September 2018



HUMOR & NONSENSE

Animals reign in children's literature. Animal characters who talk with other animals are similar to humans who interact with each other. Whether animals teach numbers, colors, or lessons of morality, they are the perfect means to express concepts in an amusing and entertaining way.

Humorous Books for
Preschoolers
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MOUSE
written/illus. by Zebo Ludvicek, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2017), 40p, Ages 3-5

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MUCKY PUP
written/illus. by Ken Brown, (Dutton Children’s Books, 1997), 32p, Ages 3-7

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THE BIG SNEEZE
written/illus. by Ruth Brown, (Mulberry Books, 1997, Andersen Press, 2011), 28p, Ages 3-6



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Humorous Books for
Ages 4-8
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BOOT & SHOE
written/illus. by Marla Frazee, (Beach Lane Books, 2012), 40p, Ages 4-7

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A BIRTHDAY FOR BEAR
written by Bonny Becker, illus. by Kady MacDonald Denton, (Candlewick Press, 2009), 56p, Ages 4-7


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WILBUR’S SPACE MACHINE
written/illus. by Lorna Balian, (Humbug Books, 1990), 32p, Ages 4-8yrs


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LEARNING TO FLY
written/illus. by Sebastian Meschenmoser (Kane-Miller Books, 2006), 56p, Ages 5-8





Humorous Books for
Ages 8-12
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GOOSEBERRY PARK
written by Cynthia Rylant, illus. by Arthur Howard, (Harcourt Brace & Co., 1995), 144p, Ages 7-10

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CHICKEN FEATHERS
written by Joy Cowley, illus. by David Elliot, (Philomel Books, 2008), 160p, Ages 9-11

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MISSY PIGGLE-WIGGLE AND THE WHATEVER CURE
written by Ann M. Martin & Annie Parnell, illus. by Ben Hatke, (Feiwell & Friends, 2016), 256p, Ages 7-10





Humorous Books for
Ages 10-13
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HOW TO CAPTURE AN INVISIBLE CAT (The Genius Factor series)
written by Paul Tobin, illus. by Thierry Lafontaine, (Bloomsbury, 2016), 272p, Ages 10+

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THE TRUE BLUE SCOUTS OF SUGAR MAN SWAMP
written by Kathi Appelt, illus. by Jennifer Bricking, (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, 2013), 384p, Ages 10-14





Humorous for
Ages 12-15

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A LONG WAY FROM CHICAGO
written by Richard Peck, (Dial Books, 1998), 148p, Ages 11+



 



Humorous for
Ages 14-18

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THE GREAT TURKEY WALK
written by Kathleen Karr, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998), 208p, Ages 14+

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BORIS
written by Cynthia Rylant, (Harcourt, Inc., 2005), 80p, Ages 14+



 





For more information on great children's literature for reading to children and by children, visit us at:

www.tchliteracy.com

Bringing you
books that:


Touch the Heart,
Color the Imagination, and
Delight the Mind


Welcome to The Storytellers, a monthly newsletter of outstanding children's literature to read and read aloud from preschoolers to teens.

Great Storytellers are magical, unique, and scarce. They write stories that are a perfect balance of humor, heart, and hope. They still have a love of childhood, and like Peter Pan they have never totally grown up. They write the stories readers want to linger over, be a part of, and wish never to leave.

The books featured represent some of the best of imagination and fun in children's literature and are presented for reading and listening enjoyment. May children never lose their appetite for fun and imagination, and hopefully pass it on to the next generation.

For more information on reading to children, great books to read and read aloud, and a summer reading program, log on to our web site at www.tchliteracy.com.


Preschool
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ELMORE
written/illus. by Holly Hobbie, (Random House, $17.99, Jan. 2018, ISBN 978-1-5247-1863-3), 40p, Ages 3-7

A self-reliant, but lonely porcupine longs for friends, but the animals in the meadow consider him too prickly. Discouraged and dejected, it’s not until his uncle visits and tells him that he is handsome, his quills are beautiful, and they should be treasured. The compliment gives Elmore a great idea. Bundling up the quills, he posts a sign: “Elmore Quill Pens 100% real Porcupine quills FREE.” The animals love the pens and especially Elmore’s suggestion of making ink from berries. One morning Elmore sees a new sign on his tree—“You are a beautiful porcupine. Our woods are lucky to have you. Your friends” This warmhearted and inventive little porcupine will touch many hearts.
        Themes: Animals, Friendship

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ROOM FOR BEAR
written/illus. by Ciara Gavin, (Knoph Books for Young Readers, March 2015,
ISBN 978-0-385-75473-6), 32p, Ages 3-7

When Bear wakes up one spring he goes in search of a new home. And he thinks he’s found the perfect place. Unfortunately, things are a bit … snug.” The duck family welcomes him and loves him unconditionally, as they try to accommodate his large size, At bedtime Bear sleeps on the roof and at meantime his feet hang out the front window. With large hearts they all persevere until Bear realizes that he doesn’t fit and leaves his new home. Missing the ducks terribly, Bear discovers the perfect duck-size solution to the problem, one in which everyone fits. Readers will love this sweet story of an unusual blended family.
        Themes: Bears, Families, Series

 
Ages 4-8
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LITTLE ROBOT ALONE
written by Patricia MacLachlan / Emily MacLachlan Charest, illus. by Matt Phelan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99, June 2018, ISBN 978-0-544-44280-14), 40p, Ages 4-7

In a little cottage by a pond Little Robot leads a peaceful, but solitary life full of routine. In the morning after putting on his tracks and charging his battery, he sings a cute song with his breakfast, “Oats with cozy oil are yummy, / slipping slowly down my tummy,” and then watches the birds, squirrels and fish. Indeed it’s a lonely life, until one morning he wakes up with a light bulb idea and commences to build a friend. With metal, wood, a button, two marbles, soft wool, a small broom, and a battery for recharging, he creates a friend that licks, barks, and will love him forever. With energy, perseverance, and imagination, Little Robot has definitely found a cure for his loneliness.
        Themes: Inventions, Friendship

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INKY THE OCTOPUS
written by Erin Guendelsberger, illus. by David Leonard, (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $17.99, April 2018, ISBN 978-0-4926-5414-8), 32p, Ages 4-7

“I live in a world of see-through walls, / in a tank with a locked-down lid. / I’m fed like a king three meals a day / of lobster, shrimp, and squid.” So begins the tale of Inky, a friendly and charming captive octopus, who longs for the open sea. Finding his tank lid ajar one day, Inky slips out of the tank, slides across the floor, and down through a drain opening into the open ocean, where at last he is free. This fascinating tale is based on an actual escape by an octopus from the New Zealand Aquarium on April 16, 2016, where workers found arm “prints” on the floor leading to a 6-inch drainage hole. Endpapers describe the true story of Inky, short history of the National Aquarium of New Zealand, odd behaviors of other octopuses around the world, and their anatomy, behavior, and charm. Kids will enjoy Inky’s humorous expressions, and especially his bag of belongings hanging from one of his tentacles as he envisions his quest.
        Themes: Adventure, Oceans Lakes Rivers & Ponds, Rhythm & Rhyme

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TYRANNOSAURUS REX VS. EDNA THE VERY FIRST CHICKEN
written by Douglas Rees, illus. by Jed Henry, (Henry Holt & Co., $17.99, ISBN 978-1-62779-510-4), 40p, Ages 4-7

Tyrannosaurus Rex might be fierce and terrifying, but Edna the chicken is brave, resourceful, and a formidable adversary in this humorous tale of bullies and heroes. In search of breakfast a T-Rex stomps and roars through the forest. All the dinosaurs flee except Edna, who decides to stand her ground. Not intimidated by his threats of sharp teeth, mighty claws, jaws, beak, and wings, Edna replies, “Beware my deadly stomp and long sharp teeth. Beware my pointy claws and many feathers.” When he gobbles her up, find out how Edna uses her sharp teeth, claws, and feathers to cause the T-Rex havoc, sneeze her out, and flee the forest forever. “Which is why today there are no Tyrannosaurus Rexes but plenty of chickens.” Author’s Note explains why scientists believe that there might be a close relationship between birds and dinosaurs.
        Themes: Dinosaurs, Food, Humor

 
Gems from the Past
Ages 4-8
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A MOUSE CALLED WOLF
written by Dick King-Smith, illus. by Jon Goodell, (Crown Publishers, 1997,
ISBN 978-0-517-70974-0), 112p, ages 6-9

“Wolfgang Amadeus Mouse was the youngest of thirteen children. He was also the smallest.” When his mother decides he should have an important name “to make up for his size,” she borrows the name from sheet music found on the piano of the owner’s home in which they reside. Wolf enjoys Mrs. Honeybee’s piano playing twice a day, and as he listens to the beautiful tunes, he begins to sing along, eventually working up courage to accompany her playing. As their friendship develops, Wolf begins to sing along to everything from children’s nursery rhymes to Chopin. One day Mrs. Honeybee breaks her ankle and it’s up to Wolf to find help. Kids will fall in love with this delightful small mouse and thoroughly enjoy the way Wolf defeats the household cat.
        Themes: Classics, Animals, Friendship, Heroes

 
Ages 8-11
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RAFFIE ON THE RUN
written by Jacqueline Resnick, illus. by Joe Sutphin, (Roaring Brook, $16.99, Feb. 2018,
ISBN 978-1-62672-866-0), 320p, Ages 9-12

Raffie Lipton lives with his family in the Brooklyn subway station, where they have an abundance of food from trash cans and soft beds for sleeping. Raffie enjoys telling his little brother, Oggie, his adventure stories as the Unstoppable Raffie, until one day Oggie is captured by a young boy for a school pet competition. Raffie begins his greatest adventure to rescue Oggie from a clue left in the boy’s abandoned backpack. On his way to Central Park West, Raffie meets Kaz, a street-wise pigeon with a deformed wing, Marigold, a pampered poodle, and Walter a refined cockroach, who aid Raffie as he faces hungry cats, selfish squirrels, and deadly sewer rats. Kids will root for this little hero rat as he avoids humans, escapes animal control cages, and outmaneuvers enemies in his search for a beloved little brother.
         Themes: Adventure, Animals, Families, Friendship, Heroes



Gems from the Past
Ages 8-11
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THE CRICKET IN TIMES SQUARE
written by George Selden, illus. by Garth Williams, (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, $17.99, 1960,
ISBN 978-0-374-31650-1), 14 144p, Ages 8-11

Foolishly jumping into a picnic basket in the Connecticut countryside, Chester the cricket arrives in the Times Square subway station, where he is found by Mario, a young boy who works at his parents’ failing newsstand. There he meets two friends, spunky Tucker the mouse and Harry the cat, and adjusts to life in a bustling city, his comfortable matchbox bed, a seven-tiered pagoda cricket cage, and tasty mulberry leaves. Sad that Mario’s bug-fearing mother might throw him out, Chester begins to chirp a “few notes of an Italian folksong he had heard the night before.” Realizing Chester’s amazing talent, Tucker and Harry begin his formal musical education via the radio, and Chester becomes, “the most famous musician in New York City” by entertaining the public from the newsstand with hymns (on Sunday), opera, and musical theater selections. However, he begins to miss his peaceful life in the Connecticut countryside. Delightful and heartwarming, this classic tale will touch young and old alike with its themes of friendship, prejudice, and fame.
         Themes: Classics, Families, Friendship, Insects, Series



Ages 10-13
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VANISHED! A Framed Novel
written by James Ponti, (Aladdin, $16.99, Aug 2017. ISBN 978-1-4814-3633-5), 384p, Ages 10+

This second book in the Framed series finds seventh graders Florian and Margaret going undercover as exchange students to a prestigious Washington D. C. school, where serious pranks seem to be targeting the president’s daughter. Using Florian’s T.O.A.S.T. method to discover clues, they find several suspects, including a musical prodigy from China, a school bully, an heiress, and the president’s daughter. When a student vanishes in the middle of a performance at the Kennedy Center, the case takes an unusual twist. Kids will enjoy this fast-paced whodunit loaded with coded messages, red herrings, side mysteries, dazzling deductions, and an appearance of a criminal friend from the first book.
         Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Mysteries, Series



Gems from the Past
Ages 10-13
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UNDER LOCKER AND KEY (MAX)
written by Allison K. Hymans, (Aladdin, April 2017, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-4814-6342-3), 256p, Ages 9-13

Eleven-year-old Jeremy Wilderson considers himself a “retrieval specialist and crime fighter” and not a thief, as Becca Mills, Scottsville Middle School’s aspiring investigator and fellow sixth grader calls him. Returning items, whether stolen by students or confiscated by teachers, to their rightful owners is what Jeremy loves to do. When he is tricked by an aspiring eighth grade crime lord to retrieve a master key to the school lockers and student items go missing, it’s up to Jeremy to retrieve the key. In desperation he turns to Becca for help. Hopefully they can find the key and take down the culprit before he winds up in detention by Becca for his unauthorized methods of crime fighting. Kids who enjoy entertaining capers and charming heroes will love this first book of Allison K. Hymas.
        Themes: Adventure, Humor, Mysteries, Series



Ages 12-15
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EXPLORERS: Door in the Alley #1
written by Adrienne Dress, (Delacorte Press, $16.99, April 2017, ISBN 978-1-101-94005-1), 320p, Ages 11+

Twelve-year-old Sebastian is a serious rule follower and never takes chances, until one day on his way home from school he accidentally takes a wrong turn into a strange alley and stumbles upon The Explorers Society. “The thing was that Sebastian, ever since he’d seen it, had been attempting to put the sign for The Explorers Society out of his head. He attempted to do it over dinner when he asked for the ‘society’ of ketchup instead of ‘bottle.’” He almost succeeds until the next day he rescues a little pig in a teeny hat, whose owner belongs to the society. He is invited in, has tea with its leader, and begins to work at the Society to avoid being arrested for trespassing. There he discovers strange rooms, the original Filipendulous Five members, and a hidden box full of information about them. Eleven-year-old Evie is an orphan fleeing from two dangerous men who are seeking a message she carries from her grandfather, a member of the Filipendulous Five. When she seeks help from the Society, she and Sebastian begin and adventure to locate a missing key and her grandfather while avoiding dastardly villains who seek the key. Readers will enjoy this very mysterious society, its famous explorers, missing persons, hired thugs, perilous chases, a hidden box, a lost map, and two courageous children, while awaiting the next installment of “The Explorers: The Reckless Rescue.”
        Themes: Adventure, Heroes, Mysteries

Ages 14-18+
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RISE OF THE FALLEN #2 (Wars of the Realm)
written by Chuck Black, (Multnomah Books, $11.99, Feb 2015, ISBN 978-1-60142-504-1), 320p, Ages 16+

This second book in Chuck Black’s War of the Realm trilogy centers around one of the angels from book #1, assigned to protect Drew Carter, and backtracks to tell the same story from the angel’s perspective. As the last created angel, Validus has witnessed Lucifer’s rebellion, Creation, the fall of man, Noah, the Tower of Babel, the rise and fall of empires, and more, but now his assignment is to protect Drew from the onslaught of Fallen angels, who seek his death. Validus and his legion of angels race against time to discover Drew’s importance to the survival of humanity, while battling overwhelming odds as they face the fierce demonic Fallen for the protection of one unbelieving man. This page-turning, thrilling account of the spiritual world will leave readers yearning for the final book in the series. Endpapers provide readers with Biblical facts versus the author’s fictional account of each chapter.
        Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Heroes, Suspense & Intrigue, Series

Over the years, we have researched thousands of children's books, and can recommend some of the best in outstanding children's literature for parents to read aloud and children to read. Our recommendations must meet certain criteria: fun, creative and imaginative stories, delightful illustrations, and excellent for age appropriate listening and reading. We hope that you enjoyed our recommendations. If you desire further information some of the best in children's literature, please visit our website, www.tchliteracy.com.

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