Quality literature and poetry from the
1000 Good Books List
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IN ASSOCIATION WITH
Pied Piper of Hamelin
Robert Browning, illustrated by Kate Greenaway
One of Brownings best-known works, the poem relates the classic legend of the town of Hamelin and its burghers, who engage the mysterious pied piper to lure the towns vermin to their death in the river. When the townspeople refuse to pay the piper for his services, he lures their children away by the same means. The legend has its roots in the Middle Ages, when rats overan most towns (due to the hunting down of cats believed to be witchs familiars) and spread plague throughout Europe. Greenaways graceful illustrations fittingly adorn this volume. A beautifully-bound hardcover edition, also with Greenaways classic illustrations, is also available.
The Illustrated Bulfinchs Mythology
Thomas Bulfinch, illustrated by Giovanni Caselli
This edition has the complete Bulfinchs Mythology collected together in one volume: The Age of Fable (myths of Greece and Rome, as well as Norse and others); The Age of Chivalry (legends of King Arthur and more) and The Legends of Charlemagne. Each timeless myth is superbly presented in story form and enhanced with original art work by world-renowned artist Giovanni Caselli. Though Bulfinchs has been heralded for more than a century, it has never been published in so beautiful and accessible a format. Evocative illustrations, many full-page, bring to life key events and characters of these universal tales and sagas from the Greek and Roman pantheon of gods to the heroes of the Crusades, from the exploits of Robin Hood to the feats of Richard the Lionheart. Together they form a remarkable tapestry of human endeavor: dreams, illusions, adventures, loves lost and loves found. Includes original footnotes, indexes, and prefaces by Thomas Bulfinch (1796-1867), the first to create a popular compendium of ancient myths and legends. Giovanni Caselli is one of Europes most celebrated authors and illustrators. --The Publisher. (Amazons page shows the wrong book picture, but its the right order page for the edition pictured and described here.) Now for the problems: There are several illustrations in Age of Fable that will need repairing with a marker; one illustration in Age of Chivalry, and two illustrations in Legends of Charlemagne. Each of these volumes may also be purchased separately by clicking on the above links.
The Canturbury Tales
Geoffrey Chaucer, edited by Barbara Cohen
Eight of Chaucers tales retold in prose form, edited by Barbara Cohen, and beautifully illustrated. The tales include The Knights Tale, The Miller, The Wife of Bath, the Merchant, The Franklins Tale, The Pardoner, The Prioress, and the Nuns Priests Tale. While the reading level is more advanced for 3rd graders, this makes an excellent read-aloud and a wonderful introduction to the people and characterizations of the Middle Ages. My favorite introduction to the Canterbury Tales for children, which is suitable for 3rd graders to read on their own, however, is unfortunately out of print, but here is the used book store search information: The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer, illustrated by Gustaf Tenngren, selected and adapted by A. Kent Hieatt and Constance Hieatt, published by Golden Press, copyright 1961.
The Adventures of Pinocchio
Pinocchio tries so hard to please his father, Gepetto. The little wooden puppet gets into all kinds of scrapes because he rushes into things with little consideration. Pinocchio is tricked by the Fox and Cat, advised by the Talking-Cricket, helped by the Fairy with Blue Hair, and ultimately realizes that if he wants to become a real boy, his inner self must be transformed first. The final chapter is a true indication of how Pinocchio has fully become a son to Gepetto. The unabridged edition is a true classic and a wonderful story, with little relationship to the many movie and television remakes. A paperback unabridged edition is also available.
The Door in the Wall
Marguerite de Angeli
Marguerite de Angeli won the Newbery Award in 1949 for The Door in the Wall. Robin, a 14th century noblemans son, is on a journey to begin his training in knighthood when he falls ill and loses the use of his legs. He is befriended by a monk, who helps him learn virtues greater than swordplay and horsemanship: the true meaning of manliness and strength. Along the way, Robin discovers that when God closes a window, He opens a door in the wall. A powerful story with staying power. A hardcover edition is also available.
The Twenty-One Balloons
William Pene du Bois
Professor William Waterman Sherman, a disillusioned school teacher, sails in a giant balloon over the Pacific, lands on the island of Krakatoa, and witnesses a stupendous explosion in which that notorious island blows up. When Professor Sherman is found adrift in the Atlantic clinging to the debris of twenty balloons, all America rocks with curiosity. Much of the story is based on complete truth--scientific principles behind nineteenth-century balloon inventions and the history of the amazing civilization found on Krakatoa. The rest, agrees the author, is absolute nonsense. --The Publisher. But what wonderful nonsense! Winner of the 1947 Newbery Award. A hardcover edition is also available.
The Wind in the Willows
Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Ernest Shepard
[Mole] thought his happiness was complete when, as he meandered aimlessly along, suddenly he stood by the edge of a full-fed river. Never in his life had he seen a river before--this sleek, sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and chuckling, gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free, and were caught and held again. The elegant, rich prose of Kenneth Grahame has been delighting readers for over four generations, and Ernest Shepards illustrations can hardly be improved upon. A hardcover edition, also with Ernest Shepards illustrations, is also available.
The Chronicles of Narnia
C. S. Lewis
This boxed set includes all seven of Lewis magical Narnia books, in the order he originally intended the series to be read: The Magicians Nephew, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Horse & His Boy, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, and The Last Battle. Paperback. Also available: The Complete Chronicles of Narnia, a new hardback edition which includes the text and original illustrations of all seven Narnia books in one volume; and The Chronicles of Narnia, the hardback boxed set of all seven Narnia books.
The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh
A. A. Milne, illustrated by Ernest Shepard
A.A. Milnes endearing stories, Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, are brought together in this beautiful edition, complete and unabridged, with Ernest Shepards classic illustrations. When Christopher Robin asks Pooh what he likes doing best in the world, Pooh says, after much thought, What I like best in the whole world is Me and Piglet going to see You, and You saying What about a little something? and Me saying, Well, I shouldnt mind a little something, should you, Piglet, and it being a hummy sort of day outside, and birds singing. The lovable Bear of Very Little Brain nevertheless delights us with his profoundly eternal wisdom in the ways of the world, and the heart.
Otto of the Silver Hand
Howard Pyle was a master storyteller and illustrator, and excelled in the sagas of the middle ages, replete with bravery, chivalry, magic and unforgettable drama. Otto of the Silver Hand is historical fiction and easiest for third graders to begin with; followed by Men of Iron. Howard Pyles retellings of the legends of the Middle Ages, while the most challenging for third graders, should also not be missed (they are wonderful read-alouds, if nothing else): The Story of King Arthur and His Knights is his best, followed closely by The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood. Since the vocabulary and the style of language may be challenging for some third graders, it might be advisable to save these for the latter part of the year after children have cut their teeth on Kenneth Grahame, A. A. Milne, C. S. Lewis, and Carlo Collodi.
Black Beauty: The Autobiography of a Horse
The story of a horses life during the Victorian era, when horses were a part of everyones everyday existence. Black Beauty, born on a country estate to kind masters, lives through unexpected events and misfortunes, good times as well as bad, enduring kindness and cruelty alike, before being reunited with the groom that loves him. A powerful story that allows us to identify with the recipients of both kind and cruel treatment, and masterfully portrays the nobility of gentleness and the cowardice of bullying. A hardcover edition is also available.
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
Polly and Ben Pepper are full of secret plans to surprise Mamsie. But its hard to come up with ideas for presents when there isnt even enough money for the children to go to school. Since their father died, the five Pepper children and their mother have been living in poverty, with only potatoes and brown bread for supper. Ben chops wood to help support the family, and Polly looks after the little ones while their mother earns what she can by sewing. The Peppers are so poor, theyve never even had a Christmas. But from measles to monkeys, through bad times and good, the cozy kitchen in the little brown house rings with laughter and hope. --The Publisher. This was my youngests favorite book in third grade, full of heart and warmth. Unfortunately the paperback edition is out of print, but the link will take you to an in-print hardcover edition.
Little House on the Prairie
Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Big Woods are getting too crowded. Pa Ingalls decides to sell the little log house, and the family sets out for Indian country. They travel from Wisconsin to Kansas and there Pa builds their little house on the prairie. Sometimes farm life is difficult, even dangerous, but Laura and the family are kept busy and are happy with the promise of their new life. These classics have been favorites for generations. Little House on the Prairie is the second and the most famous book in the series; the others include: Little House in the Big Woods, Farmer Boy, On the Banks of Plum Creek, By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, These Happy Golden Years, and The First Four Years. The complete nine-book boxed set is also available.
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