We were very excited to have hosted George Saunders in our store this past Sunday. He delighted us with his conversation on his new book The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip and has now gifted us his favorite children’s book recommendations. Check them out!
The Happy Hocky Family by Lane Smith
Here is the Hocky family of two parents, three kids, their dog and sometimes cousin Stinky. Through this book you’ll read stories about them and tubas, airplanes, balloons, skateboards, birthdays, boats, chores, dishes, naps, ants, toys, and so much more!
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
Eleanor Estes’s The Hundred Dresses won a Newbery Honor in 1945 and has never been out of print since. At the heart of the story is Wanda Petronski, a Polish girl in a Connecticut school who is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. Wanda claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn’t and bullies her mercilessly. The class feels terrible when Wanda is pulled out of the school, but by that time it’s too late for apologies. Maddie, one of Wanda’s classmates, ultimately decides that she is “never going to stand by and say nothing again.” This powerful, timeless story has been reissued with a new letter from the author’s daughter Helena Estes, and with the Caldecott artist Louis Slobodkin’s original artwork in beautifully restored color.
The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
Virginia Lee Burton won the Caldecott Medal in 1943 for her memorable picture book The Little House, a poignant story of a cute country cottage that becomes engulfed by the city that grows up around it. The house has an expressive face of windows and doors, and even the feelings of a person, so she’s sad when she’s surrounded by the dirty, noisy city’s hustle and bustle: She missed the field of daisies / and the apple trees dancing in the moonlight. Fortunately, there’s a happy ending, as the house is taken back to the country where she belongs. A classic!
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
This story about a peddler and a band of mischievous monkeys is filled with warmth, humor, and simplicity and teaches children about problem and resolution. Children will delight in following the peddler’s efforts to outwit the monkeys and will ask to read it again and again. Caps for Sale is an excellent easy-to-read book that includes repetition, patterns, and colors, perfect for early readers.
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
Johnny Tremain, winner of the 1944 Newbery Medal, is one of the finest historical novels ever written for children. As compelling today as it was seventy years ago, to read this riveting novel is to live through the defining events leading up to the American Revolutionary War. Fourteen-year-old Johnny Tremain, an apprentice silversmith with a bright future ahead of him, injures his hand in a tragic accident, forcing him to look for other work. In his new job as a horse-boy, riding for the patriotic newspaper, “The Boston Observer”, and as a messenger for the Sons of Liberty, he encounters John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Dr. Joseph Warren. Soon Johnny is involved in the pivotal events shaping the American Revolution from the Boston Tea Party to the first shots fired at Lexington. Powerful illustrations by American artist Michael McCurdy bring to life Esther Forbes’s quintessential novel of the American Revolution.
George Saunders’ The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip is this month’s Statesmen Selects. If you haven’t gotten enough of George you can watch him tomorrow night (December 8th) on The Colbert Show.