This year’s Lawrence, Kansas Teacher of the Year, Anne Edwards earned her undergraduate degree from Bethel College and a masters degree from the University of Kansas in Curriculum and Instruction. She is in her 38th year of teaching—all in third grade except for two years in second grade. She is the mother/stepmother of three grown daughters and one son. She recalls fondly reading to her two daughters every night. Even when they transitioned into reading for themselves, she still did “read together” books with her children all the way through grade school. Today, she joins us at Sixoh6 to share her suggestions for children books to young readers and their favorite adults to enjoy together. Writes Anne:
In the world of today….there are many reasons to worry, and our kids are aware of the global problems that are in the news. Books can transport readers to different places and times—happier places through wonderful books!
Here’s a list of some of my favorite books to share with grade school children—recommendations as a mom and as an educator. Most all of my picks feature the theme of “good triumphing over evil”!
Books for Read Aloud Together
Mo Willems’ Knuffle Bunny is a delightful book including photographs/cartoon illustrations about the adventures of a preschooler and her stuffed bunny and family.
Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time starts out “It was a dark and stormy night…” The fantasy tale of Meg and Charles, who end up going through a transporter to another place, is fun book to share together for upper elementary children. Four books in the series that follow this initial one.
Paul O. Zelinsky’s Rumplestiltskin: The fairy tale genre is a wonderful one to share with young people. The rich illustrations in this particular version are amazing.
Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are: A timeless classic about Max, who tames the wild things!
Oliver Jeffers’ Stuck: Floyd gets his kite stuck up in a tree. He begins by throwing his shoe up to get it down….then the unlikely happens!
Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Charlie overcomes all odds to find a golden ticket that allows him access to Mr. Wonka’s wonderful chocolate factory. One by one, seven children meet their fate until the last one left is Charlie. Again, the book is WAY better than the movie, but if you do want to tandem the book with the movie…, choose the Gene Wilder version for an uplifting film.
Louis Sachar’ Sideways Stories from Wayside School: This fictional story is about Mrs. Jewls’ class on the 30th story of Wayside School. There are 30 chapters for the 30 stories of this zany school.
Several Books by Some of My Favorite Authors
Chris VanAllsburg’s The Polar Express—A glorious tale of a train trip to the North Pole…and how Christmas is truly alive for all who believe.
Chris VanAllsburg ‘ Jumanji: A jungle adventure game for the brave at heart…..and not for quitters! Don’t see the movie (too violent). Enjoy this amazingly delightful book for its great story line as well as the black and white illustrations!
Chris VanAllsburg’s The Mysteries of Harris Burdick—A collection of fascinating drawings without stories! This book is a great way to encourage young writers to explain the drawings using their imagination and writing skills.
Ann Cameron’s The Stories Julian Tells and More Stories Julian Tells. These books are about Julian Bates, his little brother Huey, and their friend, Gloria—5 books in all, with spin-off books about Huey and Gloria. These black children exude the magic of being young and inquisitive, and they find delight in every day encounters in their world and with each other.
Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends:A refreshing book of poetry that playfully explores life through a child’s eyes.
Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree: A story about a tree that loves a boy—and gives everything to ensure his happiness.
Books in a Series—Targeted for Those Readers Coming into the Realm of “Chapter” Books!
For children who are transitioning from reading picture books into chapter books, a series of books by the same author is a great choice! I love series books for emergent readers of chapter books because the main characters stay the same for each book, allowing the young reader to more fully concentrate on plot, setting, and reading comprehension.
Ron Roy’s A-Z Mysteries: With this series, the main characters Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose solve their way through 26 mysteries, one for each letter of the alphabet!
Mary Pope Osborn’s Magic Tree House: Jack and Annie travel through time via their magic tree house to different worlds to solve mysteries!
Above, Anne Bailey’s bookshelf.