Sunday, July 22nd, 2018

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Children’s classics, new titles to consider gifting, reading this season

These classic children’s books are among the many available at Fireside book Shop in Chagrin Falls. (Photograph by Kathryn Riddle)

These classic children’s books are among the many available at Fireside book Shop in Chagrin Falls. (Photograph by Kathryn Riddle)




What better gift than a book for anyone but especially for a child just beginning his or her reading adventures of a lifetime?

For parents and grandparents, choosing a special book at Christmastime may be as easy as giving a favorite one we recall from childhood. “Goodnight, Moon,” “The Little Engine that Could,” “The Story of Ferdinand,” “The Real Mother Goose,” beloved by generations, are classic books to read to a baby and then share together as the child grows.

“Singing and rhyming develop good pre-literacy skills,” said Brenna Friesner, the children’s librarian at the Chagrin Falls Library, one of 28 branches of the Cuyahoga County Public Library. “These skills help children speak and read at an earlier age.”

Brenna said that Great Books for Kids, a list of age-appropriate titles recommended by the Cuyahoga County Public Library, is released at this time of year and is available on its website It is a tremendous resource not only of the books we know and love but also of newly published books with which we might not be familiar. “The Day the Crayons Quit,” “Tap the Magic Tree,” and “This is Not My Hat” are classified as picture books; new classics include “Llama Lama Red Pajama,” Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site,” and “How Do Dinosaurs…”.

“We work closely with school districts, so we have recommended titles for reading relevant to classroom books,” said Brenna. “ The “I Survived” series for second- to fifth-graders are action adventure stories about historical events. Teachers like them as companions to subjects in school. For example, children think the story of the Titanic sinking is only a movie, and not factual.”

Other topics in the series are about the Battle of Gettysburg, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, September 11 and the Japanese tsunami. Brenna said that these are “gruesome enough that boys like them. Some parents may not think their child is ready to read these books alone so will read along with them.”

According to my brother, his grandchildren “have almost worn out all of their “Clifford, the Big Red Dog” books.” Last Christmas, his four-year-old grandson read “Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel” out loud to his rapt audience of Grandpa Tom and Great Aunt Kathryn. Especially at Christmastime, there is no greater joy than that!

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