By Letitia Taylor: What books capture the imagination of an elementary school student? Do you and your child walk into the library and wonder what books would be good choices? Whether your elementary child is learning to read or is a voracious reader, some of these titles should grab his or her attention. My husband and I enjoyed reading these books to our daughter long after she could read them by herself. She would check them out of the library long after she was “too old” for these books because she enjoyed the memories associated with reading them. Great Reading Selections
There are many book series for the early elementary child such as Curious George by H.A. and Margret Rey and Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish. Curious George is a little monkey who finds himself in all sorts of scrapes and needs “the man in the yellow hat” to rescue him. Amelia Bedelia is a maid who takes everything literally and gets into many difficulties as a result. Another series, which caught our attention when our daughter was young, is Minerva Louise . Minerva is a chicken who mistakes some things for other things. Young readers will squeal with delight when they read or hear Minerva read to them.
A shorter series of books is Mimmy and Sophie by Miriam Cohen. The book provides the young reader with a glimpse into two sisters growing up in Brooklyn, New York, during the Great Depression. Their family has a picnic on the vividly illustrated Brooklyn Bridge in one of the books. The sisters argue as sisters do, but they are family no matter what. The reader may find himself/herself wiping away a tear as he/she walks alongside Mimmy and Sophie.
Some books that are not in a series are intriguing as well. These books appeal to a wide range of readers. Petit Rouge the Cajun Riding Hood by Mark Artell is an entertaining book and really needs to be read by someone willing to employ a Cajun accent to enhance the reading experience. Saturdays and Teacakes by Lester L. Laminack is a story about a boy who rides to visit his grandmother every Saturday. The illustrations are glorious and the story is another one which allows the adult reader to wipe a tear in which he/she is reminded of yesteryear.
George Washington’s Teeth by Deborah Chandra and Madeleine Comora provides insight into dentistry in the 1700’s as well as a glimpse of the first President’s teeth ailments presented in an understandable way for an elementary child. In The Story about Ping by Marjorie Flack, a Chinese duck on the Yangtze River loses track of time, hides, gets lost, and later returns home.
As a student moves into the upper elementary years, he/she may enjoy reading The Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The Little House books allow a child’s imagination to “live” in a family in the 1800’s American prairie. The Anne of Green Gables Series by Lucy Maude Montgomery allows the reader to view life through the lens of the much- loved orphan, “Anne with an E”, of course.
Writing this article flooded my mind with many happy memories of sitting beside our daughter and reading these books or listening to her give summaries of what she had read. This is not an exhaustive list of titles. I can see another article to be written soon of roaming down memory’s lane recalling and sharing the book titles which made our family laugh and cry. Perhaps this list will provide you and your student(s) with many happy hours of reading.