We are loving four, and as my child moves on to older ages (or mom finds waaay too many books), we'll probably do more pages, but for now, I'll stick all of the other books in here. The biggest problem that we have at four is that my child is a voracious book "reader," where he peruses the pictures and has a blast. We've found him the COOLEST books, which give him plenty of brain stuff to chew on. Now the trouble, of course, is that the kid has to stop immersing themselves in these glorious pictorial adventures and slide backwards into JIM HAS AN APPLE stuff, which I can imagine must be very frustrating. But too bad. So 4, 5, whenever your child starts reading... it's a schizophrenic world.
Favorite books : age 4
My son continues to love very complex books. His favorite book is called Trouble for Trumpets and we found it at the local library friends' sale (I LOVE those) for about fifty cents. We were amazed to see that it costs about fifty dollars USED on Amazon. See if it's in your library. It's very cool. About trumpets, who live aboveground in the summer, and grumpets, who live belowground and come out during wintertime, and their bona fide war, started when two trumpets on a lyre-punctuated boat ride, see a periscope spying on them! Amazing pictures. One of those writers who creates an entire world.
Books that My Child likes at 4
My son is now four. Here are the coolest books that he owns. I have put in Amazon links because it's easiest.
This book talks about all of the families (six, I think) who live in a small apartment building. It starts off by talking about each child getting up in their apartment and what they eat and what they do, then tracks them as they play, go to the park, play, and finally, hang around the stoop at night as their parents come home from work and the bigger kids come back. Then it talks about baths, dinners, and bed. In the middle of the book, we're told that that it's a "glorious day" which for some reason just fills me with a sense of quiet enjoyment every time I read it. Very nice. [Note: this remains one of my favorite children's books ever.]
My Father's Dragon is a gem. Recommended by an awesome librarian, it's perfect. Plot, but not too much, a chapter book, and nice and full of action.
Favorite books : age 5 (Kindergarten-age)
I just pulled this off of a list and plan on going through it, but I wanted to save the list because this is exactly our reading level (for having books read to my son) now.
We LOVED the ''Junie B. Jones'' books by Barbara parker. Silly,
fun, personal, and very age-appropriate situations. The
protagonist is a feisty, slightly ''immature'' kindergarten girl
who gets into some silly scrapes at school and at home. Some
parents complain that some of the language isn't really proper
English (not profanity or anything like that - just slightly
imperfect grammar that sounds like Junie B. and her friends would
actually talk). [this sounds wonderful to me - Kate]
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh,
The Mouse and the Motorcycle,
My Father's Dragon (this is the first in a series of 3 terrific
books, very sweet, mild adventure but nothing too scary) [It's wonderful - Kate]
Mary Poppins -- there are four books in the series, I believe. My
son loves them.
The Oz Books -- there are something like 40 all together and almost all of them are better than the famous first one.
Dinotopia. Two beautifully illustrated very cool books that are
written as the journal of a 19th century explorer who finds a
land where humans and dinosaurs live cooperatively. Lots of
pictures and a nice utopian message -- not your typical
monster-slaughtering adventure book. The first one is out of
print, but you can find it at the library.
Charlotte's Web, James and the Giant Peach and Charlie
and the Chocolate Factory. [Note from Kate: my child, at 4, is much too young to hear about the awful things that happen in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I told him a story once about Veruca being deemed a "bad egg" and put down the garbage chute, and he burst into tears. Now that he's 7, he can deal with this a bit better, but I think this is more like an eight-year-old story. For some reason, my child doesn't dive into the "gloriously nasty" stuff that Roald Dahl writes. I look forward to hearing his opion of Dahl's works for grownups (can you say "leg of lamb?") as he ages, since Dahl's stuff just gets creepier...)
For shorter stories, try the Milne books (Winnie the Pooh and the House at Pooh Corner. [Kate's comment: we're reading "When we were Very Young" right now and my son loves it.]
For chapter books that come in a series: the Half Magic books by Edgar Early; also Redwall and the Harry Potter books. [Kate's note: Harry Potter will wait.]
Favorite books: age 6-12
In Finland, one of the most popular children's book series is about the Muumis and is written by Tove Jansson. These books are for ages 9-12 and some are listed here on the Amazon site.
Favorite books : ages 7 and 8
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books (there are four in the series)
The Boxcar Children books (there are over a hundred in that series).
Here's a list of books from the Virginia educational whatever talking about folk stories. Not to sound vague, but check out the books. This was the year that my son really enjoyed the Captain Underpants books. He loved the subversiveness of them, the mixing of cartoons with text, and of course, the humor. Also by the same author - Dav Pilkey is another series called Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Collection. Much loved.
Flat Stanley books aren't bad.
It's very difficult because my son's reading level isn't at the same level that his thinking level is. This year, some of the books that we read to my son included Swiss Family Robinson (he adored this book) and Kim (not even a children's book.) He also really enjoyed having us read Miss Piggle Wiggle and Dr. Doolittle, although some kids can read those by themselves. My son also adored the original Boxcar Children book. I have my doubts about the other books in the series.
My son's favorite books right now (for him to read, at 8) are the Bone comic series, Calvin and Hobbes, and Garfield. He has also enjoyed the Amelia Bedelia books. Silliness is prized around here.
Other series include: Magic Treehouse and the Magic Schoolbus, but those are pretty hard reading.
Another series is called Naruto, and it's about some type of mouthy karate warrior. (Ahem. That's a mom paraphrase. Very silly, but good for those 20 minute a night reading sessions.)