The Kids’ Book Corner

Kids’ book reviews and tidbits from an indie bookseller.

The Best Kids’ Books Ever (KBC Style) July 7, 2009

Filed under: Old Favorites — kidsbookcorner @ 10:00 am

On the 4th of July Nicholas Kristof published an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times listing his picks for the Best Kids’ Books Ever. It’s a fun piece, and it’s gotten me thinking about what books I consider to be the Best Ever. Now, of course I haven’t read all the kids’ books out there, but it’s been a fun exercise coming up with my list! I’d love to hear what you’d put on your Best Books list.

Charlotte’s Web

by E.B. White

(HarperCollins, paperback, $8.99)

Ages 6-10

I read this book for the first time a couple of months ago. I grew up watching the wonderful animated film on VHS (it was an all-time favorite of mine) and reading the book brought it all back to me. It’s truly an amazing read.

To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

(Warner Books, paperback, $7.99)

Ages 10+

For some reason I ended up having to read this book three times in middle and high school, but I never minded. It’s quite a piece of literature, and for me was one of the first “grown-up-ish” books that I fell in love with.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

by Betty MacDonald

(HarperTrophy, paperback, $5.99)

Ages 7-12

I loved the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books. The idea of an omniscient grandmotherly character, who cures all ailments and provides an endless amount of fun, was very appealing to me.

My Father’s Dragon

by Ruth Stiles Gannett

(Random House, paperback, $7.95)

Ages 6-10

The first in a fantasy trilogy, My Father’s Dragon is perfect for new readers. It’s great as a read-aloud, too (my mom read it to me when I was little!).

The Penderwicks

by Jeanne Birdsall

(Yearling, paperback, $6.99)

Ages 8+

Did I mention that I love The Penderwicks??

The Tintin Books

by Hergé

(Little, Brown, paperback, $10.99)

Ages 7+

Some of my favorite memories are of my dad reading the entire Tintin series to me at bedtime. He did voices for all the characters! Little, Brown Young Readers has put out beautiful new editions of the Tintin books. Each volume has three books in it. Check them out here.

Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse

by Leo Lionni

(Dragonfly Books, paperback, $6.99)

Ages 3-5

It was very hard to choose which Lionni book to put on this list. Alexander’s story has stuck with me the most, though I also love Frederick, A Color of His Own, Geraldine, the Music Mouse, and Swimmy.

The Phantom Tollbooth

by Norton Juster

(Yearling, paperback, $6.99)

Ages 8+

This is a bizarre and wonderful book. If you’ve never read it, I suggest you do. Adults can enjoy it just as much as kids. And check out the audiobook! It’s read by David Hyde Pierce. Enough said.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

by Kate DiCamillo

(Candlewick Press, paperback, $11.99)

Ages 6-12

Oh, what a wonderful tale from master storyteller Kate DiCamillo. I will follow her anywhere.

The Harry Potter Books

by J.K. Rowling

(Scholastic, paperback, $10.99-$12.99)

Ages 8+

You didn’t think I was going to skip Harry, did you?


Blueberries for Sal is back! April 9, 2009

Filed under: Award Winners,Old Favorites,Picture Books — kidsbookcorner @ 5:47 pm

This week I was very happy to hear that one of my favorite classic books will be back on shelves by summer. Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey has been unavailable for the past year due to a rights dispute between Penguin Books and the McCloskey estate. As Publishers Weekly reported, the book should be available by late May or early June.


Where the Wild Things Are Trailer! March 30, 2009

Filed under: Old Favorites,Picture Books — kidsbookcorner @ 12:20 pm

Courtesy of our friends at Mudpuppy! I’m excited to see what the film makes of Maurice Sendak’s classic.


Rediscovered Gems March 18, 2009

Filed under: Middle-Grade,Old Favorites,Picture Books — kidsbookcorner @ 5:19 pm

Right now I’m taking a graduate course in children’s literature, so I’m getting to read some older books, which can be quite a luxury!  Here are a few I’ve recently discovered.

Berkeley Breathed’s Flawed Dogs

(Little, Brown & Co., hardcover, $18.95)

This picture book, designed as a mock “catalogue of the Piddleton Dog Pound’s Very Available Leftovers” features illustrations of bizarre and strange-looking dogs of all varieties.  These dogs are supposedly residents at the Last Chance Dog Pound, and each wound up there due to their quirky appearances.  Each image is accompanied by a poem (“Bipsie was bought to replace / The dearly departed Sweetface. / A beauty in blues / With some parts chartreuse / She clashed with the whole bloody place.” (Grades 3-6)

Buy Flawed Dogs from your local independent bookstore.

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

(Arthur A. Levine Books, hardcover, $19.99)

In a truly unique way, Tan tells the story of a man who leaves his family and travels to a foreign place. Told only in black, white, and sepia toned illustrations, this book puts the reader into the shoes of this man as we see his new experiences.  (Grades 5 & up)

Buy The Arrival from your local independent bookstore.