Ada, Alma Flor, The Gold Coin (6-10). An old woman's goodness and generosity teaches a thief to value more than gold.
Alexander, Lloyd, The King's Fountain (4-7). A poor man's honesty and courage persuade a king to consider his people's interests.
Aliki, The Two of Them (4-7). The loving relationship between a grandfather and granddaughter; after his death, her acceptance of life's continuity.
Allen, Thomas B., Granddaddy's Farm (6-10). Beautiful pencil drawings bring to life the author's summers in rural Tennessee.
Ancona, George, Helping Out (3-7). Photographs of children who are enjoying helping adults with many different types of work.
Anderson, C. W., The Crooked Colt (3-7). A colt succeeds through perseverance and love. Also the Blaze the Pony series (3-8).
Anno, Mitsumasa, Topsy-Turvies: Pictures to Stretch the Imagination (4-8). Escher-like perspective illusions for children.
Aragon, Jane Chelsea, Salt Hands (3-7). In the middle of the night a young girl watches a deer that comes and licks salt from her hands.
Ardizzone, Edward, Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain (3-8). A little boy who wishes to become a sailor stows away on a steamer and has exciting adventures; first in a series.
Arnosky, Jim, Deer at the Brook (2-6). Picture book of deer introduces nature watching to young children. Also All Night Near the Water (3-6).
Aruego, Jose and Ariane, A Crocodile's Tale (4-8). Philippine folktale of a boy who learns gratitude from a monkey when caught by a crocodile.
Aston, Dianna Hutts, A Seed Is Sleepy (4-10) An informative introduction to the wonders of seeds of many kinds.
Atkins, Jeannine, Anne Hutchinson's Way (6-10). Fictionalized account of Anne Hutchinson's short life in America, told from the viewpoint of one of her younger daughters, succeeds in making a difficult subject understandable to children. It begins with the family traveling to the colonies and ends with Anne's banishment for continuing to hold meetings where she discussed religious ideas that the religious authorities disagreed with.
Atwood, Ann, The Little Circle (4-7). A little circle's search to find itself in nature, illustrated with photographs.
Atwood, Ann, and Erica Anderson, For All That Lives (7-up). Photographs illustrate brief quotations from Albert Schweitzer on reverence for, and the oneness of, all life.
Baker, Jeannie, The Hidden Forest (5-10). Collage picture book about a boy who learns to appreciate the sea and its creatures after diving through the kelp beds with a friend.
----- The Mirror (4-up). Book opens to dual English and Arabic picture books, mostly wordless, representing a day of a family in Australia and one in Morocco. Lovely detailed collages bring home the idea that people are similar despite different cultures, environments, and technologies.
----- Window (4-10). Wordless book of elaborate collages shows how a little boy's wilderness home in Australia is engulfed by the city as the years go by. Also Home.
Baker, Sanna Anderson, Mississippi Going North (3-7). A journey by canoe north from the Mississippi headwaters through the unspoiled Minnesota wetlands.
Balgassi, Haemi, Peacebound Trains (5-9). Story of a family's separation and escape from Seoul during the Korean War; based on a true story.
Bang, Molly, When Sophie Gets Angry -- Really, Really Angry . . . (2-8). A little girl turns to nature to get over her anger.
Banks, Kate, A Gift from the Sea (5-11). With few words, the author suggests the many adventures a rock has undergone from the time of the dinosaurs till a boy finds it at the beach.
Barasch, Lynne, Radio Rescue (6-11). A boy's enthusiasm for being an amateur radio operator in the 1920s allows him to contact people around the world, and to help in emergencies; based on a true story.
Barker, Cicely Mary, Flower Fairy Series (2-6). Accurate paintings of plants, shown with their "fairies," with poems giving information about the plants. Series includes "Spring," "Summer," "Trees," "Garden," and many more.
Barrett, Judi, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (4-12). Grandpa's tall tale about the disaster that overwhelms a city where food and drink fall from the sky.
Bash, Barbara, Ancient Ones: The World of the Old-Growth Douglas Fir (5-12). Captures the atmosphere of the old-growth forest in describing the life cycle of the firs and the web of life they support.
Bauer, Caroline Feller, Midnight Snowman (4-8). Neighborhood parents and children enjoy making a snowman together late one night.
Bauer, Marion Dane, The Longest Night (3-10). On the cold longest night of the year, various animals in the forest seek to bring back the sun, but it is the little chickadee that finally summons it; evokative illustrations.
Baylor, Byrd, Before You Came This Way (4-up). Rock paintings in a deserted canyon lead to a discussion of ancient peoples.
----- The Desert Is Theirs (4-up), and The Other Way to Listen (7-up). These books bring out the oneness of nature and man, and ways of getting in tune with nature and oneself.
----- The Way to Start a Day (5-up). The many ways people of the world, past and present, greet the new day.
Bemelmans, Ludwig, Parsley (4-7). Friendship and helpfulness between a stag and an old, twisted tree. Also the Madeliene series (4-7).
Berendt, John, My Baby Blue Jays (3-6). An account of blue jays nesting on the author's city balcony, from building the nest through one of the young's adventures leaving the nest; illustrated with photos.
Berger, Barbara, Animalia (5-up). Thirteen short tales from various cultures about people who have lived gently with animals.
----- Grandfather Twilight (3-7). Twilight personified as an old man brings the night in a fascinating bedtime story without words.
Beskow, Elsa, Ollie's Ski Trip (4-8). A young Swedish boy's adventures with Jack Frost and King Winter.
----- Peter and the Blueberry Children (4-8). Imaginative pictures bring to life Peter's adventures with the inhabitants of the Swedish countryside. Also Around the Year (4-7).
Blake, Robert J., The Perfect Spot (4-up). In this picture book, a boy and his artist father walk through the woods looking for the perfect spot to paint.
Blood, Charles L., and Martin Link, The Goat in the Rug (3-8). Charming story of how a Navaho weaver makes her rugs, told by her pet goat.
Boeke, Kees, Cosmic View: The Universe in 40 Jumps (6-up). A journey in scale to the limits of space and into the atom, imaginatively yet accurately done, which provides a cosmic perspective on mankind and stimulates the imagination.
Bogacki, Tomek, The Champion of Children: The Story of Janusz Korczak (8-up). The life story of Polish doctor, writer and advocate for children's rights who opened an orphanage for Jewish children in 1912, which the children ran by their own parliament. When the Nazis conquered Poland in WW II, he declined escape and stayed with his children eventually perishing with them in Treblinka extermination camp. It is an up lifting story despite its sad, true ending. As Korczak wrote in his Ghetto Diary: "My life was difficult but interesting. That's the life I asked God for when I was young: God, give me a hard life, but make it beautiful, rich, and noble."
Bogart, Jo Ellen, Big and Small, Room for All (3-6). An exploration of scale in few and simple words, which brings out the interconnection of everything in the universe and our place within it.
Booth, Barbara D., Mandy (6-11). A deaf girl living with her grandmother copes successfully with everyday tasks and a storm in the woods.
Borack, Barbara, Grandpa (4-9). A little girl describes her feelings about her grandfather through the experiences they share together.
Bornstein, Ruth, Little Gorilla (2-6). Everyone loves the little gorilla, even after he grows up.
Brett, Molly, The Runaway Fairy (3-6). Charmingly illustrated story of a rose fairy who leaves the garden to visit her country cousins.
Bridges, Shirin Yim, Ruby's Wish (5-10). The story of the author's grandmother, who grew up in China when girls seldom received advanced education, and how she gets her wish to go to the university.
Bright, Robert, Georgie (3-7). A gentle little ghost in a New England village finds that there is no place like home; first of a series.
Brown, Margaret Wise, Goodnight Moon (2-5). Peaceful bedtime story by the author of many children's favorites.
------: A Children’s Good Night Book (2-6). Everything gets ready to sleep, including the fish , who “sleep with their eyes wide open.”
Browne, Anthony, Gorilla (5-9). A lonely girl, neglected by her busy father, is befriended by a magical gorilla.
Brunelle, Nicholas, Snow Moon (3-8). Fantasy of an white owl leading a boy on a snowy moonlit journey to Owl Ridge.
Brunhoff, Jean de, The Story of Babar (3-8). This first of seven stories about a little elephant's adventures tells of his life in the city and his return to the jungle. Series continued by the author's son Laurent.
Bryan, Ashley, All Things Bright and Beautiful (2-6). Colorful, exuberant cut-paper illustrations of the familiar hymn bring out both the joy of diversity and the oneness of all life.
Bryant, Jen, A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams (7-11). Picture-book biography of the American physician and poet.
Buehner, Caralyn, Fanny's Dream (4-8). Sturdy farm girl hopes to marry a prince like Cinderella did, but is happier with a farmer.
Bulla, Clyde Robert, The Christmas Coat (4-7). Two brothers learn to cooperate when they must fix a neighbor's ruined Christmas present.
----- The Poppy Seeds (4-8). A boy's generosity teaches an old man to share and care; set in Mexico. Also Daniel's Duck (5-7), an easy-to-read book.
Bunting, Eve, Smoky Night (5-up). Displaced because of rioting in their neighborhood, people who resented each other are brought together.
----- Sunshine Home (6-11). Family members learn how much they love and need each other, and the importance of being honest about their feelings, when grandmother enters a rest home. Also Fly Away Home (5-12), about homelessness.
----- The Wall (5-8). Sensitively-told story of a boy who visits the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC with his father, where they find his grandfather's name.
Burgess, Gelett, The Goops and How to Be Them (4-7). Tongue-in-cheek verses on manners and consideration for others.
Burningham, John, Granpa (4-7). Whimsical vignettes of a little girl and her grandfather enjoying each other's company.
----- Hey! Get Off Our Train (3-9). One night a boy and his dog go around the world on his toy train, letting endangered animals join them one by one.
Burton, Virginia Lee, The Little House (3-8). A happy country house is surrounded by the city, rescued, and moved back to the country.
Buscaglia, Leo F., The Fall of Freddie the Leaf (4-up). A "story of life for all ages" explores change and death, using the natural cycle of the seasons.
Caines, Jeanette, Just Us Women (6-9). A girl and her favorite aunt enjoy planning a car trip and then doing what they enjoy most en route.
Carle, Eric, The Mixed-Up Chameleon (3-7). Amusing story of a chameleon who, when his wish to be like other animals in the zoo comes true, realizes the value of being himself. Also The Grouchy Ladybug (2-6), Little Cloud (2-8),“Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth (2-8)
Carlstrom, Nancy White, Grandpappy (5-11). Carefully observed moments during a boy's summer visit with his grandfather bring out the special relationship between them.
Cherry, Lynne, The Great Kapok Tree (5-11). Centered on the interdependence of rainforest life and the importance of preserving the trees.
Chin, Jason, Coral Reefs (6-9). A lot of information about coral reefs and their sea creatures wrapped up in a story about a girl whose library book transports her to the underwater world.
Church, Kristine, My Brother John (3-7). An older brother is braver and bigger, but his little sister is more fearless about one thing.
Crystal, Billy, I Already Know I Love You (3-7). A first-time grandfather anticipates all the fun he'll have with his new grandchild.
Curle, Jock, The Four Good Friends (4-7). A grumpy man learns the value of kindness and hospitality.
Curtis, Chara M., All I See Is Part of Me (3-12). Brings out simply the oneness of each person with the universe, and the spiritual basis of existence.
Damjan, Mischa, Atuk (5-10). After slaying the wolf who killed his puppy, an Eskimo boy discovers that hate and revenge bring no satisfaction.
Davis, Maggie S., Something Magic (4-9). A look back at summers spent at her grandmother's house in Maine, the shared joys and sorrows, and the "magic" inside that we all share.
De Armond, Dale, The Seal Oil Lamp (5-up). Eskimo tale that brings out respect for nature and animals.
de Gerez, Toni, Louhi, Witch of North Farm (3-7). A tale from the Finnish Kalevala.
Demi, The Empty Pot (4-10). Beautiful, Chinese-style illustrations enhance the story of how a boy's honesty wins him the Emperor's throne; continued in The Greatest Power.
----- Liang and the Magic Paintbrush (4-7). With a magic paintbrush, a poor boy paints pictures which come to life.
De Paola, Tomie, The Hunter and the Animals (2-6). Wordless book about a hunter becoming friends with the animals.
----- Now One Foot, Now the Other (6-12). Touching story of the close relationship between a little boy and his grandfather, which continues as the boy helps his grandfather recover from a stroke.
----- The Parables of Jesus (3-12). Features 17 New Testament parables.
De Regniers, Beatrice Schenk, A Little House of Your Own (3-7). Expresses charmingly each person's need for a special place.
Dharma Publishing, Jataka Tales series (3-up). Individual tales with full-page color illustrations celebrate the power of compassion and wisdom.
Dickinson, Emily, I'm Nobody! Who Are You? (4-up). Picture book of the author's poems, selected for children.
DiSalvo-Ryan, DyAnne, Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen (5-8). A boy helps his uncle and learns that soup kitchens are busy, friendly places for helping others.
Dolphin, Laurie, Our Journey from Tibet (5-12). Based on a true story and illustrated with photographs, this book tells of the flight of three young sisters from central Tibet to Nepal and then India in order to receive a good education that includes Tibetan history and culture, and finally shows them at their school in Dharamsala, India.
Driscoll, Laura, The Bravest Cat! The True Story of Scarlett (3-6). Retells the true story of a stray cat who rescues her kittens from a burning building, is injured, and finally finds a happy home; beginning reader.
Eisenberg, Phyllis Rose, You're My Nikki (4-7). A little girl needs reassurance that she won't be forgotten when her mother goes back to work.
Ets, Marie Hall, In the Forest (2-6). A boy goes for a walk in the forest blowing his trumpet, and is joined by a parade of animals.
----- Mister Penny (4-8). Mr. Penny's lazy animals learn the satisfaction of helping and working. Also Play with Me (3-6).
Falconer, Ian, Olivia (4-11). Energetic, feisty little pig enjoys her day; whimsical illustrations.
Fish, Helen Dean, When the Root Children Wake Up (4-8). Beautifully illustrated story from the early 1900s about the waking of life in spring, its flourishing in summer, and its return to the earth in autumn.
Flack, Majorie, Angus and the Cat (3-6). Gentle story of a Scottie dog who chases the new cat in his house for several days, and then finds they've become friends; first of a series. Also The Story about Ping (3-6).
Fox, Mem, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge (4-7). A caring little boy helps an old woman find her lost memory.
Frost, Helen, Step Gently Out (2-up). Very simple poetic text with amazing close-up shots of insects exactly matching the text makes this an outstanding nature book.
Frost, Robert, Birches, ill. Ed Young (8-up), and Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, ill. Susan Jeffers (3-up). Beautifully-done picture books of these individual poems.
Fyleman, Rose, A Fairy Went A-Marketing (3-up). Poem with the theme of having and letting go.
Gaes, Jason, My Book for Kids with Cansur (4-10). In this "Child's Autobiography of Hope," an 8 year-old shares his experiences with cancer in order to help other children; illustrated by his brothers.
Gerstein, Mordicai, The Mountains of Tibet (4-up). A boy grows up, dies, and chooses to return to the same valley in Tibet; inspired by the author's reading of the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
Gilman, Phoebe, Something from Nothing (3-7). Warm retelling of a Jewish folktale about a boy and his grandfather, a tailor who remakes a blanket into smaller and smaller things as they become worn out; detailed pictures kids will enjoy.
Goble, Paul, Buffalo Woman (4-up). Plains Indian tale shows the transforming power of love and the kinship of humans and animals.
Goffstein, M. B., Natural History (3-6). Simple, effective presentation of the brotherhood of all life.
Goudey, Alice E., The Day We Saw the Sun Come Up (5-8) and Houses from the Sea (5-8). Sensitive handling of nature themes of day and night and of sea shells.
Graham, Bob, A Bus Called Heaven (5-8). An abandoned bus becomes a community project, bringing the diverse men, women and children together.
Gray, Nigel and Philippe Dupasquier, A Country Far Away (3-8). Parallel pictures bring out underlying similarities amid obvious differences in the daily lives of a European city boy and a rural African boy.
Greenfield, Eloise, Africa Dream (4-8). A little girl dreams of going to the Africa of long ago, where she meets with many archetypal experiences about her heritage.
----- Grandpa's Face (3-9). When she sees her actor Grandpa rehearse a very mean face, Tamika is afraid that someday he will look at her that way; a reassuring book.
----- The Great Migration: Journey to the North (6-8). Atmospheric account of African-American families leaving the South for jobs in the North, from 1915 to 1930.
----- Night on Neighborhood Street (4-10). Gentle poems about the life of people in an African-American part of a city.
----- They Come Bringing Me that Little Baby Girl (4-8). Kevin is very disappointed to have a baby sister until he realizes the important role he has to play in her life, just like his Uncle Roy did with his Mama.
Grifalconi, Ann, Kinda Blue (4-8). A little girl is lonely until her uncle explains that everything is individual and needs special attention.
Griffith, Helen V., Grandaddy's Place (4-10). In these whimsical humorous stories, everything seems strange when Janetta goes with her mother to visit Grandaddy in the Georgia countryside, but soon she becomes great friends with Grandaddy, his cat and his mule. Continued in Grandaddy and Janetta and Grandaddy's Stars.
Grindley, Sally, Knock, Knock! Who's There? (3-7). A father and daughter play a bedtime game where one scary creature after another knocks at her door but she won't let them in, until her father comes as himself.
Guest, Elissa Haden, Iris and Walter (4-7). A city girl is sad when her family moves to the country until she finds a new friend; easy-reader.
Hall, Donald, The Farm Summer 1942 (4-11). During WW II Peter's mother gets a summer job in New York, and nine-year-old Peter goes to stay with his grandparents on the New Hampshire farm where his father grew up, experiencing a way of life very different from his life in San Francisco.
Hartley, Deborah, Up North in Winter (4-8). Dad tells a story about hard times in 1911 when his Grandpa had to work away from the farm all week, and his Grandpa's adventures one bitter Friday night walking home three hours across the frozen lake after missing the train.
Hawthorn, Libby, Way Home (7-10). A young homeless city boy finds a stray kitten and takes it to his "home," with several sometimes threatening adventures along the way; perhaps best read with an adult.
Heide, Florence Parry and Judith Heide Gilliland, The Day of Ahmed's Secret (4-10). A boy who works all day waits till evening to tell his family a happy secret; pictures bring Cairo's streets alive.
----- The House of Wisdom (5-9). Tells about the famous library in 9th-century Baghdad, focusing on the boy who became the greatest translator of Aristotle's works into Arabic.
----- Sami and the Time of the Troubles (4-10). Daily life of a boy and his family in war-torn Beirut shows the determination of people living in tragic chaos; beautifully illustrated.
Hendershot, Judith, In Coal Country (5-up). Reminiscences about growing up in a coal-mining town.
Hendrickson, Karen, Baby and I Can Play (3-12). Acquaints older siblings with enjoyable activities they can initiate with an infant brother or sister, including positive things they can do when they resent the baby.
Henkes, Kevin, Little White Rabbit (2-6). A little rabbit, setting off on a spring day, finds much to stimulate his imagination – what it would be like to be green, to be tall as a fir tree, still as a stone?
Henterly, Jamichael, Good King Wenceslas (all ages). Sumptuous illustrations enhance the familiar Christmas carol.
Herriot, James, Moses the Kitten (4-10). Love of animals comes through clearly in this story of an abandoned kitten adopted on a North England farm; included in James Herriot's Treasury for Children (4-12), a collection of Herriot's animal-story picture books in one volume.
Hest, Amy, The Purple Coat (5-8). A little girl and her tailor grandfather conspire to make her a purple coat.
Hewett, Joan, Rosalie (4-8). Depicts a family's love for their very old dog.
Hickman, Martha Whitmore, When Andy's Father Went to Prison (5-9). The story of one boy addresses the concerns of children whose fathers are in prison, and gives understanding of children in that situation.
Hill, Laban Carrick, Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave (5-8). Story about a South Carolina potter of the mid 1800s, one of the few enslaved craftsmen whose named work has survived.
Hirschi, Ron, Who Lives in . . . the Forest? (2-4). Lovely photos invite the very young to look at animals in the forest; one of a series.
Hirst, Robin and Sally, My Place in Space (4-8). A brother and sister pinpoint their location on earth and in the universe for a skeptical bus driver.
Hiscock,Bruce, Ookpik: The Travels of a Snowy Owl (3-12). Beautiful picture book of the life and habits of these arctic birds, told as the story of one bird’s first year of life.
Ho, Minfong, Hush! A Thai Lullaby (2-5). Rhyming bedtime story where the mother asks the animals not to disturb her sleeping baby.
Hodges, Margaret, The Golden Deer (5-9). Picture book of one of the Jataka tales, telling how Buddha as a stag caused a king to respect all life.
Hoffman, Mary, An Angel Just Like Me (4-10). A boy of African heritage searches for a Christmas angel that looks like him, but only finds it on Christmas Day as a gift from an artist friend; a warm family story.
-------: Princess Grace (5-8). Grace and her school friends discover that there are many types of princesses while preparing for the class float for the town parade. One of the excellent Amazing Grace series.
Hoose, Hannah and Phil, Hey, Little Ant (4-8). An ant tries to convince a boy to spare him; emphasizes compassion and empathy for all beings.
Houston, Gloria, My Great-Aunt Arizona (5-9). The life of a girl born in a log cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains who went to a one-room school house and then returned as a teacher to inspire generations of students; based on a true story.
------: The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree (4-10). In 1918 Appalachia, Ruthie's father has been away at war, but she and her mother manage to bring the tree her father chose to donate to the town from the mountain to the church for a wonderful Christmas celebration; a story of courage and family love.
Howard, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys (5-8). Based on a true story from the author's family, the older boys in an African American family after the Civil War finally take their little sister on the seven mile walk to school, where they spend the school week before returning home again. A note by the author tells more of the history and what happens to the children whey they've grown up.
Hutton, Warwick, Noah and the Great Flood (3-7). Effectively illustrated retelling of the Bible story.
Ichikawa, Satomi, Nora's Castle (5-8). Adventurous Nora and her dog explore the abandoned castle outside her village, and has a party for its varied inhabitants in this imaginative book with a slightly creepy atmosphere.
Innocenti, Roberto, Rose Blanche (10-up). A girl in Nazi Germany takes the soldiers and fascism for granted until she sees a little boy try to escape from a truck and eventually discovers the concentration camp near her town; in the end she is killed in the battle for the village. An unusual, tragic book that parents will want to look over to gage their own reaction.
Isadora, Rachel, At the Crossroads (6-8). South African children celebrate and wait outside their small township all night long when their fathers are coming home after spending ten months at the mines.
Iyengar, Malathi Michelle, Tan to Tamarind: Poems about the Color Brown (3-10). Picture book celebrating the beauty of different shades of brown, in nature and skin tones.
Jaspersohn, William, How the Forest Grew (6-12). A clearing becomes a climax forest over a period of 200 years.
Jeffers, Susan, Brother Eagle, Sister Sky (5-12). Using words attributed to Chief Seattle, this beautiful picture book describes respect and love for the earth and concern about its destruction.
Jenkins, Emily, Five Creatures (3-8). Comparisons among members of a happy household of three humans and two cats.
Johnson, Angela, When I Am Old with You (3-8). A child thinks of all the things he likes to do with his grandfather.
Johnson, Jen Cullerton, Seeds of Change (6-11). Biography of Noble Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, the first African woman and environmentalist to win this honor.
Joslin, Sesyle, What Do You Say, Dear? (4-7). Delightful, absurd situations illustrate good manners.
Joyce, William, Bently and Egg (4-9). The adventures of a sophisticated frog looking after an egg for his friend, the duck. Also, The Leaf Men (4-8).
Keats, Ezra Jack, The Snowy Day (2-6). A little boy explores his city neighborhood on a snowy day.
Keller, Holly, Grandfather's Dream (6-8). During the Vietnam War wetlands were drained, the cranes no longer came, and people planted rice. Now Grandfather wants to flood some of the land so the cranes will return again, but will people give up the rice fields and will the cranes come back?
--------: Horace (4-8). A family of tigers adopts a leopard cub who loves his tiger parents but feels that he doesn't belong, and goes to seek a family that looks like him. Once he finds them, he is content to return to his tiger family and choose to live with them.
Keller, Laurie, Do Unto Otters (3-7). A rabbit, nervous about the otters who move in next door, gets a lesson in applying the Golden Rule, learning manners with plenty of humor.
Kerley, Barbara, One World, One Day (2-8). The events that make up a typical day are depicted through photos of children from around the world, showing the unity in diversity.
----- : Walt Whitman: Words for America (10-up). A biography of the poet that emphasizes his activities during the Civil War.
Kesselman, Wendy, Emma (6-11). A 72-year old woman takes up painting and finds great pleasure in it.
Ketteman, Helen, Mama's Way (5-10). Wynona feels she must have a new dress for sixth-grade graduation, not the hand-me-down from a wealthier friend whom her mother sews for, but money is tight. In the course of this conflict, Wynona learns much about what is really important and about her mother's love.
Khan, Hena, Night of the Moon: A Muslim Holiday Story (5-8). Yasmeen and her family celebrate Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting that ends with the feast of Eid; set in America.
Kittinger, Jo S., The House on Dirty-third Street (5-9). When a girl and her mom move into a rundown house because that's all they can afford, at first they become discouraged but then the people in their new neighborhood come together to help them make it a real home.
Kraus, Robert, Herman the Helper (3-7). A little octopus helps everyone around him.
----- Leo the Late Bloomer (6-10). Despite his father's worries, Leo learns to read, write, draw, and speak all in his own good time.
Krauss, Ruth, The Big World and the Little House (4-7). A family makes an abandoned house into a home.
Kudlinski, Kathleen V., Boy, Were We Wrong about Dinosaurs! (4-10). Explains how our knowledge about dinosaurs was formed, showing that information and theories continually change.
Kurelek, William, A Northern Nativity: Christmas Dreams of a Prairie Boy (6-up). Author-artist depicts the Nativity in various Canadian settings during the Depression, asking "If it happened there, why not here? If it happened then, why not now?" Thought-provoking, filled with compassion, and universal in its spiritual message.
Lamb, Albert, Tell Me the Day Backwards (2-6). A bear cub and his mother enjoy their bedtime ritual of remembering together the events of the day starting from evening and going back to the morning.
Lasker, Joe, He's My Brother (5-11). An older brother tells about the problems and happy times, at home and at school, of his younger brother who has a learning disability.
Lattimore, Deborah Nourse, Why There Is No Arguing in Heaven (6-10). A retelling of the Mayan creation story.
Leaf, Munro, The Story of Ferdinand (3-7). A gentle bull refuses to fight in the bull ring in this charming classic.
Lenzen, Hans Georg, The Blue Marble (5-10). A quiet boy is given a marble that stimulates his imagination, and afterwards he passes it on to another child.
Lesser, Carolyn, The Goodnight Circle (4-8). Peaceful goodnight book recounting the cycle of the day animals going to sleep and the night creatures' activities.
Lester, Alison, Are We There Yet? (5-11). Charming travelogue featuring a family of five who take a three-month trip around the whole of Australia in their tent trailer, seeing many noteworthy sites.
Levine, Ellen, Henry's Freedom Box (6-9). Fictonalized account of how in 1849 slave Henry Brown escaped to Philadelphia with the help of abolitionists by mailing himself there in a wooden box.
Levinson, Riki, Watch the Stars Come Out (4-9). Grandma tells how when her mother and uncle were children they crossed the Atlantic alone to meet their parents and older sister in New York City; based on a family event.
Lindgren, Astrid, The Tomten (3-7). A Swedish tomte (gnome) visits animals and people on a farm one winter night. Also The Tomten and the Fox .
Lionni, Leo, Frederick (3-6). A poet-mouse stores up his own gifts for the winter.
----- Little Blue and Little Yellow (2-5). A story of friendship told with patches of color.
----- Swimmy (3-6). A different little fish finds a way to help the other fishes.
Li-Qiong, Yu, A New Year's Reunion (3-7). Maomao and her mother enjoy the New Year's visit by her father, who works far away the rest of the year; warm and poignant story of love surviving separation, colorful illustrations.
Lobel, Arnold. Frog and Toad Are Friends (3-7). One in a series featuring these friends and their adventures.
----- Uncle Elephant (4-8). When his parents don't return from a journey, a little elephant is taken care of by his elderly uncle until the parents return in this gentle and humorous easy reader.
Locker, Thomas, Where the River Begins (4-8). Beautiful landscape illustrations highlight the story of two brothers and their grandfather hiking from their home to the headwaters of the river that flows by their house.
Loh, Morag, Tucking Mommy In (3-10). Reversing roles, two little girls help their tired mother get ready for bed.
Longfellow, H. W., Hiawatha's Childhood, ill. Errol Le Cain (4-7). Selections from Hiawatha's childhood as a picture book; a still briefer selection is available in Hiawatha, ill. Susan Jeffers (4-7).
Louchard, Antonin, Little Star (4-9). Wordless story of a starfish's adventures dreaming it is a celestial star, based on a poem by Hubert Michel.
Luenn, Nancy, Nessa's Fish (5-8). Nessa and her grandmother go fishing at an Arctic lake half a day from autumn camp, and when her grandmother becomes ill Nessa must protect her and the fish they caught from the wild animals two nights and a day, until her family comes to find them.
Lyon, George Ella, Who Came Down That Road? (5-8). Mother and child ponder who might have traveled down an old, old road from pioneer days to prehistory in this beautifully illustrated book.
----- Together (3-7). Simple, songlike text about the dreamlike adventures two best friends could have.
MacDonald, Golden, The Little Island (3-7). Although the island was little, it was part of the whole and had an important role to play.
MacLachlan, Patricia, Mama One, Mama Two (5-10). Maudie misses her mother, who had become too sad to take care of herself or her little girl, but loves her foster mother who will be there for her until her mother can come back; a reassuring book about a difficult situation.
Manor, Salley, A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes (1-8). The full-page embroidered-fabric illustrations in this fine collection of nursery rhymes makes it especially memorable and intriguing.
Marshall, James, George and Martha Encore (3-7). One in a series of humorous, sensitive stories about two hippo friends.
Martignacco, Carole, The Everything Seed: A Story of Beginnings (4-up). Striking yet simple retelling of how the primordial seed "unfolded to become everything in the Universe."
Martin, Bill, Jr., and John Archambault, Knots on a Counting Rope (6-12). Close bond between a blind Navaho boy and his grandfather.
Martin, Jacqueline Briggs, Snowflake Bentley (5-7). A Vermont farmer is fascinated with snowflakes and despite criticism and indifference, he discovers a way to photograph them so he can share this wonder with others.
Maruld, Toshi, Hiroshima no Pika (9-up). A family's experience when the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima is movingly told in this picture book in the interest of peace. A powerful book, for younger children best read with parents.
Mathers, Petra, Lottie’s New Beach Towel (3-8). Picture book about a hen’s day at the beach and her adventures boating with her friend Herbie.
Mayer, Marianna, Beauty and the Beast (6-10). Well-told, beautifully illustrated version of this classic tale.
Mayer, Mercer, East of the Sun and West of the Moon (3-10). Author skillfully combines elements from "The Frog Prince" and "East o' the Sun, West o' the Moon"; exquisitely illustrated.
McBrier, Page, Beatrice's Goat (5-10). A family in Uganda receives a goat from Heifer Project International, which changes their lives; fact based.
McCarty, Peter, Hondo & Fabian (3-9). Hondo the dog goes to the beach to meet his friend, while Fabian the cat spends the day at home.
McCloskey, Robert, Make Way for Duckling (3-7), One Morning in Maine (4-7), and Time of Wonder (4-9). The inimitable ties between man and nature told with gentle charm.
McCourt, Lisa, Chicken Soup for Little Souls: The Goodness Gorillas (5-9). Classmates form a club to perform random acts of kindness, even for the meanest boy in class.
McDonnell, Patrick, Me ... Jane (4-7). Simple picture book about Jane Goodall as a little girl who was curious about everything and dreamed of living with and helping animals in Africa.
McDermott, Gerald, Anansi the Spider (3-8) and The Magic Tree (4-8). Two dramatically illustrated, effectively told African tales.
----- Arrow to the Sun (3-up). Striking illustrations bring to life this insightful telling of a Pueblo Indian initiation tale. Also Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest (4-8).
----- The Voyage of Osiris (7-up). The trials and triumph of Osiris and Isis, with the author's distinctive illustrations.
McNulty, Faith, The Lady and the Spider (4-8). A gardener spares a spider living in her lettuce plant; brings out the value of all life.
McPhail, David, Mole Music (4-8). Teaching himself to play the violin brings joy and peace into Mole's simple life.
Messner, Kate, Over and Under the Snow (3-7). In this simple, atmospheric story, a girl and her father explore the snowy countryside, observing and thinking about all the animals living above and under the snow.
Michelson, Richard, As Good as Anybody (6-10). Explores what in their experiences as children and adults led Martin Luther King, Jr., and Abraham Joshua Heschel to join together to work for civil rights, particularly in the 1965 March on Selma.
Micklethwait, Lucy, I Spy: An Alphabet in Art (3 - up) A selection of paintings from many eras of Western art, each to be searched for something starting with a letter of the alphabet, sometimes obvious, sometimes hard to find.
Miller, Sara Swan, , Three Stories You Can Read to Your Dog (4-10). Amusing stories written from a dog's point of view, concerning burglars, bones, and running free.
Minarik, Else, Little Bear (3-5). Warm relationships in a family of bears; one in a series.
Molk, Laurel, When You Were Just a Heartbeat (4-6). Anticipation for the coming baby in terms of the changing seasons; expectant parents may enjoy it also.
Mora, Pat, A Library for Juana: The World of Sor Juana Inés (8-12). How Mexican poet and intellectual, Sister Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651 - 1695), received a first-rate education at a time when few women did.
----- Tomas and the Library Lady (4-9). A child of migrant farm workers learns the wonder of books; based on experience of Tomas Rivera, a chancellor of the University of California.
Morimoto, Junko, My Hiroshima (8-12). Author's experiences leading up to and after the atomic bomb was dropped on her city, Hiroshima, when she was a young girl, told "to teach our children the importance of not repeating these mistakes and to give them the heart to care for and value all life on earth"; adults may wish to read it with younger children.
Morris, Jackie, The Ice Bear (5-8). In this strikingly illustrated mythic tale set in the arctic, Raven steals a bear cub who becomes a human infant when found by a human couple; when he is older, he must choose whether to live with his bear or human family.
Muir, John, retold by Donnell Rubay, Stickeen: John Muir and the Brave Little Dog (4-12). Picture book tells of Muir's growing friendship with a dog who comes with him on a dangerous Alaskan adventure.
Nelson, S. D., Black Elk's Vision: A Lakota Story (7-up). Biography of Black Elk, who was at the battle of Little Big Horn, the Wounded Knee massacre, and in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. The book focuses on his vision as a young man as well as the history of the Sioux nation. Told partly in Black Elk's own words, and illustrated with photographs and the author's paintings.
Newberry, Clare Turlay, Mittens (3-7). When Richard finally gets a kitten, it becomes lost and finally found; beautifully illustrated.
Newth, Philip, Roly Goes Exploring: A Book for Blind and Sighted Children, in Braille and Standard Type, with Pictures to Feel as well as to See (2-5). Imaginative book suitable for both sighted and blind students, with printed and Braille text and cut-out illustrations that can be seen and felt.
Nikola-Lisa, W., Night is Coming (3-7). Night comes to Grandpa's farm and the wild and domestic animals who live there in this beautifully illustrated, peaceful book.
Nivola, Claire A., Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle (5-8). Picture-book biography of the well-known oceanographer, from her childhood in New Jersey, teens in Florida, and subsequent scientific research, bringing out our connection with the lives in the sea.
Nolan, Dennis, Sea of Dreams (3-8). In this wordless picture book, after a little girl leaves her sandcastle in the evening as the tide comes in, a light comes on in one of the windows and its miniature inhabitants escape by boat.
Oberman, Sheldon, The Always Prayer Shawl (5-9). When a young Jewish boy moves from Russia to the United States, experiencing many changes, the prayer shawl his grandfather gave him on their parting is a point of stability; finally, when he becomes a grandfather himself, he gives this prayer shawl to his own grandson.
Ormerod, Jan, Messy Baby (2-6). A sensitive father accepts the chaos produced by a very young child undoing his clean-up efforts.
----- Moonlight (2-7). Humorous, wordless book about parents putting a young child to bed. Also Sunshine (2-7).
Parker, Robert Andrew, Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum (6-11). Biography concentrating on the childhood of piano virtuoso Art Tatum, who was almost blind.
Paterson, Katherine, Brother Sun, Sister Moon (3-up). Pamela Dalton's stunning cut-paper illustrations make this a wondrous interpretation of St. Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Creatures.
Perkins, Lynne Rae, Home Lovely (5-8). Moving to an isolated mobile home, a little girl makes a garden with the help of the postman.
Pieck, Anton, A Day to Remember (3-12). Detailed, old-fashioned illustrations from this Dutch artist anchor an episodic story about a 19th-century Dutch Christmas.
Pilkey, Dav, The Paperboy (4-10). A paperboy and his dog go through their early-morning routine together.
----- When Cats Dream (3-8). Colorful, uninhibited fantasy about what cat's might imagine in their wildest dreams.
Piper, Watty, The Little Engine That Could (3-7). Success story about the little train that needed to get over the mountain.
Polacco, Patricia, Chicken Sunday (6-11). Two brothers and the girl next door want to get Grandma a hat she's been admiring for Easter, but the shopkeeper mistakes them for the hoodlums that throw eggs at his store because he's Jewish. The children make him some Ukrainian dyed eggs, which he has them sell at his shop, and then he gives them the hat for Grandma. A book of positive interracial and interreligious relationships based on the author's youth.
------ The Keeping Quilt (7-12). Follows the relations and changes in a family of Russian Jews from the great-grandmother's immigration to America to the author's children, unified by a quilt made using the great-grandmother's shawl.
--------: Lemonade Club (6-10). In this uplifting true story, best friends Traci and Marilyn love their empowering fifth-grade teacher, but when Marilyn and her teacher each get cancer, Traci and her class find ways to help them not give up.
------: Thank You, Mr. Falker (6-9). A girl struggles with reading and math in school, feeling dumb and being bullied by other children, until her compassionate fifth-grade teacher finally understands she has dyslexia and helps her learn to read; based on the author's own experience.
Potter, Beatrix, The Tale of Peter Rabbit (3-7). First of the author's many beautifully written and illustrated stories; available in many editions. Favorites include Mrs. Titlemouse, Jeremy Fisher, and Tom Kitten.
Provensen, Alice and Martin, Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm (3-7) and The Year at Maple Hill Farm (3-7). Character and idiosyncrasies of the animals on the authors' farm, and their experience of the passing seasons.
Rawlings, Marjorie Kinnan, The Secret River, ill. Leo and Diane Dillon (4-8). In this modern fairy tale, during hard times, a little girl in the rural south finds a secret river whose fish bring back good times, but she can only find it once.
Ray, Deborah Kogan, Wanda Gag: The Girl Who Lived to Draw (5-12). Inspirational story of girl who through determination and grit overcame childhood hardships to become an artist and beloved illustrator/author; very well done.
Ray, Mary Lyn, Pianna (5-8). Anna, eighty years old, remembers her childhood in rural Massachusetts living in the house her father built, centering on the piano lessons that gave her her nickname.
-----: Stars (2-6). Stars in the heaven and star-shapes on earth bring people wonder and joy.
Raynor, Dorka, Grandparents around the World (all ages). Full-page photos of grandparents and children from 25 countries.
Rayner, Mary, Mr. and Mrs. Pig's Evening Out (3-8). Mr. and Mrs. Pig leave their ten piglets with a new babysitter, Mrs. Wolf.
Richardson, Frederick, ill., Great Children's Stories: Classic Volland Edition (3-7). Traditional European tales, such as "The Little Red Hen," "The Old Woman and Her Pig," and "The Straw Ox"; notable illustrations.
----- Mother Goose: Classic Volland Edition (all ages). Beautiful, large, color illustrations make this Mother Goose extra-special.
Ringi, Kjell, The Man Who Had No Dream (4-8). A rich man is transformed by caring for an injured bird.
Ringgold, Faith, Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky (5-10). In a dream, Cassie and her brother travel on the Underground Railroad with Harriet Tubman, learning about slavery and the flight to freedom.
Rosen, Michael, Michael Rosen’s Sad Book (5-up). Picture book about deep sadness, built around the author’s sadness at his son’s and mother’s deaths, how he feels and the ways he tries to cope with it; very honest and deeply felt.
Russo, Marisabina, Always Remember Me: How One Family Survived World War II (5-10). The story of how the author's grandmother, mother and two aunts, Polish Jews living in Germany, survived the Holocaust , sensitively told.
Ryder, Joanne, Chipmunk Song (3-8). A little girl imagines that she, too, has shrunk to chipmunk-size and is taking part in the chipmunk's life.
Rylant, Cynthia, Appalachia: The Voices of Sleeping Birds (6-up). Atmospheric paintings and text describe life in the mountains.
------: The Bird House (4-10). Modern fairy tale of a homeless girl who finds a home with an old woman and the wild birds around her house.
Sakai, Komako, Emily's Balloon (3-7). Gentle picture book about a little girl becoming friends with her balloon, and playing house with it until it blows into a tree, where it spends the night before her mother can get a ladder to get it down.
----- Mad at Mommy (3-7). One Saturday a little rabbit wakes up angry and tells his mother why. After leaving "to go some place far, far away," he returns in a few minutes and all is right again. Also The Snowy Day.
Salas, Laura Purdie, A Leaf Can Be... (3-6). Imaginative, poetic consideration of the many roles that leaves can play.
Sanders, Nancy L, D is for Drinking Gourd: An African-American Alphabet (6-12). Beautifully-illustrated picture book with sidebars that give information about some of the achievements and contributions of African Americans throughout history.
San Souci, Robert D., The Faithful Friend (5-10). West Indian folktale of two friends, black and white, who save each other through their loyalty, bravery, and goodness.
----- The Legend of Scarface (4-10). Blackfoot Indian tale of a hero, unattractive in appearance, who triumphs through kindness, courage, and determination.
Saudo, Coralie, My Dad Is Big and Strong, But...: A Bedtime Story (4-8). Dad always makes a terrible fuss when his son tries to get him to go to bed in this humorous role-reversal story.
Say, Allen, The Bicycle Man (4-8). Two American soldiers in occupied Japan transform villagers' apprehension into friendship. Also Grandfather's Journey (4-12).
Scholes, Katherine, Peace Begins with You (4-9). Simple presentation of what peace means and how we can each contribute to it.
Schubert, Ingrid and Dieter, The Umbrella (4-7). In this wordless book, a small black dog grabs onto an umbrella on a windy day and is blown around the world.
Scott, Elaine, Space, Stars, and the Beginning of Time: What the Hubble Telescope Saw (11-up). Beginning with a brief history of the telescope, the author discusses the Hubble, its launch, and some of its most notable findings and their implications for understanding basic questions about the universe; illustrated with diagrams and striking photos from the Hubble.
Seeger, Laura Vaccaro, First the Egg (2-5). Spare, colorful treatment of natural and creative transformations, of egg to chicken, caterpillar to butterfly, paint to picture, etc. Also Green (2-6).
Selsam, Millicent, Backyard Insects (2-5), and All Kinds of Babies (2-5). Two of the author's appealing science books for the very young.
Sendak, Maurice, Where the Wild Things Are (3-7). How a little boy uses his imagination to handle the frustration of feeling helpless.
Serfozo, Mary, Rain Talk (3-7). A girl and her dog enjoy a rainy day, noticing all the sounds the raindrops make.
Serres, Alain, I Have the Right to Be a Child (5-8). A simple introduction to the concept of human rights through illustrating some of the rights in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Seuss, Dr., Horton Hears a Who (3-7) and Horton Hatches an Egg (3-7). Stories about a conscientious elephant who believes "a person's a person no matter how small" and in keeping his word.
----- How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2-up). About the real meaning of Christmas.
----- The Lorax (4-8). Fable on the importance of preserving the environment.
Shaw, Charles G., It Looked like Spilt Milk (to 6). What are the white splotches on a blue background, which look like so many things?
Shea, Pegi Peitz, The Carpet Boy's Gift (6-11). In a story that honors child labor activist Iqbal Masih, a young Pakistani boy, Nadeem, works in a carpet factory as a bonded laborer. He learns from Iqbal that bonded labor has been outlawed, but only after 12-year-old Iqbal is gunned down does Nadeem lead the children of his factory to freedom at the town school.
--------: The Whispering Cloth: A Refugee's Story (5-12). Mai has spent almost all of her life in a refugee camp in Thailand with her grandmother, who teaches her the Hmong skill of sewing pa'ndau embroidered story cloths and thus gives Mai a way to express her past and hopes.
Shefelman, Janice, A Peddler's Dream (6-11). In a tale of hard work and resourcefulness, Solomon leaves Lebanon for the American Midwest, begins as a traveling peddler, finds work in a dry goods store, saves enough to marry his Lebanese fiancé, and finally builds a large and successful store in Texas.
Sheldon, Dyan, Under the Moon (4-10). After Jenny finds an arrowhead in her back yard and hears her mother's explanation of how Indians had lived where they live now, she camps out in her backyard and dreams that the Native Americans are sharing their former life with her; beautifully illustrated.
Shulevitz, Uri, How I Learned Geography (5-8). When a small boy and his parents flee Russia in WW II for a life of poverty in one of the Muslim Soviet Republics, his father buys a map one day instead of food and, despite his initial resentment, the boy becomes completely captivated by it; based on the author's life.
----- The Magician (5-10). Passover story of a poor elderly couple who entertain Elijah unawares.
----- The Travels of Benjamin of Tudela: Through Three Continents in the Twelfth Century (7-up). A retelling of the travels of a Spanish Jew through Italy, Greece, Palestine, Persia, Egypt and Sicily, a century before Marco Polo.
----- The Treasure (4-up). An old man discovers that "sometimes one must travel far to discover what is near." Also Dawn (3-up).
Sidman, Joyce, Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature (2-6). Simple introduction to the spirals found in many parts of the natural world.
Simon, Mina and Howard, If You Were an Eel, How Would You Feel? (3-6). Imaginative, poetic presentation of various animals.
Simont, Marc, The Stray Dog (3-6). A family meets a friendly stray dog during a picnic in the country, and the next week returns to take him home with them, saving him from the dog catcher.
Sís, Peter, Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei (10-14). Picture book for older children, centering on Galileo's life, discoveries, and persecution by the Church.
----- Tibet through the Red Box, (10-up). Unusual picture book centering on the author's father's diary of his adventures in Tibet right before the Chinese invaded.
-----: The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain (12-up). Artist's autobiography, largely in pictures, about life in Czechoslovakia under the Soviet police state, the freedom of the Prague Spring era, and the return to repression until the collapse of the Soviet system there in 1989.
Skofield, James, All Wet! All Wet! (3-7). Wordless story about nature seen by a small boy on a rainy day.
Skorpen, Liesel Moak, Mandy's Grandmother (5-10). Mandy and her grandmother become good friends once each accepts the other for who she is.
Sleator, William, The Angry Moon (4-8). Tlingit Indian tale of bravery and magic.
Sonneborn, Ruth A., Friday Night is Papa Night (4-8). Warm story of a family looking forward to Papa's return from working all week at distant jobs.
Spier, Peter, People (4-8). Illustrations of people worldwide, with their many superficial differences, bring appreciation of our common humanity. Also London Bridge Is Falling Down (2-7).
Spinelli, Eileen, Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch (7-12). Transformed by an anonymous valentine, a shy man finds his resulting helpfulness and friendliness make him many loving friends.
St. Pierre, Stephanie, What the Sea Saw (2-8)., Lush paintings of the seashore and its lives, with spare lyrical text; brings home the rhythms and interrelations of nature.
Stead, Philip C., A Sick Day for Amos McGee (3-7). Amos the zookeeper always takes extra time to visit with his animal friends, and so the day he stays home with a cold his animal friends come to visit him.
Steig, William, Amos and Boris (3-7). Friendship between a mouse and a whale in this variation of "The Lion and the Mouse." Also Brave Irene (4-10), Doctor de Soto (4-10) and Spinky Sulks (4-10).
Stein, David Ezra, Interrupting Chicken (3-8). In this amusing bedtime story, a little red chicken constantly interrupts her father and inserts herself in familiar nursery tales, saving the characters but short circuiting the stories, until her father finally has her tell him a bedtime story.
Steptoe, John, Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale (7-12). Cinderella tale of two village daughters -- one loving, the other selfish -- who journey to the city seeking to marry the King; picture book.
----- Stevie(5-8). Only after a younger foster brother has left does a boy realize his affection for him.
----- The Story of Jumping Mouse (6-up). Plains Indian tale of a mouse's sacrifice to reach the far-off land; beautifully illustrated.
Stevenson, James, Grandpa's Too-Good Garden (4-8). When Louie and Mary Ann try to start a garden, Grandpa tells a tall tale about his first attempt at gardening with his younger brother. Also Grandpa's Great City Tour (3-7), an alphabet book.
Stolz, Mary, Storm in the Night (7-11). Warm relationship between a boy and his grandfather seen on a stormy night when the lights go out.
Stoop, Naoko, Red Knit Cap Girl (2-6). in this gentle story, a little girl who lives in an enchanted forest with her animal friends wishes to speak with the moon.
Swanson, Susan Marie, The House in the Night (2-6). Almost wordless bedtime story that focuses both on a child's home and on the larger context of earth and sky.
Taback, Simms, Joseph Had a Little Overcoat (2-6). Spirited retelling of the Jewish folksong about how nothing is wasted.
Tan, Shaun, The Arrival (9-up). Wordless, mysterious graphic novel about a man in a strange country who must leave his family to emigrate to a distant city, where various people help him and he has adventures as he prepares for his family to join him. Very imaginative illustrations.
Tejima, Keizaburo, The Bears' Autumn (2-7). Striking double-page color woodcuts depicting a bear and cub fishing for salmon at night. Also Owl Lake (3-8).
Thomas, Jane Resh, Lights on the River (6-10). Scenes from the life of a family of migrant farm workers, with its injustices, joys, and hard work, seen through the eyes of a young girl.
Thoreau, Henry David, Walden (5-10). Short selections from Thoreau's writings, accompanied by full-page linoleum-cut pictures, describe his life in the woods. Selections by Steve Lowe, ill. by Robert Sabuda.
Tolstoy, Leo, Shoemaker Martin (5-10). In this adaptation, a shoemaker wonders how he would welcome Jesus and learns that "as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
Tompert, Ann, The Silver Whistle (5-7). At Christmas in a small Mexican town, a young boy learns that compassion and a gift from yourself are of greater worth than outer grandeur.
Tresselt, Alvin, The Frog in the Well (5-9). A frog finds there is much more to the world than living alone in his well.
----- The Gift of the Tree (4-10). The process of an oak dying and returning to the soil, aided by many animals and plants, is poetically told in this picture book; formerly titled The Dead Tree.
----- White Snow, Bright Snow (3-6). Poetic treatment of events from the first snow through the coming of spring. Also Hide and Seek Fog (4-8)
Troughton, Joanna, Sir Gawain and the Loathly Damsel (3-8). Quest of King Arthur, and Sir Gawain's self-sacrifice and kindness; beautifully illustrated.
Turkle, Brinton, Do Not Open (5-8). An woman and her cat find a bottle on the beach after a storm, and then must outwit the genie inside it.
Turner, Ann, Nettie's Trip South (6-10). Before the Civil War, a 10 year-old Albany girl travels to the South with her older brother and sister, and is very disturbed by what she sees in connection with slavery; based on the diary of the author's great-grandmother.
Tutu, Desmond and Douglas Carlton Abrams, God’s Dream (2-10). Simple, direct, and effective expression of the message of love, brotherhood, and caring.
Udry, Janice May, Let's Be Enemies (4-7). Fed up with his friend's bossiness, John tells him they are enemies, but finds they are good friends indeed.
Ungerer, Tomi, Crictor (4-8). An old lady receives a boa constrictor from her son, which becomes a popular pet for the whole village.
-----: Otto: The Autobiography of a Teddy Bear (5-8). Beginning in Nazi Germany before the Holocaust, this story traces the interrupted friendship of Oscar, a Gentile, and David, a Jew, through the adventures of David's teddy bear, who finally is the means of their finding each other again when they are older men living in New York; a simple book that raises serious issues.
Uhlberg, Myron, Dad, Jackie, and Me (4-8). A hearing boy and his deaf father in Brooklyn follow Jackie Robinson's groundbreaking season for the Dodgers, which has special meaning for the father because of its breaking of thoughtless prejudice; based in the author's childhood.
Ushinshky, Konstantin, How a Shirt Grew in the Field (4-7). Over the course of a year and a half, Vasya sees how his family's flax is turned into a linen shirt for him; translation of a classic Russian children's book from the 19th century.
Valásquez, Eric, Grandma's Gift (4-10). The author as a boy spends Christmas in the barrio with his grandma, and at the museum on a class assignment they see the portrait of artist Juan de Pareja, the only portrait which looks like them. His grandma then gives him his first sketchbook and colored pencils for Christmas; a warm family story. Also Grandma's Records (5-10).
Van Allsburg, Chris, Just a Dream (5-up). A thoughtless boy realizes the importance of caring for the environment after dreaming of a polluted future. Also Polar Express (all ages).
Van Leeuwen, Jean, Amanda Pig and Her Big Brother Oliver (3-7). A little sister who wants to do what her big brother does; one of a series.
--------: Going West (5-8). A family moves to the plains in a covered wagon, experiencing hardship but eventually feeling at home once more.
Vaughan, Maria, Irena's Jars of Secrets (7-11). A Polish Catholic, Irena helps Jewish children escape from the Warsaw ghetto under Nazi rule, keeping their identification on slips of paper buried in jars. Although captured at one point, she escapes and continues her work till the war ends. A brief biography is included at the end of the book.
VerDorn, Bethea, Day Breaks (3-6). Day comes to the people and animals everywhere: forests, deserts, canyons, farmlands, seashore, and city.
Wargin, Kathy-Jo, Alfred Nobel: The Man behind the Peace Prize (6-11). Biography of Nobel, his inventions, and why he established the Nobel prizes; contains a list of all Peace Prize winners through 2008.
Warner, Jody Nyasha, Viola Desmond Won't Be Budged! (7-9). In a 1946 episode from the Civil Rights movement in Canada, a black business woman refuses to move from the main section of the movie theater, is arrested and appeals her arrest to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, which in 1947 dismisses it. But her action inspires many others to protest discrimination against people of color in Canada, which became illegal in the late 1950s.
Watson, Clyde, Father Fox's Pennyrhymes (3-8). Simple, nonsense nursery-rhymes and detailed illustrations evoke the seasons in rural Vermont with whimsy and humor.
Watson, Wendy, Jamie's Story (1-3). Wordless story of a little boy's day helping his parents.
Weigelt, Udo, Bear's Last Journey (3-8). A gentle treatment of a young child's reactions to a friend's last illness and death, told with animal characters.
Weil, Lisl, Wolferl: The First Six Years in the Life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (4-8). Mozart's childhood at home and at the courts of Austria.
Wiesner, David, Flotsam (4-up). Vacationing at the beach with his family, a boy finds an antique underwater camera, develops the film inside and is treated to photos of an undersea world that expand the imagination. Also The Three Pigs (6-11).
Wells, Rosemary, Shy Charles (3-7). A happy, shy mouse refuses to speak to strangers, and his parents' efforts to make him sociable only make matters worse.
Wild, Margaret, Harry and Hopper (5-8). Harry loves his dog Hopper, and after Hopper dies it takes a while for him to let go of his grief.
-----: Thank You, Santa (5-10). In this whimsical story, an Australian girl becomes Santa's pen pal after Christmas and they exchange letters throughout the year.
Wildsmith, Brian, Carousel (6-9). Her brother and her friends help a little girl who suddenly enters a long, serious illness to recover, told in the context of the annual visit of a circus to their town.
-------- Hunter and his Dog (4-8). A kind-hearted dog changes his master's outlook on hunting.
Wilhelm, Hans, I'll Always Love You (4-9). Gently but with humor, a boy tells about many things he and his old dog did and how much he loves him. When the dog finally dies, the boy eventually comes to terms with his grief and knows he will always love and remember his dog.
Willems, Mo, Should I share My Ice Cream? (4-6). In this humorous easy reader, Gerald the Elephant has to decide whether to share his ice cream cone with his best friend, Piggie.
Williams, Sherley Anne, Working Cotton (6-10). A day in the life of a family of African-American migrant workers who pick cotton from dawn till dark; the author worked in the cotton fields around Fresno, CA, as a child.
Williams, Vera B., A Chair for My Mother (4-8). A family saves to buy a special chair after a fire destroys all their furniture; continued in Something Special for Me and Music, Music for Everyone.
Winter, Jeanette, The Watcher: The Story of Jane Goodall (4-6). Simple retelling of Jane Goodall's childhood and work with chimpanzees in Africa.
Wise, Bill, Louis Sackalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer (7-12). The life of the first Native American major league baseball player, telling of his triumph over opposition from the public and his family.
Wisniewski, David, The Warrior and the Wise Man (5-10). A Japanese emperor sets a quest for his twin sons, who are a contrast of brute force and reason; beautiful cut-paper illustrations.
Wolf, Bernard, Homeless (4-10).Photos showing half a year in the life of an 8-year-old boy and his family in rent-free housing in New York City.
Wolkstein, Diane, The Red Lion (6-12). Ancient Persian tale about facing what is before us; beautifully illustrated in the Persian miniature style.
Wood, Douglas, No One but You (4-8). Outstanding treatment of the uniqueness of each child's experience, encouraging the reader to discover the great variety of sensory experiences in their own way.
Wood, Nancy, Old Coyote (5-11). Coyote has grown old and stiff, and although he still enjoys the beautiful world, he knows it's time to take his last journey; a sensitive, reassuring book about death in old age.
Woodson, Jacqueline, Coming on Home Soon (4-8). Poignant story of Ada Ruth and her grandmother waiting at home during wartime for Ada Ruth's mother to come back from distant Chicago, where colored women could earn money cleaning trains; beautiful illustrations.
--------, Pecan Pie Baby (4-8). Gia resents everyone constantly talking about her mother's coming baby, worrying that she'll be displaced and their special times together will end once the baby comes; ends on a reassuring note.
Wyndham, Robert, Chinese Mother Goose Rhymes (1-6). Charming translation of over 40 Chinese children's rhymes, riddles, and chanting games; fine illustrations.
Yaccarino, Dan, All the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel (4-8). In tracing four generations of the author's Italian-American family, starting with his great-grandfather who emigrated from Sorrento, the author shows the continuities and the differences between generations, and hopes to make children ask: how did our family come to America?
-------- Every Friday (3-7). A boy and his father enjoy going out to breakfast every Friday morning before school.
Yamada, Utako, The Story of Cherry the Pig (3-7). Cherry loves to bake and eat desserts all for herself, but after winning first prize at the fair she opens a bakery to share her goodies with everyone.
Yany, Belle, Hannah Is My Name (4-9). Hannah and her parents move from China to San Francisco and confront the difficulties of making ends meet while waiting for their green cards; a warm story based on the author's experience.
Yashima, Taro, Crow Boy (5-10). Sensitive tale of rejection and acceptance.
Yezerski, Thomas F., Meadowlands: A Wetland Survival Story (6-10). Recounts the history of New Jersey's Meadowlands, from before European settlement, through its destruction by development and pollution, to its ongoing recovery through careful stewardship.
Yolen, Jane, Harvest Home (5-8). A family harvests their wheat and then holds a celebration; told in verse.
Yorinks, Arthur, Hey Al (3-10). A janitor and his dog are invited to a tropical paradise by a large bird, but in the end they are grateful to escape back to their small apartment in New York.
Young, Miriam, Miss Suzy's Easter Surprise (3-6). A squirrel unexpectedly finds herself adopting four young squirrels.
Zeeman, Ludmila, Gilgamesh the King (5-12) Retelling the first portion of the myth of Gilgamesh; concluded in two further picture books.
Ziefert, Harriet, A New Coat for Anna (4-7). In postwar WW II Germany, Anna's mother trades her few valuables to the farmer, spinner, weaver, and tailor to get her daughter a new coat by Christmas, showing how cloth is made.
Zolotow, Charlotte, The Hating Book (4-7). About friendship and misunderstanding.
----- My Grandson Lew (4-7). A boy and his mother realize grandfather's influence after his death.
------- This Quiet Lady (4-7). A little girl shows her doll photos of her mother from infancy till when the little girl was born.
----- When the Wind Stops (4-7). Cycles in nature and everyday life. Also William's Doll (4-7).
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