Books on the joy of reading

These fun books present the nuts and bolts of reading in whimsical ways.

By GreatSchools Staff

Alphabet Adventure

Alphabet Adventure by Audrey Wood, illustrated by Bruce Wood
Blue Sky Press (2001), $17

This alphabet book brings to life the "little letters" as they prepare to teach a child the abc's. On the way to school, the dot for lower case i disappears. Throughout the story, the author cleverly weaves information about the alphabet letters — their order, their correct positions and their sounds. The lively illustrations call attention to both upper- and lowercase letters.

Beatrice Doesn't Want To

Beatrice Doesn't Want To by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
Candlewick (2008), $7

Beatrice doesn't like books, reading or the library. Forced to accompany her older brother to the library for three afternoons in a row, Beatrice discovers the magic of books after becoming entranced by a read-aloud.

Book! Book! Book!

Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss, illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke
Arthur A. Levine (2001), $18

The animals at the local farm head to town looking for excitement. When they see all the happy faces leaving the library, the animals realize the fun must be happening inside. Unfortunately, their many requests for a book are indecipherable to the librarian. Can the clucking hen save the day?

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, illustrated by Lois Ehlert
Beach Lane Books (2009), $18

When "a" tells "b" and "c", "d" and "e" to meet at the top of the coconut tree, all of the alphabet joins in the rollicking adventure. Too many vowels and consonants bring a crash that calls mamas, papas, uncles and aunts (the capital letters, of course) to the rescue. Skit Skat Skoodle Doot, Flip Flop Flee, no sooner are the little letters comforted and consoled than the rhyming tale begins anew with a moonlight challenge: "Dare double dare, you can't catch me. I'll beat you to the top of the coconut tree!"

I Can Read With My Eyes Shut

I Can Read With My Eyes Shut by Dr. Seuss
Random House (1978), $9

The Cat in the Hat is back to remind us that reading can be done everywhere and anywhere, upside down, on a train, or even with your eyes shut! Budding readers will appreciate Dr. Seuss' trademark humor about one of their favorite new activities.

Library Lion

Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
Candlewick (2009), $7

Like most institutions, the library in this story has rules about a number of things but not about lions. It does, however, have rules about behavior and when the lion, who has jauntily sauntered in the front door to join story hour, roars in distress when the program is over, the head librarian, Miss Merriweather, turns stern. "If you cannot be quiet, you will have to leave. Those are the rules...." An agreement is brokered by the children and Miss Merriweather concedes that "Yes, a nice quiet lion would certainly be allowed to come back for story hour tomorrow." This gentle story, which toys with a host of library stereotypes, succeeds by virtue of that most winning of all combinations: humor and humanity.

Wild About Books

Wild About Books by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Marc Brown
Frances Lincoln Childrens Books (2007), $12

Molly McGrew the librarian mistakenly drives the bookmobile to the zoo! It's only a matter of time before she is turning the otters onto Harry Potter and satisfying the panda's request for more books in Chinese!