ruth Chrisman Gannett
Random House, 1948, Paperback, 1987
ISBN: 0394890485
A boy explains how his father, Elmer Elevator, travels to the Wild Island to save a baby dragon. This short novel is a good family read-aloud.
by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
illustrated by Marc Simont
Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1972, Paperback, 1977
ISBN: 044046126X
Early readers love a mystery, and Nate, the neighborhood detective, delivers. Fun to read and easy to solve.
by Richard and Florence Atwater
illustrated by Robert Lawson
Little, Brown, 1938, Paperback, 1992
ISBN: 0316058432
One penguin named Captain Cook plus another penguin named Greta means a whole family of penguins for the kindly Mr. Popper.
13. THE SHRINKING OF TREEHORN by Florence Parry Heide
illustrated by Edward Gorey
Holiday House, 1971
ISBN: 0823409759
Treehorn is such a quiet kid that his parents and friends don’t even notice that he’s starting to shrink and disappear!
14. GEORGE AND MARTHA by James Marshall
Houghton Mifflin, 1972
ISBN: 0395199727
The tender, sometimes prickly, and always funny friendship between hippos George and Martha makes for a great beginning reader series. Seven books about this hefty pair will keep kids giggling.
15. THE ANIMAL FAMILY by Randall Jarrell
illustrated by Maurice Sendak
Pantheon, 1965; HarperCollins 1996
ISBN: 0062059041
In this poetic fantasy, a bear cub and a lynx live in harmony with a hunter, a mermaid and their baby boy. Kids will want to tackle this novel a bit at a time, but kids age 5 and up will find plenty to enjoy here. Sendak’s illustrations lend enormous style and charm.
16. OH, THE THINKS YOU CAN THINK! by Dr. Seuss
Random House, 1975
ISBN: 0394831292
It’s remarkable to know that Theodor Geisel can not only write for very young readers, but can tickle the imaginations of older kids, as he does so well in OH THE THINKS YOU CAN THINK. The man’s brilliance was endless.
17. THE STORIES JULIAN TELLS by Ann Cameron
illustrated by Ann Strugnell
Random House, 1981, Paperback, 1989
ISBN: 0394828925
Julian and his younger brother Huey star in these simple, enjoyable stories about the everyday life of an African-American family.
18. IN A DARK, DARK ROOM: AND OTHER SCARY STORIES by Alvin Schwartz
illustrated by Dirk Zimmer
HarperCollins, 1984
ISBN: 0060252715
Perfect for Halloween or any time of year, these easy-to-read slightly spooky folktales are frightfully fun.
19. BILLY AND BLAZE by C.W. Anderson
Aladdin Paperbacks, 1990
ISBN: 0689716087
Billy gets a pony for his birthday, which he names Blaze. Their simple, country adventures are the stuff of several beginning reader titles.
20. AMANDA PIG AND HER BIG BROTHER OLIVER by Jean Van Leeuwen
illustrated by Ann Schweninger
Dial, 1982
ISBN: 0803700164
Kids can relate to Amanda’s ups-and-downs in this clever series about a pig family.
21. UNCLE ELEPHANT by Arnold Lobel
HarperCollins, 1981, Paperback, 1986
ISBN: 0064441040
When he believes his parents are lost, a young elephant is rescued and comforted by his uncle. A tender book about being separated from the ones you love.
22. NOW WE ARE SIX by A. A. Milne
illustrated by Ernest Shepard
Dutton, 1927; Puffin Paperback, 1992
ISBN: 0140361243
Christopher Robin and his beloved friend winnie-the-Pooh appear throughout this classic collection of verse about childhood adventures and experiences. Don’t miss the equally charming companion volume WHEN WE WERE VERY YOUNG.
23. AND THEN WHAT HAPPENED, PAUL REVERE? by Jean Fritz
illustrated by Margot Tomes
Coward McCann & Geoghehan 1973; Putnam 1996
ISBN: 0698113519
Fritz spurs readers on with direct questions (“And then what happened?”) in this exuberant biography of the Boston man made famous by his ride warning of the approaching British soldiers in the Revolutionary War.
24. HENRY & MUDGE by Cynthia Rylant
illustrated by Sucie Stevenson
Aladdin Paperback, 1996
ISBN: 0689810059
Henry, an only child who lives on a street without any children to play with, can use all the friends he can find. His parents understand, and allow him to get a dog. Soon the pooch that Henry has named Mudge becomes his best — and biggest — pal. It doesn’t take very long for Mudge to grow from pint-sized puppy to 180 pounds! The two have plenty of adventures in these sweet, humorous stories.


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