Set in a small town in Maine, this is the story is of a little girl Sal and her mother as they go out into the countryside to pick blueberries to can for winter. At the same time a little bear and his mother go to eat blueberries for their winter hibernation, from the other side of the same hill. What happens is a surprising and delightful mix-up of mothers and offspring.
by Marjorie Flack
Published in 1933, Ping is a domesticated Chinese duck lost on the Yangtze River. The National Education Association named the book one of its “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children. Ping goes with his owner to feed on the riverbank. Next day he is captured for a family’s dinner, but a boy releases him.
by Robert Lopshire
Hope you love dots because this is a book about spots. Spot, a multi-colored, spotted leopard-like animal, thinks he should be in the zoo with all the other wonderful animals. He demonstrates to two young friends, by showing them all the wonderful things he can do with his spots, from changing their color, to juggling them. Children will get a good giggle imagining all the special things Spot can do with spots.
This book caused a sensation when it was published. Young Max is sent to bed without his supper for being too wild. Max’s bedroom magically transforms into a jungle environment, where he sails to an island inhabited by beasts known as the “Wild Things.” At first Max intimidates them, (he is wearing a wolf costume), but then is hailed as the king. He decides, however, to return home, and finds supper waiting for him. The book tackles toddler tantrums (the wild side) but Max is pulled back by the warmth of parental love.
by Beatrix Potter
Beatrix Potter is best known for her imaginative children’s books, featuring animals in British countryside. The most well-known is Peter Rabbit who disobeys his mother’s orders and sneaks into a local farmer’s garden, eating as many vegetables as he can as he is chased out. Peter manages to escape, but not before losing his jacket and shoes, which the farmer uses to dress a scarecrow. Talk about a classic, it has sold 151 million copies and been translated into 35 different languages.
The first of several stories about literature’s most beloved pachyderm. After his mother is killed by a hunter, Babar avoids capture by escaping to the city, where he is befriended by the kindly Old Lady. He becomes educated and cultured and, upon his return to the great forest, is crowned King of the Elephants. The story is translated from its original French. I loved these stories as a kid. As an adult, though, it is interesting to note the slight Old World colonization overtones.
Enjoy and Happy Reading!