Book Lists for Recreational Reading

Leveled Books & Classroom Libraries


“Children are likely to meet cruelty and violence in their lives and they need to see that good overcomes evil  with perseverance and courage, as in fairy tales. Fairy tales show children that those who are cruel and violent end up being treated with cruelty and violence. Fairy Tales tell us that we reap what we sow.

Traditional  literature also provides a fantasy world in which young children can view their own fears and frustrations and move toward an emotional integration- helping them resolve their fears and  tensions.”

Fables are brief tales with animals generally representing  a single human trait. The moral is explicitly stated, e.g., Hare and the Tortoise.

  1. Fables Library on Line

Tall Tales/ Legends are tales of historical figures which facts have been exaggerated to the extreme e.g., Johnny Apple Seed, Davy Crockett, Paul Bunyan, John Henry, Pecos Bill. The are designed for 4th and up.

  1. Myths, Folktales, and Fairy Tales/Scholastic Unit Plan


Folk Tales & Trickster Stories

Folktales have plots that are brief and filled with action. Characters are strong and predictable. Endings are swift and violent. Good is very good; evil is very evil. Because the characters are all good, all innocent, all beautiful or all evil, they help children make choices about what and who they want to be. In folk tales animals take on the characteristics of humans. They teach us that people have always loved, hated, were born and died,were angry, happy, sad, glad, had fears and tension such as Three Billy Goats Gruff, Three Little Pigs...

  1. Children’s Literature/Folk Literature “ Characteristics of Folk Literature: setting, character, plot , theme, style” Taiwan

  1. Folk Literature:Preserving the Storytellers’ Magic (Preview of an article)

  2. Tall Tales and Tricksters: Legends and Stories form American Folklore

  3. Trickster Tales by Gerald McDermott

  4. Fools & Tricksters in Children’s Literature

  5. Folklore, Myth, and Legend

  1. Stories, Folklore, and Fairy Tales Theme Page

  1. Monkey and the Crocodile

  2. Tall Tales sites: by Kati Mitchel
    Tall tales - 
    More ideas - Writing Tall Tales - Still more ideas

    Paul Bunyon  -
    Tall Tales -

Fairy Tales

Fairy tales and fantasy peak between ages six and eight but is needed in all stages of life. They have royalty, magic, good verse evil, no special place or time. Cinderella has hundreds of versions e.g. Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughter and  Rough Faced Girl are stories of how hard work and kindness are rewarded, and haughty, meanness, and pride are punished. Fairy tales show children that those who are mean and violent end up being treated with cruelty and violence. Characters are either all good or all bad; all beautiful or all ugly, all kind or all mean as in Lon PoPo, a Chinese version of Little Red Riding Hood.

  1. Fables & Fairy Tales

  2. What lessons should we learn from fairytales?

  3. Elements Found in Fairy Tales

  4. Cinderella Stories

  5. Folk and Fairy Tells Lesson Plans and Resources

  6. Fairy Tales from Life READ WriteThink

  7. Happily Ever After - A Critical Look at Fairy Tales

  8. Fairy Tale Unit

  9. Fairy Tales Gone Wild: 10 Creative Ways to Teach Fairy Tales

  10. Stories to Grow by

  11. Aesop’s Fables

  12. Fractured Fairy Tales &Fables with John Scieszka/Scholastic

  13. Online Fairy Tale Collections and Activities

  14. Sleeping Beauty Center for Puppetry Arts Online Study Guide

  15. Children’s Books: Worlds of Fantasy

Music Education with Picture Books

  1. Children’s Picture Books-Introducing Music


  1. Kids Mysteries on the Web

  2. Mysteries


Myths are tales whose heroes and heroines are godlike  or show supernatural traits and super human power. They often offer an explanation of some natural phenomenon which science hadn’t discovered at the time the story was written. These are best for fifth grade and up. 

  1. Animal Myths & Legends/ Planet Ozkids           

Rhymes and Poetry

Rhymes and poetry is usually concise, musical, with much rhythm, rhyme, and repetition making it very appealing to the children and easy to remember.  Poetry helps  develop auditory discrimination. Being able to recognize different sounds is essential for children to become independent readers. Who doesn’t love Lady with the Alligator Purse, Down by the Bay, Alligator Pie, Yertle the Turtle ?

  1. Poetry Page on this site

Realistic Fiction

Are about coping with problems. Animals are often  used to tell a story- eliminating the element of possible prejudice resulting in classics. They deal with coping and dealing with friendship. They model for adults how to deal with the everyday problems of children. Frances’, Franklin’s, and Little Bear’s parents model for us how parents ought to deal with the every day problems of children. The Terrible Thing that Happened at Our House deals with mother going back to work and not being able to meet everyone’s needs as she once did. Five Minutes of Peace is a story of a mother who is seeking for 5 min. of peace but the children follow her everywhere even to the bathroom. Mitch Is Moving deals with the trauma of leaving home.Frog and Toad deal with the annoyance of friendship, Peter Rabbit relates the penalties of of disobedience.

  1. Frances stories by Russell Hoban

  2. Franklin stories by Paulette Bourgeois

  3. Little Bear/Maurice Sendak’s

  4. Frog and Toad - Book-A-DayAlmanac

  5. Frank Asch’s Books

  6. Mr. Putter and Tabby stories


“To grow without laughter is to grow deprived.” Author unknown Laughter is good medicine for body and soul. A person who smiles and laughs a lot stay healthier. Here are some books that tickled my funny bone:

Dr. Seuss’s books Horton Hatches the Egg

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Jan Barrett

Owl at Home by Lobel

More Spaghetti, I Say? Level 2 by Rita Gelman

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty Macdonald

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

Curious George Books by Margret Rey

Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin

Miss Nelson Is Missing series by Harry Allard

Principal and the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler

There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly

Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Triviza

George and Martha by James Marshall

Doctor DeSoto by William Steig 3rd

Morris Goes to School by Bernard Wiseman L 1

Morris and Boris at the Circus by Wiseman

Pippi Longstocking

Julius by Kevin Henkes

Strega Nona’s Books by tomie DePaolo

Stupids by Harry Allard  and other Stupid Books


Bill Peet’s Books

Fox at School by Edward Marshall

Stand Back I’m Going to Sneeze by Patricia Thomas

Morris Has a Cold by Bernard Weisman


Concept Books: Shapes and Things

Color Books: Rabbit’s Color Book, Rainbow Paint, Color Dance, Mouse Paint.

Counting Books: The Doorbell Rang, 1,2,3 to the Zoo...

VanderGrift's Children's Literature Page:

more tips for sharing literature with young people. Also examines various genres in children's literature, including modern realistic fiction, fanciful fiction, regional and historical fiction, biography, informational materials, and poetry.


  1. Our Natural World and Its Inhabitants

Reviews 33 tradebooks which focus on the natural world and its inhabitants. Organizes books by taxonomic class and age level

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