Grades K-2

The Story About Ping

Book cover: 'The Story About Ping'
Author(s): 
Marjorie Flack
Kurt Wiese

This charming, classic children's story tells of Ping, a young duck who lives on a boat in the Yangtzee River in China. He runs away from the boat and his family in order to avoid a spanking for returning late to the boat. He has some interesting adventures and sees many aspects of life on the Yangtzee River, but discovers that it's much happier to face the consequences in order to be back at home with his family.

This is a well-loved book in our family - particularly in the preschool set. The illustrations are beautiful, the story simple and meaningful and the lessons timeless.

The Squire and the Scroll

Author(s): 
Jennie Bishop

With colorful, dramatic illustrations and a story to inspire children, The Squire and the Scroll is sure to be a favorite. Written as a parable set in an imaginary kingodm, a wicked dragon has stolen the Lantern of Purest Light. This is not just any ordinary light, but a "Lantern that gave freedom to all the kingdom." Who will be brave enough to bring back this precious Lantern?

The Princess and the Kiss

Book cover: 'The Princess and the Kiss'
Author(s): 
Jennie Bishop

"Long ago, in a wonderful castle on a mountain of splendor, a beautiful princess was born." So begins the story of The Princess and the Kiss, a tale of a young woman's - in this case princess's - first kiss. On the day she is born, her parents present her with this special gift from God. In a secret room in a castle tower, it is kept safely hidden away under glass. When she is old enough, her parents explain the treasured value of this precious gift and warn her to not give it to just anybody.

Pamela Walks the Dog

Author(s): 
Christine Marlin
Illustrator(s): 
Hilda van Stockum

This latest title in the Bethlehem Books Lamb Time series is a short but sweet (and very funny) story about a busy little girl going through the very important and imaginative process of getting ready to walk the dog. Any parent with small children will appreciate the humorous truth about how children are that the author so clearly understands, even in such a simple story. This shouldn't surprise fans of the author's grandmother and the book's illustrator, Hilda Van Stockum, whose own books portray a beautiful understanding of small children.

Make Way for Ducklings

Book cover: 'Make Way for Ducklings'
Author(s): 
Robert McCloskey

This is one of our family's favorite books in the "non-religious" category. Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are looking for a safe place to start their duck family. They make friends with Michael the policeman who helps Mrs. Mallard and the ducklings make their way safely to the Public Garden to meet up with Mr. Mallard. The illustrations are SO charming - my children ask for this over and over.

The Little Bear Treasury

Book cover: 'The Little Bear Treasury'
Author(s): 
Else Holmelund Minarik

This treasury incorporates the stories Little Bear, Little Bear's Friend and Little Bear's Visit - sweet stories from the "I Can Read" series of the 1950s and 60s. Little Bear is a walking and talking bear who makes friends with other animals and a girl named Emily. The stories involve humorous adventures and stories told by Little Bear's parents and grandparents. The stories involving Little Bear and his mother are especially sweet and portray some of the simple questions and worries of childhood. Another family favorite.

Happy Birth Day!

Book cover: 'Happy Birth Day!'
Author(s): 
Robie H. Harris
Illustrator(s): 
Michael Emberley

This is a simple story of a mother describing her baby's first day after birth. It focuses on how the baby looks and acts and how much the baby is loved by the parents and extended family. The best part, I think, are the illustrations. The illustrator has wonderfully captured the lovable yet wrinkly face of a newborn and the beautiful excitement and exhaustion of bringing a new life into the world. It is a wonderful book for toddlers and other young children to read while anticipating the arrival of a new sibling.

Daddy's Lullaby

Book cover: 'Daddy's Lullaby'
Author(s): 
Tony Bradman
Illustrator(s): 
Jason Cockcroft

Daddy's Lullaby by Tony Bradman, beautifully illustrated by Jason Cockcroft, is a children's storybook about a young dad who comes home late at night to find the baby wide awake in his crib. In his efforts to soothe the baby back to sleep, dad cuddles him in his arms and tours the house with the baby to see all the other sleeping members of the family.

Chanticleer and the Fox

Book cover: 'Chanticleer and the Fox'
Author(s): 
Barbara Cooney
Illustrator(s): 
Barbara Cooney

This is an illustrated, children's adaptation of "The Nun's Priest's Tale" from The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. It's a simple moral tale, reminiscent of Aesop's Fables, with a lesson about the dangers of flattery and pride. A prideful rooster faces danger as he is flattered by a cunning fox. Truly a classic.

Angus and the Ducks

Author(s): 
Marjorie Flack

Angus is a little Scottish terrier who is terribly curious about everything - especially a noise coming from the other side of the large green hedge. One day, when "the door between outdoors and indoors was left open by mistake" he goes exploring to discover what makes that noise. His adventures are very cute, my children love hearing the sounds made by Angus and by the ducks. The text is very short and simple, but the real beauty is in the language which has a charming and humorous flow to it - it is perfect for reading aloud to little ones..

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