Cuentos Maravillosos para 5 años

Title:  Cuentos Maravillosos para 5 años
Author: (as told by) David Busto
Illustrator: Marifé  González
Publisher:  Susaeta Ediciones, S.A.
ISBN: 9788467707076

Cuentos Maravillosos para cinco anos

Summary:  Twenty common folk and fairy tales re-told in Spanish. Includes Cinderella, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Snow White, The Wolf and the Seven Sheep, and more.
Butterfly’s notes:  If you are a Spanish-speaking family, a family looking to become bilingual, or an adult who wants to practice your Spanish skills, this is a great book to have. The stories are traditional but appropriate versions of tales we’ve come to know and love, accompanied by whimsical illustrations. It is simply worded for the most part, but if you’re unsure of your Spanish skills, be sure to keep a Spanish-English dictionary or Google Translate close at hand.

Categories:  ages 4-6, ages 7-9, animal stories, anthologies, fairy tales, fantasy, funny stories, picture books, Spanish

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Frederick

Frederick
Title:  Frederick
Author/ Illustrator:  Leo Lionni
Publisher:  Scholastic, Inc.
ISBN-13:  978-0-590-97939-9
ISBN-10:  0-590-97939-6

Summary:  Frederick the field mouse confuses his family when he does not work to set aside food for the winter months.  Instead Frederick insists that he is gathering memories to share during the cold, bleak months ahead.  When winter hunger and boredom hit the family, they call on Frederick to share his gifts.
Butterfly’s notes:  This is a beautiful story about valuing all different kinds of work.  Frederick may not seem to be much help during the autumn work, but he proves valuable to have around come winter.  This is a Caldecott Honor Book.

Categories:  ages 4-6, ages 7-9, animal stories, nature, picture books, profound messages

Swimmy

Swimmy
Title:  Swimmy
Author/ Illustrator:  Leo Lionni
Publisher:  Scholastic Inc.
ISBN-13:  987-0-590-43049-4
ISBN-10:  0-590-43049-1

Summary:  After a personal tragedy, the small fish Swimmy learns to vanquish fear through adventure.
Butterfly’s notes:  This Caldecott Honor Book features colorful, imaginative illustrations.  It would be fun to try re-creating Lionni’s artistic style with kids after reading the book.

Categories:  ages 4-6, ages 7-9, animal stories, nature, picture books, profound messages

It’s Mine!

It's Mine
Title:  It’s Mine!
Author/ Illustrator:  Leo Lionni
Publisher:  Scholastic Inc.
ISBN:  0-590-62198-X

Summary:  Three selfish frogs cannot enjoy themselves and appreciate the world the way they ought to because they are too busy arguing about the ownership of everything.  A wise old toad and a natural disaster set them straight.
Butterfly’s Notes:  I have high hopes that this book would be useful to read to second and third graders to help them realize that the world is bigger than just themselves.  Lionni calls this a fable, and it does have a modern fable ring to it.

Categories:  ages 4-6, ages 7-9,  animal stories, picture books, profound messages

A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk

A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk
Title:  A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk
Author:  Deborah Ruddell
Illustrator:  Joan Rankin
Publisher:  Margaret K. McElderry Books
ISBN-13:  987-1-4169-4211-5
ISBN- 10:  1-4169-4211-4

Summary:  Hilarious poetry about several different forest animals!
Butterfly’s Notes:  Goofy illustrations accompany these cute poems about animals found in Eastern woodlands.  The only out-of-place animal is the badger, but his poem is so adorable that you’ll forgive him right away!

Categories:  ages 4-6, ages 7-9, animal stories, funny stories, nature, pictures books, poetry

Magical Tales From Many Lands

Magical Tales From Many LandsTitle:  Magical Tales From Many Lands
Author:  (retold by) Margaret Mayo
Illustrator:  Jane Ray
Publisher:  Dutton Children’s Books
ISBN:  0-525-45017-3

Summary:  An anthology of stories about magic from around the world.
Butterfly’s notes:  These tales feature strong heroes and heroines who stand by their morals and learn from their mistakes.  I absolutely loved this anthology as a child; it is one of my personal favorites.  There is something about Jane Ray’s illustrations that really brings the stories to life.

Categories:  ages 7-9, ages 10-12, fairy tales, mythology and legends, fantasy, anthologies, picture books, Butterfly’s favorites

The Mixed-Up Chameleon

The Mixed-Up ChameleonTitle:  The Mixed-Up Chameleon
Author/ Illustrator:  Eric Carle
Publisher:  HarperCollinsPublishers
ISBN:  0-690-04396-1
0-690-04397-X (lib. bdg.)
0-06-443162-2 (pbk.)

Summary:  A chameleon at a zoo envies the traits of other animals and imagines what it might look like if it had the skills and body parts of other animals.
Butterfly’s notes:  It may be fun to imagine, but at the end of the book the chameleon realizes it would be better off to remain a chameleon.  Though it may still wish it had the abilities of other animals, the chameleon finds it is happy to be itself.

Categories:  ages 4-6, ages 7-9, animal stories, funny stories, nature, pictures books, profound messages

The Very Busy Spider

The Very Busy SpiderTitle:  The Very Busy Spider
Author/ Illustrator:  Eric Carle
Publisher:  Philomel Books
ISBN:  0-399-21166-7

Summary:  A small spider works very hard all day to create a beautiful web.
Butterfly’s notes:  We often consider spiders to be scary, but the spider in this story is graceful and hard-working.  Children will love the web in this story because it is three-dimensional on each page so they can trace it with their fingers.

Categories:  ages 4-6, ages 7-9, animal stories, nature, picture books

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry CaterpillarTitle:  The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Author/ Illustrator:  Eric Carle
Publisher:  Philomel Books
ISBN:  0-399-20853-4

Summary:  The story of a caterpillar from egg to adult and the various (silly) things he eats.
Butterfly’s notes:  A clever layout makes this book enjoyable to kids.  Also, the caterpillar is cute!

Categories:  ages 4-6, ages 7-9, animal stories, funny stories, nature, picture books

Babushka Baba Yaga

Babushka Baba YagaTitle:  Babushka Baba Yaga
Author/ Illustrator:  Patricia Polacco
Publisher:  Philomel Books
ISBN:  0-399-22531-5

Summary:  The forest creature Baba Yaga is considered to be an evil witch,  but she feels misunderstood.  Wishing for a grandchild of her own, she disguises herself as a babushka (grandmother) and offers her help to Natasha, a single mother whose son has no babushka.  But, when Baba Yaga’s  foster grandson is scared by tales of the forest witch, she flees lest he discover the truth about her.  Only when danger threatens her foster family does the Baba Yaga reveal her true identity.
Butterfly’s notes:  There are many tales about the Russian witch, Baba Yaga Bony Legs.  This story shows a much softer side of the Baba Yaga that is compeltely loveable.  You can’t help but sympathize with her as a social outcast and rooting for her in her disguise as a babushka.  I love the drawings too!

For a more traditional Baba Yaga story, try reading Baba Yaga Bony Legs in Magical Tales From Many Lands.

Categories:  ages 7-9, ages 10-12, fairy tales, fantasy, mythology and legends, picture books, re-thinking fairy tales, profound messages, Butterfly’s favorites

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