Kids Books

Sometimes to screen books or to evaluate them for Christine, and other times, just to enjoy them, I have read quite a few kids books. Here is my list (of "chapter" books, -- fond memories of "picture" books and nursery rhymes are getting blurry to me nowadays), ranked, going from the most favorite to least favorite. Compare it with my daughter, Christine's list
  1. King of the Wind, by Marguerite Henry.
    Great story telling, dramatic build up, emotional, loving bound between the horse and its boy.
  2. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis.
    I simply love the writing!
  3. Just So Stories, by Rudyard Kipling.
    I especially love The Beginning of the Armadillos (best short story for kid!) and sympathize with the Painted Jaguar a lot.
  4. The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling.
    Well, the Disney cartoon was one of my favourite. But the book is so much richer, both in character and in language.
  5. Salamandstron, by Brian Jacques,
    Once passed the seemingly unrelated threads, it's great entertainment! Although I don't care that much for the Redwall thread, just distracting, and the villains are too much in a caricature.
  6. Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery.
    Lovely and moving.
  7. Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
    Simple, pure, and innocent.
  8. Ramona Forever, by Beverly Cleary.
    A great touch of reality for kids.
  9. Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell.
    Peace and tranquility.
  10. The True Confession of Charlotte Doyle, by Avi.
    Realistic historical setting and interesting story, although stretches it a bit.
  11. Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry.
    A good history lesson for kids.
  12. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Konisburg.
    Excellent plot and story. But why did they have to run away?
  13. The Goosebumps Books (I read 2 or 3?), by R.L. Stine.
    Good scare for kids. (I read "The Ghost Next Door", "Be Careful What You Wish For", "Werewolf of Fever Swamp", and kind of liked them all.) OK.
  14. A Ghost in the House, by Betty Ren Wright.
    Nice plot and good scare.
  15. A Bear Called Paddington, by Michael Bond.
    Great, humorous start, but fizzles away.
  16. Danny, the Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl.
    I like the writing, but not the story that much.
  17. Superfudge, by Judy Blume.
    Good story, but too much kiddish.
  18. Jennifer Murdley's Toad, by Bruce Coville.
    Novel idea, but it wears out as it is repeated again and again.
  19. Castle in the Attic, by Elizabeth Winthrop.
    Great build up, but disappointing ending.
  20. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle.
    Nice attempt at kids' scifi. But I'd prefer some of the originals.
  21. Faith and the Electric Dogs, by Patrick Jennings.
    Nice Spanish lesson (carnitas!), but a poorly patched up story.
  22. The Golden Compass, by Phil Pullman.
    I don't like the writing and the superfluous daemons, but the story is probably quite exciting to many people, including Christine.
My old favorite is Mill on the Floss by George Eliot, but I'm not sure if Christine agrees that this is a kids book too. So, here is a separate list, of children's classics:
  1. Mill on the Floss, by George Eliot.
    Unparalleled emotional depth.
  2. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London.
    Perfect blend into nature.
  3. The Adventure of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain.
    A boy's dream come true.
  4. Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson.
    Kids' drama.
  5. Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe.
    Survival of the fittest.

Prepared by Jeff Tian ( Last update March 19, 2003.
Visit Jeff Tian's or Christine Tian's home pages.