Recommended Literature


About a year ago, I was researching recommended books for children around my son’s age (3 to 5 range).  I was a little disappointed to find the same expected books on pretty much every list, so I started keeping track of the books my son and I loved and compiling our own list!   I wanted to share the list with you.  I will keep adding as we discover more!

Bently and Egg by William Joyce – A wonderful tale about friendship, loyalty and perseverance.

The Teddy Bear by David McPhail – This book was my son’s first literary introduction to the issue of homelessness and caring for those less fortunate.

Armadillo by Mary Elise Monsel – To me, this book seemed to be a tribute to introverted people, so we really enjoyed it at our house.

The Rainbow Rhino by Peter Sis – Great story about three birds who want to venture out and have “adventure,” but ultimately return to their safe rhino friend.

Little Fur Family by Margaret Wise Brown – For women with secondary infertility like myself, this is a great book celebrating the small, cozy family, though all will enjoy it.

Sam who Never Forgets by Eve Rice – We all love this book!  A simple book about a zookeeper who tends to his animals.  Towards the end, it seems he has forgotten to feed elephant.  It feels quite suspenseful to a young child.  The zookeeper eventually  shows up with the food and says, “Forget!  I never forget!”  I think this book reinforces the idea of security from their parents for young children.

The Mitten by Jim Aylesworth – Popular tale of “The Mitten” – we really enjoyed this version.  Originally based on a Ukrainian folktale.

Mushroom in the Rain: Adapted from the Russian of V. Suteyev by Mirra Ginsburg.  This is essentially the same story as “the mitten,” but with a mushroom shielding animals from the rain.

You are Special by Max Lucado – We received this from one of Phineas’ grandmothers…a very touching story about finding your worth in God and not caring what “the world” thinks.  (This is Protestant, but to me seems to fit in well enough with the Orthodox worldview.)

Rechenka’s Egg by Patricia Polacco – We enjoyed this book because it was a treat to find a book about Russian Orthodox culture at the library!

Walter the Baker by Eric Carle – A creative tale that ends up with the “invention” of the pretzel.  The end of the book has a short section describing the pretzel as one of the original Lenten foods.

Photographer Mole by Dennis Haseley – Sweet book about a photographer mole that goes looking for his “something missing” which ends up being his his bride mole.

The Mousery by Charlotte Pomerantz – A story about two miserly mice who go through a change of heart and eventually become generous mice!  This story rhymes the whole way through and has very clever wording.

Just the Way You Are by Marcus Pfister – A story about animal friends getting reading for a party and each wishing they had a different animal part.  They are all told by another friend they are liked “just the way they are” – endearing book!

Twist and Ernest by Laura T. Barnes – A story about two unlikely horse friends!

A Song for Little Toad by Vivian French –  We loved this book!  A story about a toad who is having trouble falling asleep and his mother thinks it is because she doesn’t have a beautiful voice because she is a croaking toad.  She tries to sing like a duck, hummingbird, etc., but in the end the baby toad will only fall asleep to the mother’s croaking!

Mole Music by David McPhail – This is a beautiful story about a mole that is inspired to play the violin.

The Puppy Who Wanted a Boy by Jane Thayer – A touching story about a puppy looking for a boy to take him in…eventually he ends up as the puppy for an orphanage with fifty boys!

The Puddle Pail by Eliza Kleven – Really love this story!  A story about two brother dinosaurs: one likes to collect standard things like coins and shells, the other wants to collect stars and puddles.  The brother who collects standard things gives the other one a hard time (i.e. “You can’t collect that!”), but they both eventually realize that the other dinosaur is an artist!