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The Funny Little Woman - Retold by Arlene Mosel (Illustrator - Blair Lent) based on the tale by Lafcadio Hearn. This selection is about a funny little woman who lives in Japan and loves to make dumplings out of rice. One day, one of her dumplings rolls down a hole in the floor. When she went after it, the earth opened up and she fell in. The rest of the selection is about how the wicked oni capture her and make her cook rice for them with a magic paddle that multiplies rice, and how she got away from them. The funny little woman then becomes the richest woman in Japan making so many rice dumplings.
Publisher: E. P. Dutton; New York; 1972.
General Grade Level: Intermediate.
Award: Caldecott Medal.
Other Category: Humor.




Rapunzel - retold & illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. This book is a re-telling of the story of Rapunzel, originally created by a French woman named Giambattista Basile in the 1600's as a tale called "Petrosinella", after the French word for parsley. The tale was translated several times and finally ended up in one of Grimm's brothers' works. The illustrations are beautifully life-like and based on artwork of the Renaissance.
Publisher: Dutton Children's Books; New York; 1997.
General Grade Level: Intermediate.
Award: Caldecott Medal.
Note: There is an afterword at the end of the book that explains the history of the Rapunzel tale.
Other works by the Illustrator: Hansel & Gretel (Caldecott), Rumpelstiltskin (Caldecott), Swamp Angel (Caldecott), Wheels on the Bus.




Many Moons-James Thurber (Illustrator - Louis Slobodkin). This selection is about a young princess who gets sick and decides that having the moon is the only thing that will make her better. The king asks the Lord High Chamberlain, the Royal Wizard, and the Royal Mathematician to get the moon for his daughter. But none of them can; they all say that the moon is too far away. In the end, it is the Court Jester that figures out how to get the moon for Princess Leonore.
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers; New York; 1944.
General Grade Level: Intermediate.
Award: Caldecott Medal.
Other Category: Humor.




They Were Strong and Good-Robert Lawson. This selection is a sort of history of Robert Lawson's grandparents and parents. One grandfather was a sea captain and the other was a preacher. His father helped out on the side of South during the Civil War, as a young boy. They all raised their kids and they were strong, good people. The illustrations are wonderfully life-like.
Publisher: The Viking Press, New York, 1940.
General Grade Level: Primary.
Award: Caldecott Medal.




Prayer for a Child-Rachel Field (Illustrator - Elizabeth Orton-Jones). This selection is a very sweet and comforting prayer for a young child. The young girl prays for God to bless her books, her toys, her friends, her family, and all the other children in the world.
Publisher: MacMillan Publishing Company, 1941, New York.
General Grade Level: Primary.
Award: Caldecott.
Other Works by the Author: Calico Bush, Hepatica Hawks, Hitty, Her First Hundred Years.
Other Works by the Illustrator: Song of the Sun, Big Susan, Twig.




Ox-Cart Man-Donald Hall (Illustrator - Barbara Cooney). This selection is about a colonial New England family. It's about how they work for a year making items like linen and brooms to take to the market in October and how the new things they buy help them make the items for next year's trip.
Publisher: The Viking Press, New York, 1979.
Award: Caldecott.
General Grade Level: Primary.
Other Category: Real-Life Info.
Other Work by the Illustrator: Chanticleer and the Fox.




Grandfather's Journey-Allen Say. This selection is about the author's grandfather's life in both Japan and America. It is about his longing to be in both of his beloved countries.
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company.
General Grade Level: Intermediate.
Award: Caldecott.
Other Works: Tree of Cranes (ALA Notable Children's Book), El Chino, The Lost Lake, A River Dream, The Bicycle Man (ALA Notable Children's Book),The Boy of the Three-Year Nap (Diane Snyder), How My Parents Learned to Eat (Ina. R. Friedman).




The Polar Express-Chris Van Allsburg. This fanciful selection is about a special train that comes one Christmas Eve as a young boy is getting ready to go to sleep. The boy travels on the train with other children to see Santa Claus. He is given the first gift of the Christmas Season--one of the bells off of one of the reindeer's harness. The illustrations are masterful.
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1985.
Award: Caldecott Medal.
General Grade Level: Intermediate.
Other Works: The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, Jumanji, The Wreck of the Zephyr, Ben's Dream, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.




The Glorious Flight (Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot)-Alice and Martin Provensen. This selection is about Louis Bleriot, a French man who fell in love with the idea of flying when he saw his first "airship." He is a fairly rich man and spends his time and money developing an airplane. He develops five unsuccessful models until he develops one that works. Louis Bleriot then makes himself even more famous in 1901 by becoming the first man to cross the English Channel in an airplane.
Publisher: The Viking Press, New York, 1983.
Award: Caldecott.
General Grade Level: Intermediate.
Other Categories: Joy, Real-Life Info.
Other Works: Birds, Beasts and the Third Thing (Poems by D. H. Lawrence), A Peaceable Kingdom (Abcedarius).




Black and White-David Macaulay. This is a very strange (yet entertaining) book comprised of four selections. One is about a boy returning to his parents by train, one is about commuters waiting impatiently for a train, another is about cows that escape from their field, and yet another is about a boy at home with his family. Each page is split into quarters--with one selection unraveling in each block. It is the reader's job to decide whether the selections are related or not.
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1990.
Award: Caldecott.
General Grade Level: Intermediate.
Other Works: The Way Things Work, Why the Chicken Crossed the Road, Baaa, Mill, Unbuilding, Motel of the Mysteries, Great Moments in Architecture, Castle, Underground, Pyramid, City, Cathedral.




The Reason for a Flower-Ruth Heller. This beautifully illustrated book explains about the purpose of a flower, as wells as teaches about different types of flowers. The prose is almost poetic and the illustrations are exquisite.
Publisher: Grosset and Dunlap, New York, 1983.
Other Category: Real-Life Info.
General Grade Level: Intermediate.
Note: also available in Spanish (El Motivo de Una Flor).




My Brown Bear Barney-Dorothy Butler (Illustrator - Elizabeth Fuller). This book is about a young girl and her stuffed bear, Barney, that she takes everywhere with her. She takes him to the grocery store, to play, to the beach, and to her grandmother's house. This is a cute book.
Publisher: Green Willow Books, New York, 1988.
Other Category: Joy.
General Grade Level: Primary.




When I Get Bigger-Mercer Mayer. This selection is about Little Critter and all his ideas of what he will get to do when he's bigger.
Publisher: Western Publishing Company, New York, 1984.
General Grade Level: Primary.
Other Category: Joy.




The Sleeping Beauty-Mercer Mayer. This is a lovely version of the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty. The illustrations are exquisite--I love this story.
Publisher: Aladdin Paperbacks, New York, 1978.
General Grade Level: Intermediate.
Other Category: Joy.




A Cache of Jewels (and Other Collective Nouns)-Ruth Heller. This selection is a marvelous way to explain collective nouns such as school, flock, herd, cluster, or brood. It is very informative and the illustrations are beautiful.
Publisher: Paper Star, New York, 1987.
Other Category: Real-Life Info, Vocab/Comprehension.
General Grade Level: Intermediate.

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