Saturday, January 8, 2011

Little Nippers Top 10

I have to say that I don’t agree with some of the children’s literature out there today whose main character is a precocious elementary grade-schooler who does nothing except complain about their parents, teachers and siblings. Shouldn’t reading be about imagination? I much prefer the imaginative tales of my youth than the jaded cynicism that seems to have overcome popularity. The following is a list of Classic Children’s literature that are both clever and inspiring. Each book is written for readers ages 9-12 however they are equally enjoyable to younger children if read out loud.


Charlotte’s Web
Written by E.B. White. Illustrated by Garth Williams.

I recently had the pleasure of listening to this story on CD. As a child, I read it multiple times but this recording read by the author himself is beautiful. The story of a very lucky pig that is first saved by a compassionate young girl and then by an ingenious old spider, has once again brought me to tears. It is a moving and eloquent story about growing up, friendship and loss. Charlotte’s Web is a classic that should be on everyone shelves.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Written by Roald Dahl. Illustrated by Quentin Blake.

“There are five children in this book: Augustus Gloop, A greedy boy; Veruca Salt, A girl who is spoiled by her parents; Violet Beauregarde; A girl who chews gum all day long; Mike Teavee, A boy who does nothing but watch television and Charlie Bucket; The hero.” So begins the celebrated tale of Willy Wonka, the Oompa-Loompas and that famous Chocolate Factory. I must say, that I’ve never been a fan of this story until I read the book. Both feature films, the 1971 release with Gene Wilder and the remake in 2005 with Johnny Depp seemed dark and disturbing. The book portrays Willy Wonka as eccentric and less sinister which I find more appealing. Also, the Oompa-Loompas morality songs are rich with profound messages and I think their significance is lost in the movie. My favorite song is the last one about the dangers of letting your children watch too much TV. Instead, they recommend to read, read, and read!

Island of the Blue Dolphins
Written by Scott O’Dell

There are no illustrations in this book but Scott O’Dell’s powerful description of survival and strength brings forth vivid images. When the village people of an Indian tribe leave the island to sail east, a 12 year old girl is left behind. While she waited for a ship to return, she had to forage for food, fight against wild dogs and build her own shelter. This is an unforgettable story of bravery, endurance and spirit like no other.

To view Little Nippers Top 10 list in it's entirety, click on the link in the sidebar under:
TOP 10 Classics

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