• The Best Books for Children

    This post was cited by the Carnival of Family Life: August 2009 edition.

    This one is for parents or grandparents of young kids. It comes by way of my mom who sent me a link to The Best Kids’ Books Ever, a July 4, 2009 NY Times Op-Ed by Nicholas Kristof. His list of best children’s books (or series) are, in ascending order of difficulty (with my parenthetical comment):

    1. Charlotte’s Web (read it),
    2. The Hardy Boys series (read some),
    3. Wind in the Willows (read it, don’t recall a thing),
    4. The Freddy the Pig series (have not read),
    5. The Alex Rider series (never heard of it),
    6. The Harry Potter series (read 1-4),
    7. Gentle Ben (have not read),
    8. Ann of Green Gables (have not read)
    9. The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be (never heard of it),
    10. Little Lord Fauntleroy (not read),
    11. On to Oregon (huh?),
    12. The Prince and the Pauper (not a word),
    13. Lad, a Dog (don’t know it).

    My oldest child is just barely mature enough to handle having Charlotte’s Web to her. The rest will wait until she’s older. Meanwhile, I clearly have some reading to do!

    Kristof invites readers to post their own ideas of the best books for kids to his blog (there are already over 2,000 comments). Or, you can suggest them right here in a comment. I’ll collect them into a unified comment to his blog later.

    • My son always enjoyed the books of Roald Dahl, especially Danny, Champion of the World. Others include James and the Giant Peach and, of course, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. A tad less well known, but very well written, are the works of William Steig, especially Dominic and Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. Very entertaining with excellent messages about life as we’d like to know it.


    • @303 – I am familiar with the books you mention. Perhaps some would be appropriate for my older daughter (now 4.75 y.o.). Good ideas!

    • Interesting that all the books that I mentioned have male lead characters: Danny, James, Charlie, Dominic, and Sylvester. Enough already! I think that your daughters would enjoy them, but stay alert to finding equally enchanting books with female lead characters. Any suggestions?