- Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (excellent recommendation!)
- The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper and Loren Long
- The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese (such a sweet story!)
- Caps for Sale by Sephyr Slobodkina
- Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton (all Burton's childrens books are excellent)
- Henny Penny
- Frog and Toad
- Lyle the Crocodile
- Harry the Dirty Dog
And there are many more great books to read to your young children. And of course, there are some wonderful wordless, or nearly wordless, books that allow you to create a story with your children. Good Night, Gorilla is an excellent example of how a talented illustrator can create a story simply using engaging pictures.
So, there are some additional recommendations for books to share with young children. Now we will move on to recommendations for families with children in middle school.
Marguerite Henry's books make fantastic read-alouds. For horse-lovers they are the end all of literature yet the stories are well rounded and will appeal to children who are uninterested in species of the equine persuasion. Most famous for her Chincoteague Pony books, Henry also wrote about the western Mustang ponies, the development of the Justin Morgan breed, guides to identifying horses, and even a biography on Benjamin West, the great American painter! And you cannot miss King of the Wind, Henry's wonderful book on the Arabian stallions.
- Blossom Comes Home
- Moses the Kitten
- Only One Woof
- The Christmas Day Kitten
- Bonny's Big Day
- The Market Square Dog
- Oscar, Cat-About-Town
- Smudge, the Little Lost Lamb
Once you've read through The Little House on the Prairie, you will be ready for Little Britches by Ralph Moody. The Little Britches series is more advanced than The Little House books and quite a bit more complex but just as endearing. Also autobiographical accounts of a family moving west in search of a better future. You will find yourself shaking your head in amazement, laughing until tears roll down your cheeks, gritting your teeth in frustration, and yes, crying, as you make your way through the adventures of the Moody family.
- The Moffats
- The Middle Moffat
- The Sun and the Wind and Mr. Todd
- Rufus M.
- The Echoing Green
- Sleeping Giant and Other Stories
- Ginger Pye
- A Little Oven
- Pinky Pye
- Miranda the Great
- The Tunnel of Hugsy Goode
- The Lost Umbrella of Kim Chu
- The Coat-Hanger Christmas Tree
- The Moffat Museum
- The Curious Adventures of Jimmy McGee
- Marguerite de Angeli combined exquisitely written stories with beautiful illustrations and made an indelible mark on the world of children's literature. From her stories of Quakers, to her tale of a traveling medieval mistral, her books are all wonderful. My favorites include:
- Henner's Lydia
- Yonie Wondernose
- Thee, Hannah!
- Bright April
- Copper-Toed Boots
- Skippack School
- Turkey for Christmas
- The Door in the Wall
- The Lion in the Box
Mildred D. Taylor's American classics Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and Let the Circle Be Unbroken are difficult titles as they deal with complex issues of hate, racism, prejudice, and injustice, but they also depict great courage, generosity, forgiveness and grace. Many do not know that Roll of Thunder was part of a five-book series. My favorites are Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Let the Circle be Unbroken, and The Road to Memphis.
And that's just a tiny portion of all the wonderful books available for middle school aged children. I will be listing many more in the future, but I hope that gives you a start. And as always, I would love to hear your recommendations! I know there are so many more out there, I simply cannot get to each and every one in a single blog entry, so we will keep working our way through these!