Children’s Classics Part 3: Non-Fiction
The list of great children’s non-fiction is much too long to include everything, but these samples will get you to the right area to find more!
Mythology by Edith Hamilton
“A collection of Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology including eight genealogical tables”
The Princess and The Pea by Hans Christian Anderson, illustrations by Paul Galdone
“A young girl feels a pea through twenty mattresses and twenty featherbeds and proves she is a real princess” [J398 ANDERSEN]
Cinderella, or, The Little Glass Slipper by Charles Perrault with pictures by Marcia Brown
“There is perhaps no better loved, no more universal story than Cinderella. Almost every country in the world has a version of it, but the favorite of story-tellers is the French version by Charles Perrault.
“This translation is excellent for story-telling and also for reading aloud. Marcia Brown’s illustrations are full of magic and enchantment from the little cupids putting back the hands of the clock to the last scene at the palace.” [J398 PERRAULT]
Paul Bunyan, a Tall Tale retold and illustrated by Steven Kellogg
“Recounts the adventures of the great American folk hero, Paul Bunyan, and his big blue ox, Babe, as they dig out the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, and the Grand Canyon” [J398.2 KELLOGG]
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears : a West African Tale retold by Verna Aardema with pictures by Leo and Diane Dillon
“In this origin story, the mosquito lies to a lizard, who puts sticks in his ears and ends up frightening another animal, which down a long line causes a panic. In the end, an owlet is killed and the owl is too sad to wake the sun until the animals hold court and find out who is responsible. The mosquito is eventually found out, but it hides in order to escape punishment. So now it constantly buzzes in people’s ears to find out if everyone is still angry at it.”
The book won a Caldecott Medal in 1976 for its illustrators, Leo and Diane Dillon [J398.2 AARDEMA]
Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch, a modern abridgment by Edmund Fuller, with a new index
“Familiar Greek, Roman, and Germanic myths as well as legends about King Arthur, Charlemagne, and their knights are retold” [J398.2 BULFINCH]
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle, illustrated by Scott McKowen
“Tales of the English hero, son of a nobleman, who became an outlaw in protest against the king’s injustices to the poor.
“Reprint of the original edition, the finest modern version of the English outlaw’s merry adventures. Includes 23 full-page illustrations.” [J398.20942 PYLE]
Paul Bunyan by Eric Blair, illustrated by Micah Chambers-Goldberg
“Relates some of the legends of Paul Bunyan, a lumberjack said to be taller than the trees, who had a pet ox named Babe. He once hitched Babe to a road that took too long to travel and had her pull it straight.” [JE 398.20973 BLAIR]
Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs. A tale from the Brothers Grimm translated by Randall Jarrell. Pictures by Nancy Ekholm Burkert
“Retells the tale of the beautiful princess whose lips were red as blood, skin was white as snow, and hair was black as ebony. The drama and suspense of Snow White’s flight and refuge with the seven dwarfs begins when the Queen finds out that she herself is not fairest of them all.
“Burkert’s tapestrylike paintings, strong yet delicately detailed, radiate a spiritual beauty that enriches the movement of the story in its medieval setting. Jarrell’s style, graceful and dignified, stays close to the original.” [J398.21 GRIMM]
The Story of King Arthur and His Knights written and illustrated by Howard Pyle
“In these wonderfully illustrated tales, renowned storyteller Howard Pyle carries us back to the enchanting world of King Arthur and his Round Table. The book chronicles the adventures of Arthur as he draws the sword Excalibur from the anvil, proving his right to the throne, and as he courts and wins the heart of Guinevere. Later he suffers the treachery of the wicked Morgana le Fay and witnesses the tragic fate of the Enchanter Merlin. In Pyle’s classic retelling, the legends come alive in unsurpassed vividness. More powerful than any of Merlin’s spells, The Story of King Arthur and His Knights has enthralled and delighted generations of readers fascinated by chivalry, magic, and the unforgettable drama of medieval times.” [J398.22 PYLE]
Aesop’s Fables by Jerry Pinkney
A collection of nearly sixty fables from Aesop, including such familiar ones as “The Grasshopper and the Ants,” “The North Wind and the Sun,” “Androcles and the Lion,” “The Troublesome Dog,” and “The Fox and the Stork.”
Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock retold by Eric A. Kimmel, illus. by Janet Stevens
“Coming upon a moss-covered rock with magical powers, Anansi the spider uses the rock to trick Lion, Elephant, Giraffe, and Zebra, but Little Bush Dear soon turns the tables on the mischievous Anansi.” [J398.24525 KIMMEL]
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark collected from American folklore by Alvin Schwartz, drawings by Stephen Gammell
“Tapped from the oral traditions of American folklore, these ghost stories and tales of weird happenings, witches, and graveyards have startling, funny, or surprising endings.
“There is a story here for everyone — skeletons with torn and tangled flesh who roam the earth; a ghost who takes revenge on her murderer; and a haunted house where every night a bloody head falls down the chimney.” [J398.25 SCHWARTZ]
My Very First Mother Goose edited by Iona Opie, illustrated by Rosemary Wells
“To a small child, words are magical. And the most magical of all are the beloved, venerable words of Mother Goose. Now folklorist Iona Opie has gathered more than sixty treasured rhymes in their most perfect, honest form. From “Hey Diddle, Diddle” and “Pat-a-Cake” to “Little Jack Horner” and “Pussycat, Pussycat,” these are familiar verses that have been passed from parent to child for generations; these are the rhymes that are every child’s birthright.” [J398.8 MY]
Betty Crocker Kids Cook! Betty Crocker
Over 60 simple recipes show you how to fix every meal of the day plus snacks and desserts.
Chow down on delicious food, from Chicken Lickin’ Quesadillas to Indoor S’mores.
Cool illustrations and color pix of every recipe make cooking an adventure.
You Come Too: Favorite Poems For Young Readers by Robert Frost, illustrations Thomas W. Nason
“You Come Too is a book comprised of Robert Frost’s most favored and widely enjoyed poems. As always wit, wisdom and gentleness are found in the poems that make up this wonderful book.” [J811 FROST]
If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer,
A wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er,
A magic bean buyer …
Come in … for where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein’s world begins. You’ll meet a boy who turns into a TV set, and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.
Shel Silverstein’s masterful collection of poems and drawings is at once outrageously funny and profound. [J811 SILVERSTEIN]
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
“Do you think Cinderella married the prince and lived happily ever after, and that the three little pigs outsmarted the wolf? Think again! Premier storyteller Roald Dahl twists the fate of six favorite fairy tales, in this picture book edition with vibrant new cover art by Quentin Blake. Fairy tales have never been more revolting!” [J821.914 DAHL]