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Children's Literature

Looking for a good children's book? The best way to select a winner is to look for age-appropriate language, interesting characters and balanced illustrations, according to

Lists of popular children’s books are available from the National Education Association and the Children’s Book Council.

There's Something About a Series

Kids just can’t get enough of authors who write stories as a series. Characters grow up with the reader, facing age-appropriate challenges and triumphs each year. Try these titles for a long-term commitment to good books:

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
The official Scholastic site offers wizard trivia, the owl post and the discussion chamber in addition to plot summaries, pronunciation guides and guidance for teachers.

Goosebumps by R.L. Stine
Enter if you dare! Learn more about the characters at the Goosebumps fun house, find out what’s coming up, and discover videos, CD-ROMs, and T.V. supplements to this spooky series.

Arthur by Marc Brown
Meet the world’s most famous aardvark at this educational PBS site. You’ll find Arthur games, activities, contests, books and much more.

Fantasy Classics

These stories excite the imagination of children - and their parents! Looking for a great way to introduce them? Read first, then watch the classics come to life on the big screen.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
This complete online novel sponsored by Page By Page Books is easy to navigate and fun to read. Tag along for adventures with Dorothy and friends.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
The official C.S. Lewis Web site offers great information, photographs and essays about the author and 50-year-old book that began the infamous Chronicles of Narnia.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
This site is dedicated to the author of the 1899 classic. You'll find links to several of Lewis' works, including "Alice's Adventures" and "Through the Looking Glass."

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
A tribute to the author and his vast works, this site is a fun take on the novel and subsequent film. Check out the timeline, biography and survey, join the mailing list or learn funny "Wonka Facts."

Rhyme Time

Introducing children to poetry at an early age teaches much more than rhyming words. The following links offer an array of poetry:

  • Children's Haiku Garden
    Explore short poems written and illustrated by children from America, Canada, England and Japan.

  • Mother Goose Rhymes
    Nursery rhymes are searchable by subject.

    Children can submit their own poems, learn how to write better poetry and read the laughable lines of other children.

Still Can't Find It?

Check out the Database of Award-Winning Children’s Literature, a simple site maintained by a California State University librarian. Searches can be targeted by age group, genre, setting, language, gender and historical period. The site also generates complete lists of award winners, from the Caldecott Medal to Best Illustrated.

   --- Nicole E. Magistro

Related:  Harry Potter Mania

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