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$25.20 $19.95 list($40.00)
1. The 20th-Century Children's Book
$11.86 $10.18 list($16.95)
2. Where the Wild Things Are
$12.23 $7.89 list($17.99)
3. The Story of Ferdinand
$10.46 $6.95 list($13.95)
4. The Velveteen Rabbit
$10.87 $9.50 list($15.99)
5. Corduroy
$8.09 $0.99 list($8.99)
6. Are You My Mother?
$11.86 $11.30 list($16.95)
7. Tikki Tikki Tembo
$23.10 $17.49 list($35.00)
8. The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh
$10.88 $4.98 list($16.00)
9. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
$11.55 $9.59 list($16.99)
10. Blueberries for Sal
$11.86 $9.99 list($16.95)
11. Three Tales of My Father's Dragon
$10.85 $3.00 list($15.95)
12. The Story of Babar (Babar Books
$18.00 $15.00 list($30.00)
13. A Hatful of Seuss: Five Favorite
$15.74 $13.98 list($24.99)
14. Just So Stories (Books of Wonder)
$13.97 $10.00 list($19.95)
15. Ready... Set... Read!: The Beginning
$5.39 $3.70 list($5.99)
16. Millions of Cats (Paperstar)
$12.24 $6.98 list($18.00)
17. Eloise (Eloise Series)
$5.39 $3.89 list($5.99)
18. Bedtime for Frances
$10.87 $4.94 list($15.99)
19. The Story About Ping
$17.56 $14.41 list($21.95)
20. Absolutely, Positively Alexander

1. The 20th-Century Children's Book Treasury: Picture Books and Stories to Read Aloud
list price: $40.00
our price: $25.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679886478
Catlog: Book (1998-09-14)
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Sales Rank: 1627
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Believe it or not, 44 complete read-aloud classics and future classics--from Goodnight Moon to Stellaluna--are packed in this remarkably svelte, positively historic anthology. Flipping through the 308 pages of The 20th-Century Children's Book Treasury is like browsing a photo album of beloved friends and family. The familiar faces of Curious George and Ferdinand the Bull peer earnestly from the pages, and scenes from Madeline and Millions of Cats resonate as if you just experienced them yesterday. Think of the advantages of carrying this book on a vacation instead of a suitcase of single titles! (Your kids can always revisit their dog-eared hardcovers when they get home.)

This impressive collection of concept books, wordless books, picture books, and read-aloud stories was artfully compiled by longtime children's book editor and publisher Janet Schulman. Stories are coded red, blue, and green to designate age groupings from baby/toddler books such as Whose Mouse Are You?, through preschool books such as Where the Wild Things Are, to longer stories for ages 5 and older such as Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The reason the book isn't bigger than Babar is because many of the illustrations from each story were reduced or removed to fitthe anthology's format.(Leo Lionni's Swimmy, for example, takes up 5 pages total, compared to its original 29 pages.)Brief biographical notes that are surprisingly quirky shine a little light on the 62 authors and illustrators, and an index helps, too, for the child who likes one story best. We love the idea of being within easy reach of a Star-Belly Sneetch, a William Steig donkey, and a Sendak monster at all times, and we're sure your little bookworms will, too. (Click to seea sample spread from The 20th-Century Children's Book Treasury, compilation copyright © 1998 by Janet Schulman, illustrations © renewed 1997 by William Steig.) (All ages) --Karin Snelson ... Read more

Reviews (66)

5-0 out of 5 stars A truly wonderful collection of classic stories!
I bought this book after checking it out at the library and being in awe at the wonderful stories in it. My boys are 2 and almost every night at dinner we read a new story. With classics from Curious George and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel to the rhythmic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, there are surely stories to fit every need. The book also lists which stories are appropriate for different ages. Most of the stories are condensed to 4-6 pages with lots of pictures, but some have few illustrations and are great for reading in the car, at dinner, or at bedtime when your child is really sleepy.

We own several of the individual books and will probably buy more of them for the boys to be able to read and hold. This book is too heavy and awkward for small children to be handling, but it is a convenient way to expose them (and me!) to some of the great stories that have been written over the years. Besides, you'll want to keep it in good shape to hand down to your grandchildren! This collection of stories will make a wonderful gift for new or expecting parents or for older children who love to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazing collections of children's favorites
Most of the 'greatest hits' collections - whether for a time period or a particular artist seem to always leave out the best song or super-star groups. This Treasury astounded me by collecting 'all' the great authors and stories (at least all of the ones I can thing of). Madeline, Dr. Seuss, Babar, Curious George, Where the Wild Things Are, The Berenstain Bears, Amelia Bedelia, Stellaluna, Pooh, etc... I am amazed that the editors managed to get the rights to publish all of these incredible favorites!

The texts of the stories are complete (as far as I can tell), but the illustration have been shrunk so that all of the stories will fit in one volume. Something is lost in the process, but I can imagine that it would be the perfect book for a trip, keeping a any kids' home-away-from-home (like grandma's house), or just to read to discover previously unknown classics (which is what my five year old and I are doing).

An added benefit is the history - the stories were all written in a historical context and to a greater or lesser extend reflect the society in which they were written. The editors wisely put the year of publication with each story. So when I read them to my daughter I can also comment (when applicable) not only about whether or not I had read the story as a kid, but also set the story in a historical context (take Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, published in 1939, for example).

Of course, for stories destined to become favorites, the full-sized editions with illustrations are really needed; but for an anthology, this book cannot be beat!

3-0 out of 5 stars Before you buy, know what you are missing
This is a good book for reference but if you intend to buy it INSTEAD OF the children's classics it includes, you will be missing out on a lot. Please read the School Library Journal review and Booklist review in entirety before making a decision to buy this, they both touch on the problem of condensing stories and missing illustrations with the effect they have on the stories' impact. It is especially noticable for stories that rely on illustrations for pacing or an element of surprise. I find that my kids, both beginning readers, do not go to this book on their own the same way that they will run to look at any of their favorite individual story books and although we use it, it is usually only as a convenience to me (to avoid hunting down and carrying several goodnight books). If it gets you to read more, great, but for fostering a love of these classics in your kids there is nothing like using the real individual books in their covers, formatted as originally intended.

5-0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING!
We have hundreds of children's books, but this is the one we turn to over and over. (Our son is 3 1/2; daughter is 6). Great at story time, and even better when you need some help entertaining the kids (e.g., doctor's office, long trip, snow day at home). The collection is a real treasure of books we knew, and books we discovered for the first time. My prediction: your children will still remember this book when they are reading to your grandkids. By far, our family's favorite.

5-0 out of 5 stars A terrific collection of classics
I'm an American journalist living in Germany and raising two bilingual kids. I've had this book for about 3 years now. It has been a wonderful source of bedtime reading for my oldest son, who is now 6. The stories offer a good variety of reading levels, so it has really grown with him. Yes, some of the illustrations are small, but I found that a small price to pay for the convenience of having a single book to grab at bedtime when we are both very tired, but needing a great story. ... Read more

2. Where the Wild Things Are
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060254920
Catlog: Book (1988-11-09)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Sales Rank: 65
Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In the forty years since Max first cried "Let the wild rumpus start," Maurice Sendak's classic picture book has become one of the most highly acclaimed and best-loved children's books of all time. Now, in celebration of this special anniversary, introduce a new generation to Max's imaginative journey to where the wild things are.

Winner, 1964 Caldecott Medal
Notable Children's Books of 1940–1970 (ALA)
1981 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Illustration
1963, 1982 Fanfare Honor List (The Horn Book)
Best Illustrated Children's Books of 1963, 1982 (NYT)
A Reading Rainbow Selection
1964 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award
Children's Books of 1981 (Library of Congress)
1981 Children's Books (NY Public Library)
100 Books for Reading and Sharing 1988 (NY Public Library)
... Read more

Reviews (195)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Children's Book, in Many Ways
Max puts on a wolf costume and feels mischievous. He breaks some rules and is sent to bed without supper. From there, his imagination takes over, a jungle grows in his bedroom, and he goes on a magical journey of (self-)discovery. The world he explores is populated by colorful, scary, and somewhat silly monsters who all get tamed by Max.

This book is beautifully illustrated, the story flows rapidly and flawlessly, and the language is simultaneously simple and loaded with meaning. While it is unlikely to happen, watch out for your children trying to write like Sendak, with his trademark run-on sentences.

This is the first book I remember reading by myself. It holds a special place in my heart.

Wow! I think that any child can sympathize with Max as he just wants to do what he wants to do, and then gets in trouble for breaking the rules. We also can understand how his frustration and anger cannot be sustained in the face of parental clarity, consistency, and calm strength. He works through his anger during his "journey" through the "jungle" and tames himself as he tames the monsters. Along the way, he discovers how lonely he is and how much he dislikes disapproval. The ending is simple, happy, and realistic.

This is a great book to read with your children, and then turn over to them to read on their own. It opens the door to discuss many simple but crucial issues of childhood. Please buy this book and use it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wild About Wild
Maurice Sendak is one of those great children's book creators who could write and draw. He helped me dream as a young boy, and I should pay him credit for helping me imagine things today.

When I was little, I'd stare at the page long after my mother finished reading it to me. Sendak seemed to have found my creative pulse, as he drew me in to wonder about his world of pretend monsters. The monsters are not quite so terrible, and could be considered friendly.

Max and I are both boys, and it must ordinary for we boys to get in a terrific amount of trouble in the process of playing. I related to Max. He sounded like a real boy. I was never quite sure what a rumpus was, but I knew it sounded like a lot of fun.

The pictures are cool. There is a rich, full-of-flavor tension in the art. The expressions and poses of the characters come across as genuine.

Don't be fooled by the amazing pictures. You'll enjoy the carefully laid story just as much, and your child can close his eyes and imagine his own version.

A wonderful book. A classic. If you've got kids, or if you read to your family's or neighbor's kids, this is one book which will be dog-eared from numerous reads.

I fully recommend "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak.

Anthony Trendl

1-0 out of 5 stars not as good as new books
I am almost 7 and my teachre said we have to say why we like a lot of books or do not like a lot of books this summer on amazon and then print out them and give them to our new teacher next year So I am starting with this book.

My dad reelly likes this book because he said it was good when he was a kid. I dont like it. The pictures are boring and the story is not long. My dad reads this to me a lot and I like the books that are newer. New books have pictures that are pretty and the storys are funner and longer. This book has pictures that look old. I wish my dad would read this to himself and let me read something diferent. Nichole

5-0 out of 5 stars the book I loved best as a child.
My love affair with Maurice Sendak's "Where The Wild Things Are" goes back further than I think I can remember. I fell hard for the vibrant prose and unbelievable illustrations. It is a beautiful book throughout and it has absolutely withstood the test of time.

I am twenty-four years old now. I love this book as much as I did the first time I read it. This book speaks to places in the heart and the mind that you sort of forget about as you age. It's a magical book, it never fails to transform me.

Long live King Max....and all of his beautiful monsters.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!!
I took a children's literature class a few years ago in college and I am now expecting my first child and I remembered this book and have recently purchased it. It's absolutely wonderful!! ... Read more

3. The Story of Ferdinand
by Munro Leaf
list price: $17.99
our price: $12.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0670674249
Catlog: Book (1936-01-01)
Publisher: Viking Books
Sales Rank: 1184
Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A true classic with a timeless message, The Story of Ferdinand has enchanted readers since it was first published in 1936. All the other bulls would run and jump and butt their heads together. But Ferdinand would rather sit and smell the flowers. So what will happen when our pacifist hero is picked for the bullfights in Madrid? This new edition contains the complete original text of the story and the original illustrations with watercolor tones added. ... Read more

Reviews (37)

5-0 out of 5 stars Bully for you, Ferdinand!
I love Robert Lawson and I love Munroe Leaf, but ladies and gentlemen these two men are definitely less great unless paired together. In undoubtedly my favorite children's book from the 1930s (so sorry, "They Were Strong and Brave"), these two titans of the picture book world created the most adorable story to have ever involved cork trees, bulls, and sweet smelling flowers.

Ferdinand is none too different from "The Reluctant Dragon". He may look fierce and strong, but underneath that hard exterior lies a bull that is perfectly content to just sit beneath his favorite cork tree and smell the flowers all day. Ferdinand was gentle even when young, and he has no desire to go needlessly ramming his head with the other bulls in the field. When some wonderfully illustrated men arrive to find a bull worthy of their bull-fighting arena, Ferdinand is accidentally selected as their choice. Once in the arena, however, Ferdinand proceeds to humiliate the matador and his cronies through simple peace-loving flower-smelling. In the end, Ferdinand is returned to his cork tree and the world is as it was.

There's a definite pacifist feel behind the old Ferdinand tale. In what other story will you have a creature not fight back despite all provocations, only to win in the end? Moreover, a male character that prefers pretty sights and smells to violence and uber-masculinity. Lawson's pen and ink drawings expertly compliment Leaf's tale. Through them we see the high balconies of Spanish towns, and the serene fields where little bulls may play. I was especially amused by the cork tree, from which actual wine corks hang. I suspect many a child has subsequently believed for years that corks really do grow on the vine as Lawson displayed them. Lawson isn't above other humorous tweaking beyond that. On the front and end papers of the book is an image of children gawking at a ferocious picture of "angry" Ferdinand. The poster goes on to advertise treats at the bull fight including "hot dogos" and "chocolato". Apparently any word with an appropriate "o" tacked on the end is instantly Spanish.

"Ferdinand" is the sweetest of the Leaf/Lawson tales. However you feel about the nature of violence (and about how it is almost required of the males of society) this is the quintessential story about being yourself. The angry over-masculine bulls may fight and brawl but peaceful Ferdinand is the one to outwit the men in the end.

5-0 out of 5 stars One for the ages
"Ferdinand" is one of the best-loved children's books of all time, and with good reason. This timeless tale of a little bull in Spain who doesn't mind being different from the rest of the herd strikes an instant chord in youngsters and oldsters alike. Ferdinand is a gentle creature who would rather sit around and smell the flowers than butt his way through life; but when he planks himself down one day on a bumblebee, he gets a jolt that propels him into the bullring in Madrid. The story is funny and endearing, and the illustrations are hilarious. Generations of preschoolers have loved this book, and it looks good for generations to come.

1-0 out of 5 stars Shocking and inappropriate for young children
Upon reading this book, I found it to be very shocking and inappropriate for young children. My students thought it to be a "bad story." They "did not like it because the men wanted to hurt Ferdinand. They wanted to keep sticking him with spears and a sword." My students asked me to stop reading the story because they felt very sad.

4-0 out of 5 stars simple, sweet story of nonconformity for little ones
Originally published in 1936, this simple story of the pacifist bull still rings true for children and adults, as ferdinand refuses to fight even when he is chosen to face the matador in Madrid. Ferdinand would rather sit under a tree and smell the flowers, and his mom thinks that's just fine. this is a comforting story for kids who feel they don't fit in. the message is simple and direct, and makes for great discussions after reading. The original illustrations are quite charming as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BEST EVER
This book has been one of my favorites, if not my favorite for years. I did not discover it until after I saw Disney's short of the story about 20 years ago. Disney's short was made in the 50s or 60s, I think. Ferdinand is the most endearing character and a great messege to tell children that they don't have to follow the crowd to be happy and we can break the mold and be peaceful and non-violent. This is only part of the greatness of this book...the illustration are the absolutely most wonderful illustrations. Robert Lawson is a genius of catching the most adorable expressions and humourus faces. My daughter (3yrs) LOVES this book too. WE HIGHLY RECCOMMEND IT! ... Read more

4. The Velveteen Rabbit
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385077254
Catlog: Book (1958-02-06)
Publisher: Doubleday Books for Young Readers
Sales Rank: 1269
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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A stuffed toy rabbit (with real thread whiskers) comes to life in Margery Williams's timeless tale of the transformative power of love. Given as a Christmas gift to a young boy, the Velveteen Rabbit lives in the nursery with all of the other toys, waiting for the day when the Boy (as he is called) will choose him as a playmate. In time, the shy Rabbit befriends the tattered Skin Horse, the wisest resident of the nursery, who reveals the goal of all nursery toys: to be made "real" through the love of a human. "'Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'" This sentimental classic--perfect for any child who's ever thought that maybe, just maybe, his or her toys have feelings--has been charming children since its first publication in 1922. (A great read-aloud for all ages, but children ages 8 and up can read it on their own.) ... Read more

Reviews (50)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's wonderful every time I read it!
I make sure I use this book with each class I teach--3rd and4th graders. They always get it--that love makes us real, too. Theymake the connection between the Skin Horse becoming shabby and people getting old. I always bring in my stuffed velveteen rabbit I bought years ago and it starts making the rounds and popping up on different children's laps. It is a pleasure to see them become attached to the rabbit instead of "mechanical toys that were very superior, and looked down upon everyone else." They also relate to the lessons the Velveteen Rabbit learns from the Skin Horse about how becoming real is a painful process sometimes and can take a long time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Does it hurt to be real?
This is my all-time favorite children's book! A little boy receives a stuffed rabbit for Christmas, and they love each other until one day...This book is so true and honest in its emotion, you will not be able to read it without shedding tears. It deserves much more than 5 stars. Read it aloud with your child...share the beauty and the love.

4-0 out of 5 stars Little rabbit in the woods
Color me a tiny bit surprised. A tiny bit. In remembering the story of "The Velveteen Rabbit" I had placed it somewhere on par with syrupy sappy stories like "The Giving Tree" or "Love You Forever". I had believed for quite some time that this book was an old but nonetheless overly sentimental tale that even the most dewey-eyed of youngsters would have some difficulty swallowing. Then I reread it recently and I found that I was not correct in all of my assumptions. Yes, "The Velveteen Rabbit" has its flaws. It is prone to a couple ooey-gooey moments here and there, but on the whole it is a strong well-written work. This is not a book that has earned its title as one of the best known and beloved works of fiction for children lightly.

All children wish that their toys were real and could have feelings like the rest of us. This kind of desire is what has spawned everything from the movie "Toy Story" to the classic Newbery Award winning book, "Hitty: Her First 100 Years". In the case of "The Velveteen Rabbit", this wish is taken to an entirely different level. In the beginning, a boy is given a fluffy stuffed rabbit made of softest velveteen. The rabbit is told by an old skin horse about the wonders of one day becoming real, and it becomes the rabbit's deepest wish. As the boy grows to love the rabbit and wear him down, the rabbit feels that he has indeed grown real. One day the boy comes down with scarlet fever and it is necessary to burn the rabbit along with all his other toys. Fortunately, the rabbit is saved by a magic fairy that turns him into a real rabbit. A little time later the boy is out playing when he sees a rabbit that looks just like the old toy he used to own, little knowing that his toy has come back briefly to bid him one last look.

I'm particularly attached to the editions of this tale that are accompanied by Michael Hague's illustrations. Very popular in the 1980s, Hague has the ability to draw illustrations that are at once touching and at the same time a little realistic. His pictures are filled with little touches and details that clever eyes might enjoy locating. For example, a page displaying the velveteen rabbit and other toys shows a small frog toy looking very much like the Frog character from Hague's version of "Wind in the Willows". On the bookshelf sits his edition of "The Wizard of Oz", easily identifiable by its spine. As for the characters in the pictures, they are delightful. The rabbit grows floppier and more raggedy as the book goes on (not suprising when the boy enjoys dragging it about by one ear). The boy himself is a ruddy faced youth, as apt to tease the bunny as he is to lavish it with love and affection. Hague has a way with light and color that make these pictures virtually leap off of their pages, and the result is a beautiful and elegant series of prints.

I am pleased to report that "The Velveteen Rabbit" is just as important today as it has ever been. This beautiful tale should always be accompanied by beautiful pictures, and so we are fortunate that Michael Hague lent it his skills. I have no doubt that your children will be entranced by this tale. I have even less doubt that you will find something in it yourself to make you pause and think over. Simple and eloquent.

1-0 out of 5 stars Too sad for me
I've never liked this story and I had to hear it a lot as a child since it's a "classic." The rabbit's martyrdom made me cry every time it was read to me and actually gave me nightmares as a young child. This is one book from my childhood I will not be reading to my son.

5-0 out of 5 stars ALWAYS A FAVORITE!
Most youngsters have a favorite toy, which may be why they have always loved The Velveteen Rabbit or How Toys Become Real.

Today small eyes and ears will respond just as eagerly to the
reassuring story of a stuffed rabbit miraculously transformed by love.
First published in 1922, this classic tale loses none of its power in today's brightly illustrated abridged version which is more accessible for a younger audience. Ages 3 and up. ... Read more

5. Corduroy
list price: $15.99
our price: $10.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0670241334
Catlog: Book (1968-03-01)
Publisher: Viking Books
Sales Rank: 663
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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Have you ever dreamed of being locked in a departmentstore at night? The endearing story of Corduroy paints a pictureof the adventures that might unfold (for a teddy bear at least) insuch a situation. When all the shoppers have gone home for thenight, Corduroy climbs down from the shelf to look for his missingbutton. It's a brave new world! He accidentally gets on anelevator that he thinks must be a mountain and sees thefurniture section that he thinks must be a palace. He tries topull a button off the mattress, but he ends up falling off the bedand knocking over a lamp. The night watchman hears the crash,finds Corduroy, and puts him back on the shelf downstairs. Thenext morning, he finds that it's his lucky day! A little girl buyshim with money she saved in her piggy bank and takes him home toher room. Corduroy decides that this must be home and thatLisa must be his friend. Youngsters will never get tired of thistoy-comes-alive tale with a happy ending, so you may also want toseek out Dan Freeman's next creation, A Pocket forCorduroy. (Ages 3 to 8) ... Read more

Reviews (45)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is such a touching story
This story shows that it doesn't matter what you look like or what other people think of you, someone will always love you for who you are. After reading that book I always wanted a bear just like Corduroy with the missing button and all. I thought how it was so cute that the little girl came back with all her piggy bank money and bought the tiny bear that didn't even look new. Most kids will see things in the store and beg for it then forget about it once they are told no. There must of been something about Corduroy that you will have to read to find out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Everyone should know this lovely book!
Cordoroy is the perfect children's book. It is a gentle, sweet tale of a little bear in cordoroy overalls waiting to be purchased in a department store. A real little girl sees him and falls in love with him, but her mother says she doesn't have money to buy him and he's missing a button. After the store closes, all the toys with faces close their eyes except Cordoroy. Instead, he travels the department store searching for a button because he didn't know he was not perfect. He does not solve his problem. Cordoroy is back on the toy shelf the next morning. The little girl, Lisa returns to buy him. She takes him home, sews on a button, and provides him with his own little bed right beside hers. "I've always wanted a friend!" he says. This beautifully illustrated book has a simple text and huge appeal to anyone with a heart.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fuzzy wuzzy was a bear
Children have been fascinated with the idea of dolls and toys that can talk and move, from the Newbery winning, "Hitty: Her First 100 Years" to the more contemporary (and better known) "Corduroy". This particular tale focuses on a bear, his small unassuming quest, and the girl that eventually becomes his friend. The book feels more like, "The Velveteen Rabbit" than "Toy Story", but kids will quickly come to enjoy (or at the very least, understand) Corduroy's wish for a child to love him.

Living in a department store with other toys and dolls, Corduroy is a stuffed teddy bear in overalls. One day a doe-eyed girl and her patient mama spot the bear and the child is instantly entranced. Unfortunately, her mother points out that the bear is a little worn down and is even missing one of the buttons on its overalls. Upon hearing this, the bear is distressed and resolves to, that night, locate the missing item. After taking an unexpected ride up the escalator, Corduroy finds himself in the store's bedding area. He tries (unsuccessfully) to prise a button off of a nearby mattress, but succeeds only in alerting the local night watchman to his presence. The next day, however, the girl returns with her own allowance money and quick as a wink purchases the bear, missing button and all. She even sews a new button back onto his overalls, and the two are fast friends.

The book, when you look at it closely, almost seems to resemble a series of woodcuts, painted with watercolors later. I don't know if this was the case, but if so the author/artist, Don Freedman, is certainly adept. I've never seen woodcut faces as well presented as the ones here. People are smooth and rounded, and Freedman apparently doesn't have any problems with round curves. Moreover, I was impressed that the little girl and her mother that view Corduroy are black. Originally published in 1968, this was a bit of a big deal back in the day.

Today, the story of the little bear who wanted a friend is as poignant and simplistic in its telling as it was when first it came out. Anyone who read (or had read to them) this book as a child will instantly remember the scene of Corduroy tugging and tugging the button on the mattress in an attempt to remove it for himself. It's a sweet story all in all. I think people feel a great deal of affection for "Corduroy" because they can identify with the little unwanted fuzzy guy. He's a cutie, there's no question.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun bear story
A brown teddy bear sits in a toy shop waiting to find a real home. He catches the eye of a little girl, but her mother says she can't take him home because he's missing a button on his overalls. Determined to find a home, the bear goes on a nighttime hunt through the store for his button. The hunt almost ends in disaster. But the next morning the little girl returns to the store and takes him home at last. The book is not scary. The human characters are shown to be African Americans. The book has about 250 words.

3-0 out of 5 stars Sweet little tale about a bear
The Corduroy books are sweet, easy tales about a stuffed bear and his BIG adventures. Easy reading, nice pictures. ... Read more

6. Are You My Mother?
list price: $8.99
our price: $8.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394800184
Catlog: Book (1960-06-12)
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Sales Rank: 2333
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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This is the classic from which many of our staff first learned toread, starting us on a path of unremitting bibliophilia.Are You My Mother? follows a confused baby bird who's been denied the experience of imprinting as he asks cows, planes, and steam shovels the Big Question. In the end he is happily reunited with his maternal parent in a glorious moment of recognition. ... Read more

Reviews (56)

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the smallest child!
Are you looking for a good book to introduce a small child to the joys of reading? Then this one is a great one!

Long before I realized that babies are little sponges, someone gave me this book for my then first-born one year old (1968! ) Since then, this book has been a staple for all my children, the youngest now 8.

I have read to each child, before they were one - only one isn't as fond of reading as the others, but even he enjoys a good book now and again.

This book is the perfect book to introduce little ones to the joys of reading. The words are few and small, and the question is one of interest to little ones who are still trying to sort out what is going on in this new-to-them world.

The little bird falls from her nest while mother bird is out getting worms. She (or he) goes to every animal she sees and asks, "Are you my mommy?"

This simple story keeps the child's interest, because the little ones are concerned about what happens if they separate from a parent or caregiver.

In the end, of course (I doubt that this is giving away the story!) the bird finds the mother and all is right.

If you want your children or grandchildren to enjoy reading, this book is an excellent start. Expect to have to read it over and over, so well that you both will have it memorized!

5-0 out of 5 stars Yes, I am!
This book is perfect for toddlers who are just starting to appreciate illustrations. It tells of a young bird searching for his mom and asking each animal he meets, "Are you my mother?"

Kids can easily relate to the young bird's quest for his mom. He meets a kitten, a hen, a dog, a cow and a snort only to find out that his mom just got food for him and came back for him in their nest! The illustrations are simple, realistic and fun to look at.

A story with a valuable lesson: The importance of the mother-child bonding which transcends all beings in the animal kingdom.

1-0 out of 5 stars A CURSE! AN UTTER CURSE!
Many of you, "Parents", have exposed this book unto your families. Same thing with my mother. She exposed this story to me. But you know what I see in this book of evil? Scary images and ideas. Look at the dog for instance. Does he look like a "nice" dog to you? He didn't to me. He scarred the buttons of my shirt. Everytime I look at his eyes I fill with fear. But the idea of being seperated from your parents of the worst fear factor. AND in addition. NEVER EVER EVER BUY THE VIDEO THAT GOES WITH THIS BOOK! It has bizarre music that will stick in your childs minds while the sleep and haunt them. I had many nightmares about "Are You My Mother" and your kids shouldn't. NEVER BUY THIS BOOK!

5-0 out of 5 stars Warm fuzzy memories
A fave of mine as a young'un, this tender tale will tickle the funnybone and touch the heart as the adorable little birdling asks various animals and items if they are his mother (who went to get food for him!)LOVED the scene with the earthmover! Those who said it was scary and about child abandonment need to lighten up. :-) Who hasn't gotten separated from their folks when they were little (like by wandering off in stores and such)A must read for everyone's childhood.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Mother of All Children's Books
Revisit the warmly inviting pages of PD Eastman's classic for a treat readers from four to forty-four and beyond will enjoy.

Whether it is your first time or your thousandth, the simple but delightful illustrations and familiar storyline of a little bird believing his mother is lost will wrap you in the cozy feel reminiscent of those half-forgotten feet-pajama winters and watermelon summers.

Not to be missed. Share it if you can with your favorite tot, but if not, read it to yourself. Read it aloud.

And remember: not every snort is your enemy. ... Read more

7. Tikki Tikki Tembo
by Arlene Mosel
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805006621
Catlog: Book (1968-03-15)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Sales Rank: 2308
Average Customer Review: 4.31 out of 5 stars
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If you haven't already read Tikki Tikki Tembo, you've probably heard at least someone recite the deliriously long name of its protagonist: Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo, by now a famous refrain in most nursery schools. In this beautiful edition--complete with line and wash illustrations by artist Blair Lent--Arlene Mosel retells an old Chinese folktale about how the people of China came to give their children short names after traditionally giving their "first and honored" sons grand, long names. Tikki tikki tembo (which means "the most wonderful thing in the whole wide world") and his brother Chang (which means "little or nothing")get into trouble with a well, are saved by the Old Man with the Ladder, and change history while they're at it. Tikki Tikki Tembo is a perfect book to read aloud, but don't be surprised if you find yourself joining the ranks of its chanting followers. (Picture book) ... Read more

Reviews (54)

5-0 out of 5 stars Not to be confused with Rikki tikki tavi
If you, like my pretty self, grew up reading (or being read) the tale of Tikki Tikki Tembo, then you already know exactly the correct cadences and tones to use when pronouncing his name. Come on, everybody! Say it along with me... Tikki Tikki Tembo-No Sa Rembo-Chari Bari Ruchi-Pip Peri Pembo. Whew! It's a mouthful, which is of course the point. In this book (originally published, I kid you not, in 1968) we learn about the dangers of over-monikering one's own offspring.

Two boys live with their mother near an old well. The eldest is considered the more important of the two, and his is the extraordinarily long name. His younger brother is named Chang. Chang and Tikki love one another, and when Chang falls into the well his brother rushes off to save him. Tikki fetches the old man with the ladder, who rescues the sodden boy. Later (not the same day, thankfully) the boys play around the well again and this time it's Tikki who has fallen in. When Chang attempts to tell his mother what has happened, it's all he can do to spout out that enormous mouthful of a name. When his mother finally understands, he too is sent to the old man with the ladder and a very similar scene occurs. In the end Tikki is rescued, though his prolonged well-exposure leaves him sick for a little while. Hence (according to this tale and, yes yes, not historically accurate in the least), "the Chinese have always thought it wise to give all their children little, short names instead of great long names".

When I was read this book as a kid I remember disliking small sections of it (whilst enjoying the entire thing as a whole). I felt bad for Chang, a boy whose name translated roughly to "little or nothing". Yet Chang and Tikki don't engage in any sibling rivalry or bad feelings. They play together as happily as can be. And though their mother does refer to Tikki with such names as "my first and honored son, heir of all I possess", the final shot of the book is Chang seated snugly on his mother's lap as they speak with the bed-ridden Tikki. So is the book racist? I dunno. Not to my eyes, though I've already admitted that having been read this book while a child, I'm biased towards it. I really don't think there's anything in here to seriously offend someone, unless becoming offended is their goal. Yes, we can all agree that the clothing is Japanese while the characters are Chinese. Confusing, certainly. And the last line in the story is a bit odd, but personally I don't feel it will turn your children into raving-mad racists. It's just an amusing story told with a great deal of zip and verve. Author Arlene Mosel has told it in such a way that the reader really enjoys repeated passages that say things like, "He pumped the water out of him and pushed the air into him, and pumped the water out of him and pushed the air into him". Blair Lent's illustrations are just as amusing and fun. Though a book of limited colors, it almost seems to the reader as if there are millions of subtle variations on the blues and greens shown throughout the story.

The fact of the matter is, this is just a great book. Top drawer. If you've an ability to tell a tale well, then it is a crime and shame that you are not reading this book to a little one right now. For as long as children enjoy hearing rhymes and syncopated rhythms, this book will remain a popular item.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book for a read aloud and discussion
This is a retelling of an old Chinese folk tale about unnecessary and overly grandiose events. The initial premise is that the firstborn son is given a grand name, in this case Tikki Tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo, which means "the most wonderful thing in the world." However, all subsequent sons are given short names, so the second son is called Chang, which means "little or nothing."
The tale begins with Chang falling into a well. Tikki Tikki Tembo runs for help and has no difficulty in telling the adults what happened. An old man uses a ladder to rescue Chang and after some brief treatment, he recovers. Later in the story, Tikki Tikki Tembo falls into the well and Chang runs for help. However, because of the length of the name, he has difficulty explaining what is wrong and help is delayed. While Tikki Tikki Tembo is rescued, it takes him a long time to recover. As a consequence of this event, the Chinese change their custom so that now all of their children are given short names.
The artwork of this book is excellent and the moral of the story a good one for children. I strongly recommend it for read-aloud sessions that end in a discussion.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
I haven't read this book in...ten years or so, but as soon as I read the title 'TIKKI TIKKI TEMBO, I LOVE THAT BOOK'. That pretty much covers it. It's wonderful, I wish the kids I am around would be patient enough to listen to it. :) WONDERFUL WONDERFUL BOOK!

2-0 out of 5 stars Fun, but inaccurate
Tikki Tikki Tembo has a beautiful and fun name to say. However, that is where my praise of the book ends. The illustrations are lacking, not to mention inaccurate. A seemingly uncaring mother obviously favoring one son over the other is the main thing that stands out in my mind after having read this book. Perhaps my biggest problem with this text is the sweeping generalization it ends with, "from that day to this, the Chinese have always thought it wise to give their children little, short names, instead of great long names." I believe it is important to eduate and expose children to cultures outside of their own. However, we must do so in a way that promotes their curiousity and an accurate understanding. Multicultural literature can be a wonderful tool in the classroom as well as the home, when used properly; Tikki Tikki Tembo will be left out of my toolbox.

4-0 out of 5 stars A name that'll stick in your mind for years
I don't understand why people are looking at this book like it's some sort of historical text. I doubt many 5-year-olds are going to read this book and say, "Well, it was OK, but it was full of historical inaccuracies and perpetuated stereotypes harmful to the Chinese community." It's a story, nothing more. It's not meant to teach any life-changing moral. Stop searching for offensive material and enjoy the book the way a child would.

A child will enjoy this, by the way. I know I did, when I first read it perhaps 25 years ago. It may not (as I said above) provide profound revelations, but it does encourage children to do the right thing whether people treat them with respect or not.

Lighten up, enjoy the rhythm of the name, watch kids try to say it all in one breath, and years from now you'll still remember Tikki Tikki Tembo and his helpful brother. ... Read more

8. The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh
by A. A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard, A.A. Milne
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0525457232
Catlog: Book (1996-10-01)
Publisher: Dutton Children's Books
Sales Rank: 12465
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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When Christopher Robin asks Pooh what he likes doing best in the world, Pooh says, after much thought, "What I like best in the whole world is Me and Piglet going to see You, and You saying 'What about a little something?' and Me saying, 'Well, I shouldn't mind a little something, should you, Piglet,' and it being a hummy sort of day outside, and birds singing."

Happy readers for over 70 years couldn't agree more. Pooh's status as a "Bear of Very Little Brain" belies his profoundly eternal wisdom in the ways of the world. To many, Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and the others are as familiar and important as their own family members. A.A. Milne's classics, Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, are brought together in this beautiful edition, complete and unabridged, with recolored illustrations by Milne's creative counterpart, Ernest H. Shepard. Join Pooh and the gang as they meet a Heffalump, help get Pooh unstuck from Rabbit's doorway, (re)build a house for Eeyore, and try to unbounce Tigger. A childhood is simply not complete without full participation in all of Pooh's adventures. (All ages) --Emilie Coulter ... Read more

Reviews (50)

5-0 out of 5 stars The original is still the best
For all those who think that Winnie the Pooh is a Disney creation, this book will be a revelation and a delight. The ubiquitous and lovable Disney mass-market version of A.A. Milne's characters cannot compare with the simple wisdom of this children's classic. The writing and humor is far more sophisticated and subtle than the slapstick cartoon version cooked up for mass consumption.

The book also contains an interesting and informative forward and introduction that explains the origin of Winnie the Pooh, that Christopher Robin was really Milne's son and other fascinating facts about Milne's life.

Most importantly, it holds the original stories of Pooh and friends, and the original illustrations by Earnest H. Shepard. These illustrations provide a look at how Pooh first appeared 70 years ago.

The recommended age for this book is four and up, but we have been reading these stories to our son (who is also thoroughly immersed in the Disney version) since he was about two and a half and he loves them. I'm sure he didn't comprehend what was going on in the stories at first, but as time went on, he increasingly continued to understand. He still loves bringing us the book.

This book is a treasure. Anyone who has a child who loves Pooh owes it to him or her to hear the original version. It is fun for adults as well. It is the quintessential addition to any Pooh collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars A bear of very little brains . . .
A. A. Milne would be proud of the interpretation of his story and characters that will always live in the forest of imagination. Ernest H. Shepard's artwork makes this adventure is a visual delight. The characters represent archetypes to which children can identify and relate. As long as there are children and parents to read to them, Winnie the Pooh will remain a favorite storybook classic.

* Pooh teaches a positive attitude; he will always get the honey, and get out of predicaments through his friends. His wisdom is simple and easy for children to understand and agree upon.
* Eyore is forlorn, pessimistic, and surprised by the good things that come his way. He never expects to be part of the crowd, but always is included. The emotion is easy to relate to from our own adolescence, and helps adults remember the trials of childhood.
* Tigger and his bouncy tail take us into the air in a never-ending enthusiasm for the joy in life. In addition, he shows the potential of getting into trouble because he does not think about the results.
* Rabbit, practical Rabbit, who is also a sourpuss, shows that we can always miss the joy in life, but if we join with others then good things happen.
* Kanga and baby Roo show the importance of love and protection for parent and child.
* Owl is the wise old teacher who always asks "Who?" in the quest for knowledge, and shows the value of learning.
* Christopher Robin represents the adult, the one who solves problems, and is a constant force even when not present. He is the focus, the thinker, and he shows the value of considering thought before words and actions. Since he is a child, children can see they too have control, make decisions, and find answers.

My daughter loves her long worn out book with the torn red cover, and although this book is its replacement, the original stays in the family.

Five stars and great thanks to Walt Disney Studios who keeps the Winnie the Pooh light burning.

Victoria Tarrani

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding collector's book.
I got this for my wife (A Pooh fan if there ever was one) when she was six months pregnant with our son. She absolutely loved the classic illustrations, and reading through the book once myself the writing is quite good. I've been reading from this book to my now two-year old son about once or twice a week (I work nights =/) when I am able to when he is in bed ready to go to sleep, and we both enjoy the quiet bonding time while I read to him. He doesn't quite understand everything, but enjoys the rather bad attempts by me to give each character a different sound/voice/accent, but of course he can't tell it's bad. ;)

We keep this book out of his reach in a very special area, and plan to give it to him when he has his own child as a family heirloom. The book itself is beautiful, wonderfully crafted and illustrated, clearly worth saving for future generations. If you like Pooh and company at all, get it, you won't be dissapointed!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good to see the classics live on
There is no way Disney's b*stardisation of A A Milnes characters is anything even close to the original. These stories and poems are works of art and it bothers me that they are so degraded by association with an unorignal cartoon very much pitched at the commercial realm and the lowest common denominator. But the originals live on. Do yourself and your children a favour. Buy this book. Introduce them to good literature and stories of timeless (and ageless) appeal. Turn off the TV and read to them. Then, when they go to bed, read them for yourself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very British!
I gave The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh to my older daughter for her 10th birthday. She reads portions of it to her younger siblings. This is one of her favorite, most cherished books.

Don't be deceived into thinking that Pooh is just for toddlers and pre-schoolers. The humor is very intelligent, and the characters are just plain wonderful. It is written in a very British style, which I think makes it a great introduction to English literature for children.

This is a true masterpiece, and would make a good gift for anyone who truly loves good literature, no matter what their age. ... Read more

9. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (Sandpiper books)
by Virginia Lee Burton
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0395169615
Catlog: Book (1939-09-09)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sales Rank: 1002
Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A modern classic that no child should miss. Since it was first published in 1939, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel has delighted generations of children. Mike and his trusty steam shovel, Mary Anne, dig deep canals for boats to travel through, cut mountain passes for trains, and hollow out cellars for city skyscrapers -- the very symbol of industrial America. But with progress come new machines, and soon the inseparable duo are out of work. Mike believes that Mary Anne can dig as much in a day as one hundred men can dig in a week, and the two have one last chance to prove it and save Mary Anne from the scrap heap. What happens next in the small town of Popperville is a testament to their friendship, and to old-fashioned hard work and ingenuity. ... Read more

Reviews (53)

5-0 out of 5 stars I Loved This Book!
Like so many other reviewers I have fond memories of reading this book as a child. I fondly recall being a child in the 1970's and of having had this book read to me and when I got older and could read on my own I read it myself and I enjoyed the story of Mike Mulligan and his beloved steam shovel Mary Anne and recall this book having positive messages as well as being an entertaining book for children. Mike Mulligan is a steam shovel operator who has named his machine Mary Anne and they have worked very hard for many years digging canels, etc but times have changed and with steam shovels being replaced by electric, gasoline and diesel shovels Mary Anne is thought of as being obsolete but Mike is a very positive and determined man who knows that he and Mary Anne still have what it takes and to prove that he agrees to dig the foundation for a new building but has to do it in one day but he knows that they are up for the challenge. Mike Mulligan And His Steam Shovel is a wonderful book for children and I think it's good for both boys and girls and I very highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic story with warm, active pictures
The cover of this book is the same as my old, dog-eared copy from my childhood 30 years ago. A Caldecott Award winner, the pictures drive the tale as much as the plot. An excellent book from cover-to-cover.

Re-reading it now brings back great memories and fascination of how Mike Mulligan and his beloved steam shovel worked hard to accomplish a fantastic task. Whenever people watched them dig, they always worked a little better and a little faster.

A modern John Henry, Mike faces the challenge of new technology. Undaunted, like the famous hammer-driving tall tale hero, he struggles to meet the task. Can he dig a hole faster than the new machine? Can he and his mighty red-metal friend do it by the end of the day?

A great story of perseverence and hard work, I fully recommend "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel." Place it on your shelf next to "Make Way for Dcklings" and "Where the Wild Things Are."

Anthony Trendl

5-0 out of 5 stars I loved it as a child, my childern love it too.
I couldn't wait until my twins were old enough for Mike. They're now 2 1/2 and love hearing about Mike and Mary Anne. A great story of friendship, taking pride in one's work and problem solving. Never mind the 1939 date, this story works forever. I now get to read it at least twice a day and it never gets old.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Two Friends
Just thinking about this delightful book makes me smile. I remember Captain Kangaroo reading it on his television show, and I checked it out from the Bookmobile with my own library card.
Mike Mulligan and Mary Ann are best friends and co-workers. They might be running out of work soon, though, since Mary Ann runs on steam--not as efficient as the diesel shovels. A bargain with the town of Popperville gives the twosome one last shot to strut their stuff, and as the town gathers, a few residents at a time, Mike and Mary Ann prove that friendship lasts, even when diesel shovels take over.
This book is equally appealing to boys and girls, and it will forever occupy a favored place in my memories. It's as wonderful a story today as it was when published in 1939. God bless Mike and Mary Ann.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nobody can do it like a steam shovel
I tend to bring a lot of picture books into my home. My husband doesn't mind, but neither does he show an inordinate amount of interest in them. Enter "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel". Suddenly my husband was elated by the appearance of this book. "This was the only book we had in my Kindergarten class!", quoth he. After he'd picked through it once more, I had my chance to glance through the story. Admittedly, I did not know of the adventures of Mike Mulligan or trusty Mary Ann until rather late in life. But looking at my hubby's gleeful expression on seeing it again, I know that this is one of those classics that sits in the back of the memory for years and years and years.

Mike Mulligan (Irish, according to the book flap) runs a delightful steam shovel named Mary Ann. The opening spread shows Mike waving at the viewer, while meticulous arrows indicate every lever, cog, and line in Mary Ann's hull. In a rather John Henryish turn of events, Mary Ann is eventually determined to be obsolete in the face of the fancier gasoline, electric and Diesel shovels. Mike refuses to give up his precious steam shovel, however, and a race to prove that Mary Ann can dig as much in a day as a hundred men can dig in a week explodes in a riveting (ho ho) finish.

Books about trucks, construction equipment, and planes is commonplace today. But such modern day classics as "I Stink" owe a great debt to the path that "Mike Mulligan" paved. Here we have a beautifully illustrated (in color at that!) story about two of the best friends in the world. Those kids interested in the technical aspects of steam shovels will be in heaven. And those that just like a rip-roaring yarn about a race against the clock will have a ball as well. Interestingly, author/illustrator Virginia Lee Burton chooses not to close up on Mike Mulligan's face at any point. When we do see him, he's usually viewed at a distance, waving, weeping, and smoking to his heart's content. It's Mary Ann that get the full frontal treatment, and she's a joy. Who could have thought a steam shovel to be so eloquent and emotional? That's the joy of this story and the genius of Virginia Lee Burton's masterwork. ... Read more

10. Blueberries for Sal
by Robert McCloskey
list price: $16.99
our price: $11.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0670175919
Catlog: Book (1948-09-01)
Publisher: Viking Press
Sales Rank: 3008
Average Customer Review: 4.79 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (39)

5-0 out of 5 stars Review of Blueberries for Sal
This is the story of a little girl that goes blueberry picking with her mother. She is helping her pick blueberries but she is more concerned with eating them then she is with keeping them so her mother can make things with them. At the same time a mother bear was picking blueberries with her cub too stock up for the winter. The cub was doing the same thing as Sal and eating the blueberries faster then he was picking them. The cub and Sal did not follow their mothers. They just wondering off eating there merry way around the mountain. Eventually Sal and the cub end up all mixed up and with the wrong mothers and they set out to get with the right ones again.
I love this book. It is a great tale and it is so much fun to read over and over again. The pictures are great and so realistic. I think this really is a good book for children to read and I think it is one that they would really enjoy reading too. This is definitely a book that I want for my class collection and I think the author did a really good job at making this book fun and full of adventure.

5-0 out of 5 stars An adorable classic adventure story
It's a classic case of mistaken identity when, while on a hunt for blueberries, two very different mommies and two very different children get separated and all mixed up. Or are they really that different? With McCloskey's incredible eye for natural detail from a child's point of view, this story tells a hilarious tale about a human mother and child (the eponymous Sal) who go blueberry hunting and run into their bear counterparts, who are storing up food for hibernation. Not only are the sound effects hilarious (my son loves to chant the KERPLINK! KERPLANK! KERPLUNK! part along with me) the story also teaches a lot about comparing and contrasting characteristics in the natural world, and the striking and original blue-and-white illustrations make this book unique. Your preschooler is sure to delight in it, and your first grader is still going to love it and be able to draw more sophisticated comparisons and conclusions from the story. Sure to be a bedtime favorite for many years - it has been in my househould!

4-0 out of 5 stars The Beauty of Simplicity
Both the story and blue-ink illustrations are simple but charming. There's nothing mythopoetic here, but there is something magical about just being out in the wide-open country picking berries (we're going to pick wild blackberries today!). An excellent short bedtime story of the "light reading" variety.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Much Loved Classic
For our family, each summer we read "Blueberries for Sal" together. Then we drop the blueberries that we've bought (sadly not picked) into a tin bucket to listen to the kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk, and end with making blueberry jam to put aside for winter.

It's something my older children remember with delight, and something my youngest is newly excited about. The illustrations are beautiful, especially of Sal and Sal's Mother in the kitchen.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic
This is a story that you were probably read as a child. It is one of those wonderful stories, so rarely written in this day of commercial tie-in books like Bob the Builder and such, that both the child and the parent can enjoy together and even both get a good chuckle out of.

If you are looking for a fun children's book with great illustrations, this is for you. ... Read more

11. Three Tales of My Father's Dragon
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679889116
Catlog: Book (1997-11-25)
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Sales Rank: 1581
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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My Father's Dragon--a favorite of young readers since the 1940s and a Newbery honor book--captures the nonsensical logic of childhood in an amusingly deadpan fashion. The story begins when Elmer Elevator (the narrator's father as a boy) runs away with an old alley cat to rescue a flying baby dragon being exploited on a faraway island. With the help of two dozen pink lollipops, rubber bands, chewing gum, and a fine-toothed comb, Elmer disarms the fiercest of beasts on Wild Island. The quirky, comical adventure ends with a heroic denouement: the freeing of the dragon. Abundant black-and-white lithographs by Ruth Chrisman Gannett (the author's stepmother) add an evocative, lighthearted mood to an already enchanting story. Author Ruth Stiles Gannett's stand-alone sequel, Elmer and the Dragon, and her third volume, The Dragons of Blueland both received starred reviews in School Library Journal and are as fresh and original as her first. (Ages 4 to 8) ... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars A favorite read aloud book!
These three adventurous tales by Ruth Gannett kept my 5 year old son spellbound night after night--he continually begged me to read "just one more chapter!" and we are almost finished with our second time reading it. The trilogy begins with the main character, Elmer Elevator, venturing away from home to save a baby dragon from being abused by the animals of Wild Island. What follows are a series of Elmer's and the baby dragon's exciting adventures. This is a great read aloud book for ages 5-9!

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding read-aloud book, very clever story
Much like Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm, the My Father's Dragon trilogy is a fun read, and has a mixture of absurdity and humor that appeals on multiple levels. It's an easy read to a toddler, with several pictures throughout, and journey maps on the inner covers.

Since the chapters are short, you can do two or three a night without losing continuity. At the same time, the story has enough depth and cleverness that the parent can remain engaged. Thus, it's a catalyst for bonding.

One of the things that makes it special is the main character. Elmer Elevator, on the advice of a stray cat, starts out on a noble odyssey to free a baby dragon from its animal tormentors. In his preparation, Elmer packs dozens of seemingly useless items, including a magnifying glass, brush, sandwiches, and lollipops. While he travels across Wild Island, all these items become essential, and you wonder if the story was being told by MacGyver :-)

We've read the trilogy to completion five times and it's still a hit with everyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Delightful Surprise
I was browsing the list of audiocassettes and happened across "Three Tales of My Father's Dragon." I read the other reviews and decided to buy it for my son (who is 4). We absolutely fell in love with all three stories! We listen to it ALL the time! We leave one cassette in the house to listen to at night and one in the car. We have had the tapes for two months and have not tired of listening to them. My son just laughs and loves all the aspects of these stories. The acting of all the characters is so vibrant and you quickly realize that each character has his own distinct personality and voice! I would HIGHLY reccomend these stories! They are fantastic!

5-0 out of 5 stars My Fathers Dragon
My Fathers dragon written by R.S.G, may be the best book ever! Elmer is a boy who lives in Evergreen city. One day he meets a cat who tells him about a Dragon .The was trapped on Wild Island and Elmer goes to save him, On the way he tricks a lot of animals. One of them was when he gives lollipops to crocodiles to make a bridge. Does he save the dragon? Read this book to find out!

I love this book and recommend it to anyone who likes to imagine, loves excitement, adventure and danger! It's celebrating 50 years in print, I think it is perfect the way it is! With this book you can experience the magic!

5-0 out of 5 stars Dragons and Adventure - What Kid Wouldn't Love it?
This volume is the complete set of tales about Elmer and his friend the dragon, including the fun illustrations. The complete set includes "My Father's Dragon," "Elmer and the Dragon," and "The Dragons of Blueland."

These stories are perfect first chapter books for kids. The vocabulary is simple and the chapters are short. I'd forgotten just how short until I started rereading them. Yet the stories are packed full of adventure. Elmer is especially resourceful, and I still get a kick out of how he takes the simplest things and makes them work in whatever situation he finds himself.

Whether kids read these stories themselves or listen to them being read, they're sure to become favorites. And adults will enjoy the clever story lines as well. ... Read more

12. The Story of Babar (Babar Books (Random House))
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394805755
Catlog: Book (1937-09-12)
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Sales Rank: 3446
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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The Story of Babar--the early adventures of the enduring, endearing elephant--was written in 1931 by French writer Jean de Brunhoff (1899-1937). Since then, it has been translated into at least 12 languages. It's amazing how much can happen to one little elephant in the course of one little book: Babar loses his mother to a hunter, wanders into the city, gets a new wardrobe, becomes the hit of high society, marries his cousin Céleste (totally acceptable in contemporary Elephantine society), and is crowned King of the Elephants.

The Story of Babar is essentially the tale of a country boy who comes to the city and, while there, comes of age. In the end, he returns home to share his knowledge and experiences with family and friends. The beautiful, delightfully detailed illustrations--de Brunhoff was a painter by trade--never fail to amuse. (Although none of the characters seem to notice, the sight of Babar in a suit leaning against the mantel while he regales his audience with tales of the jungle is plainly hilarious.) All of the Babar books are notable for their ability to tell larger stories with simplicity and style, and The Story of Babar is no exception. Potentially troubling moments--the death of Babar's mother, for example--are handled with taste, emphasizing Babar's unique gift for uncovering a silver lining in the most persistent of clouds. (Ages 4 to 8, though the cursive writing makes it best for reading aloud.) ... Read more

Reviews (25)

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting Classic
I had a beach Babar book as a child, so I bought this to share with my daughter. It is kind of bizarre, so keep in mind that it was written in the 1930's. First, Babar's mother is killed, as was the fate of most classic animal stories. Then, he decides to become more like men, HOW ODD! He wears clothes and walks on his back legs. Any time any of the elephants in this book wear clothes, they gain the instant ability to walk on their hind legs. When he returns to the elephants, he is crowned king, which is unlikely since elephants are matriarchal (they are led by females and grown males are banned from the group except during mating times). Then he marries his cousin, and they live happily ever after. In the spirit of Curious George, who was kidnapped from his home and forced to conform to human ways, this is a charming but very out-dated tale.

5-0 out of 5 stars A childhood's classic.
Some children's books can be read over and over again, and Jean De Brunhoff's book about Babar, the little elephant is among them.
The copy we have in our house were purchasted in 1988 and has survived 4 kids. Out Marta is the forth one, and at age 6 she still loves to cuddle up with a smile on her face listening to the story of Babar. The very sad part for a six year old is the beginning where Babar's mother dies and Babar runs away. But Babar is lucky and meets an old lady who takes care of him. And the joy is always big in the end when Babar meets his childhood friends and cousins again in the end of the books. And even becomes a king and marries his cousin Celeste.
The book was written in 1939, but is still well worth reading for any child, and should be part of every lucky child's book collection. It will still be read again and again here in Norway, though the pages in the copy we have almost fall apart now (they can always be glued together again though)

Britt Arnhild Lindland

5-0 out of 5 stars If I were king of the foreeeeest
Thank God for the French speakers of the world. Were it not for them, Babar might not have ever been created and we would have to live in a wretched Babar-less world. As it is, however, we are blessed to have this delightful story at our fingertips at any time. The story of Babar was originally published in 1933, and it has stood the test of time with dignity and flair.

The story of Babar is simple. After his mother is shot by a cruel hunter, the little elephant runs away to a metropolitan city. Once there, he is taken under the wing of a kindly older lady. Babar then proceeds to become the greatest dandy of children's literature today. Here is the section I love the most:

"Babar then buys himself: A shirt with a collar and tie, a suit of a becoming shade of green, then a handsome derby hat, and also shoes with spats".

Contrary to popular thought, an elephant in spats is the most dignified thing in the world. With these purchases Babar has transformed himself from rural rube to the original metrosexual. He becomes cultured, learning the rudimentary aspects of human civilization while regaling party guests with his tales of the forest (note his pin-striped pants and casual dinner jacket). Eventually Babar is lured back to his jungle home and is swiftly crowned King of the elephants.

The 1933 setting in which Babar acclimatizes himself has grown more charming over the years. And most remarkably? Most older picture books contain at least one racial stereotype somewhere in the midst of a picture. Not so our darling "Babar". I feel safe in saying that you might search through any future adventure of the winsome elephant and not stumble across a single picture or piece of writing that causes you a twenty-first century gasp of disgust. This isn't to say that there aren't some rather peculiar dated aspects to the book. I read this book as a child and had a vivid visceral memory return to me when I saw the sickly state of the former King of the elephants who passed away after eating a bad mushroom. That is a grotesquerie unknown to the kiddies today. But all in all, "Babar" is without fault. Certainly he's the essence of capitalism. One might believe the elephants crown him king as much for his pretty red convertible as for his brains. But Babar is still a unique and moving tale that will continue to entertain the masses of children for years and years to come.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic
From the beautiful illustrations, to the charming characters, everything about Babar reminds you of a time when we took the intelligence of our children seriously. The first thing anyone who grew-up on more modern fare will notice is the delightful and literate prose. The reason children could speak latin by 5th grade 80 years ago, was that they weren't condescended-to; and Babar doesn't either. You won't get the modern "barney-speak" here, this generation had more confidence in your children, believe me. Although the prose may be too difficult for the average 5 or 6 yr-old to read on their own, they will have no difficulty at all in understanding it perfectly when read to them. Now my 5 yr-old daughter knows what a "perambulator" is, you won't get that from the Wiggles. As far as the complaints in regard to "scariness", all I can say is, if this is scary because Babar's mother is killed by a hunter, then you'd better take Bambi, The Lion King and close to all of the fairy tales off of the reading list as well. The subject is handled compassionately and tastefully. Of course I want to sheild my child from horrific content, but if we refuse to gently ease them in to life's realities, such as the loss of loved-ones, then their entertainment turns from safe into vacuous pretty quickly. I won't even waste bandwidth on the silly, leftist nonsense regarding imperialism. There is no political content here, subtle or otherwise. If you really want the kind of western culture "self-flagellation" that these aging hippies seem to thrive on, try Disney's Pocahontas, or a Cartoon version of The Life of Che Guevara. Assume the best of your kids and try the Babar series, particularly the older ones.

1-0 out of 5 stars imperialist propaganda for the kiddies
I don't know why this book is a classic. Foreigners come to Babar's home and kill his mother. He goes to the land of the foreigners to learn to be just like them because the are so swell and all. He then takes their ways back home with him. marries his cousin and gets everyone to wear clothes like the foreigners. This is a nightmare, not a children's book. ... Read more

13. A Hatful of Seuss: Five Favorite Dr. Seuss Stories
list price: $30.00
our price: $18.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679883886
Catlog: Book (1997-01-13)
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Sales Rank: 4871
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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This collection of five complete, illustrated Dr. Seuss classics is a "hatful," but you'd have to have a Cat-in-the-Hat-sized chapeau to contain all the treasures in this hefty book. Within its pages you'll find Theodor Seuss Geisel's exuberant creations Bartholomew and the Oobleck (1949), If I Ran the Zoo (1950), Horton Hears a Who! (1954), The Sneetches and Other Stories (1961), and Dr.Seuss's Sleep Book (1962). In Bartholomew and the Oobleck, a non-rhyming Seuss story, prepare for an eyeful of green goo. In If I Ran the Zoo, young Gerald McGrew decides he would make a few changes if he ran the zoo--including the acquisition of more unusual beasts (such as an Elephant-Cat) from places "quite out-of-the-way." In addition to the potentially unsettling concept of traversing continents in search of wild beasts to trap and cage, there are a couple of dated references that parents may want to preview before reading to kids. For example, McGrew proclaims, "I'll hunt in the mountains of Zomba-ma-Tant/With helpers who all wear their eyes at a slant,/And capture a fine fluffy bird called the Bustard/Who only eats custard with sauce made of mustard."

As for the rest of this delightful collection, Horton Hears a Who! is a tale that teaches us "a person's a person, no matter how small." And of course, you may remember the Star-Belly Sneetches, the "snooty old smarties" who pranced antagonistically in front of the Plain-Belly Sneetches, or Mrs. McCave who had 23 sons and named them all Dave. Finally, Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book is about the snortiest snorers, the curious sleepwalking Crandalls, World-Champion Sleep-Talkers, and other somnambulant types--a perfect bedtime finale to a book that could keep youngsters entertained all night. (All ages) ... Read more

Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good story selection, questionable book quality
There is little to add to the chorus of praise for the works of Dr. Seuss. The content is unimpeachable and the choices of his works for inclusion here are a good random mix.

That said, the book itself has a flaw common to books of this type. It is not durable enough for extended use by children. Because it contains multiple stories, it will see more use than a single storied book. Books of this size and length need the strongest bindings and reinforcing possible. A "Curious George" compendium that we own that is made similarly to the Seuss book fell apart after a few readthroughs, and only the adults handled it. The spine of the Seuss book is weakening after only a year of ownership. Manufacturers need to offer us better quality.

I also must say it is disappointing that no complete collection of Suess's material exists. His entire works would be quite large, but it is still odd that no one has seen fit to put everything he wrote for children in a multi-volume set. The best we have at this time is the five selection book here.

5-0 out of 5 stars Who doesn't love Dr. Seuss?
It's fun for kids and for you! Everyone will be entertained for hours.

5-0 out of 5 stars Like a window into a perfect world...
There was always something about Dr. Seuss. I read a lot of books when I was a kid, and before that my parents read them to me, but there was always something about Seuss's work that even a little kid can recognize as genius. I could read them over and over again, even when I got to an age where Seuss was "baby-stuff." Maybe it was the pictures and maybe it was the musical nature of the words, but more likely it was the fact that Seuss's stuff is as close to putting pure imagination on paper as your ever likely to see.

There are lot's of imitators these days, but they're not Seuss. No one could draw a Sneetch, Grinch or Who like Seuss could. Heck, nobody knew what a Sneetch was until Seuss showed us. His creatures and creations were so real at times, yet so completely unlike anything we had ever seen before how could we not be amazed. Like Gerald McGrew from "If I Ran the Zoo" Seuss offered us a menagerie of creatures so wondrous and amazing that they could actually make our own world seem dim in comparison.

While it's hard to have a "best of" compilation when speaking of Seuss, Random House has done it's best to compile five classics into a tome equal to Bullfinch's Mythology, Aesop's Fables or Grimm's Fairy Tales (the book I ordered along with this one). Each of these stories teaches us something without coming off as pretentious or preachy. In fact, the moral's are sometimes so subtle as to be invisible, but they're there.

Now that I have a daughter of my own I try to read to her every night. This book fascinates us both and when she reaches out to try and touch one of the characters on the page, I know exactly how she feels. What kind of father would I be if I denied her the world of Seuss? It would be like stealing the color yellow or putting her imagination in handcuffs. Plus, it gives me an excuse to read all those cool stories all over again. Seuss is just cool.

5-0 out of 5 stars great and economical
In this day and age when children's books are getting prohibitively expensive, this book is a great deal.

While I knew the stories as a kid, I got to re-live them with my daughter with this book. She loves to read and re-read them with me, and she asks questions about the stories and the values that are in them. This is first rate stuff, the kind of thing that sticks in a child's mind for their entire life with their quirky detail, humor, and vivid stories you can identify with.

So often, it is of individuals who find the courage to defy the authorities and mainstream opinion to do what they think is right.

Warmly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Sneetches
As a former grade school teacher, I wanted to take a moment to say that "The Sneetches" is the finest story in the annals of Children's Literature. It is another example of the Good Dr.'s "Einstein" capacities to teach about the insidiousness of bigotry in a manner which captivates both young and old alike. Anyone interested in promoting the commonalities which bind all of us together, will be delighted to have this story as a permanent piece of magic within his or her library. ... Read more

14. Just So Stories (Books of Wonder)
by Rudyard Kipling
list price: $24.99
our price: $15.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0688139574
Catlog: Book (1996-09-27)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Sales Rank: 3794
Average Customer Review: 4.35 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

How did the camel get his hump? How did the leopard get his spots? How did the elephant get his trunk?

These are questions that children around the world have asked for centuries, but it took Nobel Prize winner Rudyard Kipling's lively, hilarious stories to give them answers. For one hundred years, these classic tales -- drawn from the oral storytelling traditions of India and Africa and filled with mischievously clever animals and people -- have entertained young and old alike.Intertwined within these delightful tales are little pearls of wisdom about the pitfalls of arrogance and pride and the importance of curiosity, imagination, and inventiveness. Kipling's rhythmic prose makes these tales perfect for sharing aloud with the whole family.

This deluxe edition contains all of Kiplin's unforgettable stories as well as ten stunning watercolors, along with numerous black-and-white drawings, from award-winning artist Barry Moser, bringing this timeless masterpiece brilliantly to life for a whole new generation of readers.

... Read more

Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Elephant's child in particular
This book is the most valued in my family history. Now my children are asking after it to read to their children because of all of the beloved memories it brings back. The language is a delight. The way Kipling draws the reader and listener in to feel they are part of the story, it is story telling magic at its very best. I can't believe anyone who has this book in their home, once read, will ever be without it. As long as children and that child in all adults long for the gifted story teller's magic, this book is special.

5-0 out of 5 stars Delightful Stories to Read Aloud
If you enjoy language and good story-telling this book belongs on your bookshelf. I've been reading the stories to my seven-year-old daughter who eats them up. Yes, the vocabulary is challenging - it isn't Berenstain Bears! But there is a time for "I Can Read" books and a time for "Read to Me" books. This will challenge kids and their imaginations, especially if they love animals like my kids do. And it's not just for kids - I love the stories too! Buy it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Charming stories with a charming presentation.
I recently purchased this set on cd with a gift certificate for my young daughter. The price tag may have put me off at any other time, but since I was getting it with a certificate, I went for it. I read these stories cover to cover repeatedly as a little girl and took great delight in the hilarity of the answers to such questions as "how did the leopard get his spots?" or "how did the camel get his hump?" Kipling's stories are marvelously nonsensical - which makes them fit for a child's world. However, it was not until hearing them read aloud on this very set that I realized his rhyme and use of repetitive words or phrases is very similar to our modern master of children's literature: Dr. Seuss. It would not surprise me to find that Seuss took his inspiration from the works of Kipling. This is not striking to a reader, but as you listen to his words brought to life by the human voice it is hard to miss.

Geoffrey Palmer, of As Time Goes By, is one of my favorite actors. His voice and interpretation of these beautiful stories enhances the experience so much that I was laughing out loud listening to him in my car. His dry sense of humor is felt in his characterizations of the cast and the lulling of his voice lends a calming, gentle, and sophisticated quality to the text. I now can simply not imagine these stories being read by anybody else.

Finally, the classical musical selection is superb and adds an intelligent whimsiness to the piece. I would highly recommend this set as a lovely gift for any child you find "tenacious and full of segacity". What a delightful alternative to the screech of today's cartoons and children's "pop" albums full of Britney Spears remakes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just So Stories
The just so stories
By: Rudyard Kipling Published by: William Morrow and Company

This book O best beloved (meaning you, in the language that the author used) is a short story book that has many adventures to it and the one that I'm going to tell you about is the story called, The Beginning of the Armadillos. This plot takes us to the steamy jungles of the Amazon rain forest in South America in the Northern part of Brazil. Also in this plot there lives a painted jaguar, a stickly-prickly hedgehog, and slow and solid tortoise. Now O best beloved (meaning you) this particular jaguar isn't very bright so he goes to his mother for advice on how to eat the hedgehog and the tortoise. Well, as any mother would, she tells him ohhh, so many times graciously waving her tail, "Painted Jaguar to catch the hedgehog you must dip him the water so he will uncoil and you must scoop the tortoise out of it's shell with your paw, got it?!" So he goes to the river to find the hedgehog and the tortoise so he can eat them. The first time they barely got away by confusing him. The hedgehog and the tortoise confuse him by messing up what his mother told him. But the second time Painted Jaguar is confused just by looking at them. You'll have to read it to believe it.

As you know, in this particular story you are introduced to a hedgehog named Stickly-Prickly and a tortoise named Slow and Solid. As you might see these two unique animals are very close and have the same predators. In this story Stickly-Prickly hedgehog and Slow and Solid tortoise are being hunted by a creature named Painted Jaguar, as you know, who is not too smart and has spots. Now since Stickly-Prickly and Slow and Solid were able to fool the jaguar once they want to make him so confused that he won't know which is which just by looking at them. So day after day they teach one another how the other works, like Stickly-Prickly teaches Slow and Solid to curl up and Slow and Solid teaches Stickly-Prickly how to swim. After they have done that and are comfortable with their skills they wait for Painted Jaguar to come looking for them but they don't know that they will never be the same again. Stickly-Prickly hedgehog and Slow and Solid tortoise help this particular story because they are smart and they fool the jaguar and they surprise the reader with their cunning and hard work.

This book has been really fun in the fact that there is more than one story in the book and for me more than one story meant that it was a page turner. The story that I described in this book review was easy to concentrate on because I liked it so much. Some stories in this book were just plain old boring so it was harder to read them . The thing that caught my attention was the language that the author used in the book, I thought that the language was very unique and very funny. To tell the truth I thought that there weren't very many surprises at all, the only surprises would be all the purposes of the story that was being told, like how the camel got his hump or the beginning of the Armadillos. To me they make the language in the book fun, like Oh best beloved and stickly-prickly and slow and solid. The people who might like this book would have to have a sense of humor, so if they have that then the person reading this book will have a very fun time indeed.

1-0 out of 5 stars Complete lack of worthy content
This book lacks substance and the qualities that make a read worth the while, especially since it's for children who may not read that much in the first place. You'd be MUCH better off with something like The Wind in the Willows, or the Berenstain Bear. ... Read more

15. Ready... Set... Read!: The Beginning Reader's Treasury
by Joanna Cole, Chris Demarest (Illustrator), Arnold Lobel (Illustrator)
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385414161
Catlog: Book (1990-09-01)
Publisher: Doubleday Books for Young Readers
Sales Rank: 6454
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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If Ready...Set...Read! were a movie, it would surely be a box-office hit with its all-star cast, including Little Bear, Morris the Moose, and Frog and Toad. This rich treasury of children's favorite stories, as well as poems, riddles, tongue-twisters, and hidden picture games, will delight and inspire every beginning reader. There's something for everyone in this diverse collection: Have a young poet in the house? How about a poem by Gwendolyn Brooks or Robert Louis Stevenson? Let the budding scientist discover "Our Earth in Space." The amateur comedian might pick up a few tips from the knock-knock jokes and riddles. And be prepared to untie some messy knots after the tongue-twister section: "Wendy went to rent one red room."

Ready...Set...Read! is a perfect introduction to many well-loved authors and illustrators, including Maurice Sendak, Else Holmelund Minarik, and Russell Hoban. Most importantly, this all-in-one collection, with its easy-to-read type, simple vocabulary, and variety of lively and colorful illustrations, will provide a jump-start to reading that will soon have children racing to the bookshelf for more. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good collection for early readers
I bought this book for my son who is in first grade. He has grown with this book - from the stories where some of the words are replaced by pictures, to the riddles and jokes, to complete stories of Frog and Toad and Morris the Moose. Most importantly - he picks up this book now and reads for pleasure.

My one complaint is that the book seems to be organized backwards - the easier reading is in the back, the harder is in the front.

The same applies to the Ready-Set-Read and Laugh anthology. Good collections and my kids enjoy reading them.

5-0 out of 5 stars I was impressed
I just received this book yesterday and I was so happy by the response of my 4 1/2 year old daughter. She loved listening to the variety of stories, laughing aloud to some, and she loved the tongue twisters. She especially like the short stories where there are words and pictures in the sentences. We read these together and she felt like she was really reading. This gave her such a confidence boost. She insisted on taking the book to daycare today to read aloud to her class.

Another thing I like is that there are so many stories. This will be a great book to take on vacation. You could read a different story everyday and just pack one book.

This book is wonderful for a variety of reasons. I know it will be helpful for a beginning reader.

5-0 out of 5 stars Recomended
We have really enjoyed this colletion of easy reading stories+

5-0 out of 5 stars Something for everyone!
Treasury is the right word for this book! From the hilarious Sheep In A Jeep and Morris Has A Cold, to the interesting and educational Our Earth In Space the stories riveted my four-year-old son. He also enjoyed the nice variety of poems and the funny riddles and tongue-twisters. This book will not spend much time on his bookshelf!

An extra bonus is that the book Morris Has a Cold by Bernard Wiseman is no longer in print. But with this treasury, a child can still delight in Morris' hilarious verbal misunderstandings. ... Read more

16. Millions of Cats (Paperstar)
by Wanda Gag
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0698113632
Catlog: Book (1996-06-01)
Publisher: PaperStar Book
Sales Rank: 4680
Average Customer Review: 4.81 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Wanda G‡g's enchanting tale of the very old man who went off in search of the prettiest cat in the world for his wife and returned instead with millions to choose from has become an American classic, widely recognized as the first modern picture book. First published in 1928, it was a recipient of the 1929 Newbery Honor Book Award and has gone on to sell over a million copies. With its charming illustrations and rhythmic, sing-song refrain, Millions of Cats remains as beloved today as it was when it first appeared three-quarters of a century ago. ... Read more

Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars Reading Rainbow Classic!
I first saw this book on PBS's Reading Rainbow. I purchased it immediately and have been delighted ever since. The detailed illustrations are absolutely terrific and on some pages you could actually spend hours counting the millions of cats. This book is a true classic as it has been around for generations. An old man sets out to bring back a cat for himself and his wife. Instead, millions and millions of cats return home with him. Their home is soon overrun with felines and some drastic action has to be taken. All of the cats leave except one small kitten. And they lived happily ever after. The Reading Rainbow books are wonderful. After reading this book, I hope you agree. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Millions of cats
Millions of Cats Book Review

I think you should read this book by Wanda Ga'g because it is a very good book. It tells that some ugly things can be cute. This story is about cats. A man has a hard time deciding which one he wants. They are all cute. After they drank the water, they left. Then he saw one left behind a plant and it was the cutest of them all. So he took it .
He and his wife gave it love and took care of it...

5-0 out of 5 stars A TERRIFIC BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful illustrations -- odd story
The illustrations more than the text make this story. If you stop to think about what happens to all the cats it's a bit disturbing. A similar and more delightful book is Cats for Kansas.

5-0 out of 5 stars Millions, billions, and trillions but not gazillions?
I'm ashamed to say that prior to a children's literature course I took, I was completely ignorant of the works of Wanda Gag and her elegant, "Millions of Cats" until the ripe old age of 25. As it stands, the book is amazingly timeless, accompanied by beautiful pen and ink drawings illustrating each and every scene. There are plenty of details per page for kids to point out on their own and the words will not tax the average child. The daughter of a Bohemian painter, Gag was a superb artist in her own right. Nowhere else will you find this as evident as in "Millions of Cats". It remains one of the best American classic picture books of all time. ... Read more

17. Eloise (Eloise Series)
by Kay Thompson
list price: $18.00
our price: $12.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 067122350X
Catlog: Book (1969-04-30)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Sales Rank: 1986
Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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"I am Eloise/I am six." So begins the well-loved story of Eloise, the garrulous little girl who lives at New York's Plaza Hotel. Eyebrow raised defiantly, arm propped on one jutting hip, Eloise is a study in self-confidence. Eloise's personal mandate is "Getting bored is not allowed," so she fills her days to the brim with wild adventures and self-imposed responsibilities. An average Eloise afternoon includes braiding her pet turtle's ears, ordering "one roast-beef bone, one raisin and seven spoons" from room service, and devising innovative methods of torture for her guardians.

Eloise's exploits are non-stop, and--accordingly--the text uses nary a period. Kay Thompson perfectly captures the way children speak: in endless sentences elongated with "and then ... and then ... and then... " Hilary Knight's drawings illustrate Eloise's braggadocio and amusement as well as the bewilderment of harassed hotel guests. Eloise's taunts are terrible, her imagination inimitable, her pace positively perilous. Her impertinence will delight readers of all ages. (Ages 5 and older) ... Read more

Reviews (98)

5-0 out of 5 stars I rawther love love love this book!
As we all know, Eloise is six and she lives at the Plaza Hotel with her Nanny who says things three times, her dog Weenie, her turtle Skipperdee and two dolls. When I was a child, I adored this book and wanted to be just like Eloise. She does whatever she wants and gets away with it.

As an adult, I feel so sorry for Eloise because her mother only sends for her when it's sunny and otherwise isn't present. What a poor little girl to grow up so alone!

However, this is a tremendously humorous and beautifully illustrated classic that can always make me grin from ear to ear. I looooovve room service too! Oh, and charge it please. Thank you very much.

5-0 out of 5 stars Childlike and Literary
A few weeks ago, I took a friend and her two 5 year old twin girls to dinner. There was a 45 minute wait, and we went to the bookstore next door. I was dreading the prospect of entertaining two 5 year olds for 45 minutes until I saw a copy of Eloise, which has been out of print for many years. I sat down and started reading to them. The time flew by. A few older women walked by and smiled. I like to think that they had read the book when they were little girls. The 45 minutes went by all too soon for me.

What can I say about Eloise? We named our DOG Eloise when I was a boy. It is both literary and true to children. It is one of the books (like Charlotte's Web or Black Beauty) that stays in your heart from childhood.

Give it to your children.

4-0 out of 5 stars Informed Parents
This is a very fun book. The story is imaginative and witty and the illustrations wonderfully whimsical. I bought this book for my little girl, remembering how much I loved it as a child when my first grade teacher read it to our class. Though I truly love this book, I can only give it 4 stars. This is because I must edit it as I read it to my daughter because I find some of the language used by the precocious Miss Eloise a bit offensive. By my count(done quickly), Eloise uses the phrase "for Lord's sake" six times and "Oh my Lord" five. In my home this is called "taking the name of the Lord in vain" and it's something your not suppoesed to do. It reduces the name of our Lord and Savior to a mere exclamation. I will still read this book with my child. When my daughter (now only 19 months)is old enough to understand, we will talk about how much we love Eloise but how it's not okay to take the name of the Lord in vain or terrorize one's tutor.

5-0 out of 5 stars ELOISE IS THE BOMB!!!
Eloise is so funny,
she is a free spirt, and very accurate. She's here, She's there, She's everywhere. Recently, they made Eloise at the Plaza,(Rated 5 stars) And she's great.
Though I'm 10, and the age group is 6 and over, I LOVE IT. I have that and Eloise in Paris, and Eloise in Moscow (First Prinitng)

If you read this, you'll always be glad you did...

5-0 out of 5 stars The absolutely essential book!
I have always loved children's books and at seventeen, I am still quite a child myself. One of my dearest friends, whose name is Eloise and I swap children's books and so she leant me the Absolutely Essential Eloise. I do not care what others say about her being a 'brat' or whatnot, I love this book and the others! Eloise is exactly how anyone would want to live, having everything and doing anything. I would highgly recommend it to any adult who wants to capture their 'inner child' again. :D I love Weenie too because I love pug dogs.
My mother knows Coco Chanel. ... Read more

18. Bedtime for Frances
by Russell Hoban
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0064434516
Catlog: Book (1995-10-30)
Publisher: HarperTrophy
Sales Rank: 4622
Average Customer Review: 3.53 out of 5 stars
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It's bedtime for young Frances--an adorable and irrepressible little badger--and everyone is ready but her. At 7:00 p.m. Frances is wide awake and bursting with youthful excitement. She tries every delay tactic she can muster--from demanding extra hugs and kisses to volleying a series of urgent last-minute questions ("May I sleep with my teddy bear?" "May I have my door open?"). She's almost positive there are spiders, giants, and tigers in her room.

Any parent will quickly identify with this phenomenon--how the last minutes of the day suddenly become the most action-packed. Garth Williams's illustrations complement Russell Hoban's sweet story perfectly, capturing the endless energy and overactive imagination of Frances, and the waning patience of her exhausted parents. Bedtime for Frances is the perfect goodnight story to tell your wide-eyed children. And never fear, like Frances, they too will eventually, contentedly, drift off to sleep. (Ages 4 to 8) ... Read more

Reviews (32)

4-0 out of 5 stars getting quite a bad rap without much cause.
I'm quite suprised so many people take issue with this book. It was one that I loved as a child, and although I had the sort of fears that children often do, my parents were always really good about reminding me that the things in your room when the lights are off are the same things there when the lights are are on. Perhaps that's the reason this book never inspired the terror in me it seems to present to many reviewers' children.

As for the spanking issue -- I was hardly from an abusive home, but the issue of punishment was something I was always familiar with. I hardly think the book is suggesting that Frances is going to be physically abused by her parents, so much as it's showing fed-up adults convincing their child to just get some sleep.

This book might not be for the terribly young, but it's a pretty cute story about conniving for extra time before bed. I would recommend it to anyone who is up front with their children about things like 'spankings', even if they don't practice them.

5-0 out of 5 stars A spanking good book
Okay, the title of this review is a joke. The threat of spanking, mentioned by 13 (if I counted correctly) of 31 customer reviews, is offset for the following reasons. 1) The book is a classic--a great old book that has become a multi-generational tradition in many families, including many (like mine) that do not spank their kids. 2) Children live in the real world, and excessive sheltering from it is counterproductive. 3) There are very few books that deal with nighttime fears as effectively as this one (*Where the Wild Things Are* is another). 4) It is aimed at a younger audience than the other Frances books making it a good introduction to the series. 5) Like all the Frances books, it is well written, well illustrated, and quite amusing. Note--Garth Williams illustrated this one; the others were illustrated by Lillian Hoban. 6. It has wonderfully delightful examples of a very young child's (il)logic, for example, "There is a giant in my room, may I watch television?" (or something like that--I don't have the book in front of me).

I am highly amused that, for all the reviews that complain about the spanking threat, NONE of the to date complain about the smoking by Frances' father. I'm sure that MUST say something strange about Amazon's customer reviewers, but I can't figure out what!

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Book and Kids are Smarter Than You Think!
I was a HUGE Frances fan as a child and this is my duahgter's first one (from Grandma)---My little girl has NEVER been spanked and she was in no way, shape, size or form upset by the spanking aspect. We are a super liberal, open family and to me that includes realizing that certain things were accepted in the past. My daughter's only reaction to the spaking paragraph was that Father Badger "looked like Daddy" when Frances woke him up.

Children are intelligent enough to get it. Relax a bit, people.

5-0 out of 5 stars good book
Do you ever want to stay up late? Find out what happens in Frances' Bedtime. Frances keeps asking her mom and dad for something like a glass of milk so she can stay up past her bedtime. I think this book is fun and enjoyable because Frances is a lot like me. I like to stay up late too. I learned in this book that you should do what you are told because mom and dad usually know what is best for their kids. See if Frances gets her way.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not thrilled
I was hoping for a story that would help to paint a lovley picture of bedtime from a child's stand point. This book only succeeded in spelling out some lovely ways that children can make it exasperating for themselves and their parents.

Very disappointing, given that Bread and Jam for Frances is one of our family favorites. ... Read more

19. The Story About Ping
by Marjorie Flack
list price: $15.99
our price: $10.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0670672238
Catlog: Book (1983-03-01)
Publisher: Viking Books
Sales Rank: 19256
Average Customer Review: 4.51 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Since 1933, The Story About Ping has captivated generations of readers, but never before has it been available in a mass-market paperback format. No one can deny the appeal of the book's hero, Ping, the spirited little duck who lives on a boat on the Yangtze River. Ping's misadventures one night while exploring the world around his home form the basis of this timeless classic, which is brought to life by Kurt Wiese's warm and poignant illustrations. ... Read more

Reviews (39)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ping! I love that duck!
PING! The magic duck!

Using deft allegory, the authors have provided an insightful and intuitive explanation of one of Unix's most venerable networking utilities. Even more stunning is that they were clearly working with a very early beta of the program, as their book first appeared in 1933, years (decades!) before the operating system and network infrastructure were finalized.

The book describes networking in terms even a child could understand, choosing to anthropomorphize the underlying packet structure. The ping packet is described as a duck, who, with other packets (more ducks), spends a certain period of time on the host machine (the wise-eyed boat). At the same time each day (I suspect this is scheduled under cron), the little packets (ducks) exit the host (boat) by way of a bridge (a bridge). From the bridge, the packets travel onto the internet (here embodied by the Yangtze River).

The title character -- er, packet, is called Ping. Ping meanders around the river before being received by another host (another boat). He spends a brief time on the other boat, but eventually returns to his original host machine (the wise-eyed boat) somewhat the worse for wear.

If you need a good, high-level overview of the ping utility, this is the book. I can't recommend it for most managers, as the technical aspects may be too overwhelming and the basic concepts too daunting.

Problems With This Book

As good as it is, The Story About Ping is not without its faults. There is no index, and though the ping(8) man pages cover the command line options well enough, some review of them seems to be in order. Likewise, in a book solely about Ping, I would have expected a more detailed overview of the ICMP packet structure.

But even with these problems, The Story About Ping has earned a place on my bookshelf, right between Stevens' Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment, and my dog-eared copy of Dante's seminal work on MS Windows, Inferno. Who can read that passage on the Windows API ("Obscure, profound it was, and nebulous, So that by fixing on its depths my sight -- Nothing whatever I discerned therein."), without shaking their head with deep understanding. But I digress.

5-0 out of 5 stars Provokes Young Readers' Imaginations Without Oversimplifying
Like many of the reviewers, this is a book I loved as a child and that I've returned to now that I'm a parent. While it has a moral--that many times, simply accepting an umpleasant consequence is better than trying to avoid it--it's not preachy about it. In fact, what's really nice about the storyis that it's not Ping's fault that he will be the last duck to board the boat (and thus get a whack upon his back). His head was below the water at the time, and he couldn't have heard the boat master's call. I think this is what gave me a thrill as a boy. I knew that the world wasn't fair and that sometimes punishments were unjust. This is what made me identify with Ping.

And the book really taps into a young child's fears. I remember being thrilled that Ping ran away instead of accepting his punishment--what small child hasn't fantasized about running away? And I remember thinking how terrifying to wake up and find that you were totally lost in the wide world--what child's greatest fear isn't that sort of separation?

I think that's the greatest thing about this story. It's not a tidy, pat treatment of issues like children's anxieties or the value of accepting the consequences of your actions. Rather, it's a tale that provokes imagination--that taps into those fears and ideas without simplifying them. And there are too few books that do this well.

Incidentally, in terms of age, I've just begun reading this book to my four year old, and I think that's been a good age for him to start appreciating it. But I can imagine a much older child enjoying it as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Story About the Importance of Home
This is a delightful little story of the misadventures of a duckling named Ping. Ping hides in the weeds along the banks of the Yangtze River rather than face the spank the last duck to board his houseboat at dusk receives (I have always wondered _why_ the last duck gets spanked). The story is beautifully illustrated, and the poignant scene of Ping looking after his home as it sales away stands out, as does Ping nestled safely with his family and friends on the very last page.

This tale underscores the importance of home, of family and of belonging. It is a good bed-time book with its happy ending after Ping's narrow escape from becoming a meal. Highly recommended.

1-0 out of 5 stars Nightmares!
I had this book while growing up and I hated it! It gave me nightmares to the point where I couldn't even have it in the room with me. I am 29 now, with 5 children of my own and I still have nightmares about this book. I will never subject my children to this book. The cruelty and terror Ping must go thru is horrifying.

1-0 out of 5 stars Worst children's book I've read yet
Thank goodness I don't remember this book from my childhood! I'm so glad I read this book before I got a chance to share it with my 4 year old.

It teaches some horrible lessons. Conformity at all costs. Corporal punishment. Animal cruelty. No matter how hard those ducks race to get on the boat, someone will always be last and will be hit with a stick.

I realize this book is a classic and the illustrations are wonderful, but I think it is time to retire this one. ... Read more

20. Absolutely, Positively Alexander (Alexander (Hardcover))
by Judith Viorst
list price: $21.95
our price: $17.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0689817738
Catlog: Book (1997-10-01)
Publisher: Atheneum
Sales Rank: 9264
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day was first published in 1972, catapulting a lovable, if peevish, young hero into the world of children's literature. Since then, Judith Viorst--mother of three boys, one of whom is named Alexander--has created two more Alexander books, Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday and Alexander, Who's Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move.

This wonderful Alexander-fest features the complete tales, illustrated by Ray Cruz and Robin Preiss Glasser, much to the delight of fans who want to introduce Alexander to the uninitiated. Viorst says that she has been writing always--"or at least since I was seven or eight, when I composed an ode to my dead parents, both of whom were alive and well and, when they read my poem, extremely annoyed." If you've ever gone to sleep with gum in your mouth or dropped your sweater in the sink while the water was running, you'll be able to relate to Alexander, and so will your favorite kids. (Ages 4 to 8) ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Alexander loves Alexander
Okay, I'll admit it. It's cool to see the look on Alex's face when he gets books that have his name in them. And this was definitely a winner. We'd checked out 'the horrible, terrible, no-good, very bad day', so I knew he'd like this one. Of course when we read it together he reads what Alexander says. It's pretty cool.

5-0 out of 5 stars Who hasn't had a "terrible, horrible no good very bad day"
I grew up just loving Alexander in Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day. My mother read it to us a children (ok, so now you know I'm not too old!) and I was just thrilled to see such a good copy of not only it but the other Alexander stories as well. The library binding is very nice and this book will definitly be a keepsake for my children someday. If you like to have books to pass on, this one's for you!

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Positively Alexander - Fantastic!
My son's name is Alexander (goes by Alex). I gave this to him as a birthday gift and we have read it over and over many times. The three short stories are just the right length for a bedtime story. This book has humor and the boy, Alexander, is one boy that all children can relate too. The illustrations are great too! I highly recommend this for any child.

4-0 out of 5 stars Teaches Kids About Everyday Challenges......
.....that they or their friends may have to face in their young lives. In one story Alexander deals with issues surrounding moving to a new neighborhood. In another he deals with the repercussions of spending all his money. And, in the last, he deals with just a plain old bad day where nothing seems to go right. In each story Alexander feels kind of glum and is afraid that no one understands his struggle. By the end of each story though, he learns a lesson and learns his responsibility for his actions. The stories don't end on particularly happy notes, where all works out despite everything, but rather shows a given realization being reached by young Alexander: that if you spend your money frivolously, you won't 'be rich', that everyone has bad days and it's just part of life, and that sometimes we have to do things we are afraid of and that we don't want to do, such as move to a new neighborhood.

The stories are written on about a second grade reading level. Kids ages seven and eight will have little difficulty with the language or with following the story line. Honestly though, I'm not sure that kids this age will get the moral of the story on their own. They may just see the ending where Alexander doesn't get what he wants as unfulfilling until an adult explains further.

5-0 out of 5 stars You may as well get the whole set in one book!
Judith Viorst, well known adult author and the mother of sons, uses real life frustrations for this humorous (because its so true) story line, featuring Alexander, the youngest brother in a a family with three boys.

The first book is the best - Alexander has the worst days ever in "Alexander and the Horrible No Good Very Bad Day" (the best of the stories). In "Alexander Who Used to Be Rich," he fantasizes about all you do with a dollar, while in the third book, he resists (as most kids do) the family's need to move far away.

My own sons have enjoyed these books - starting in 1972 and into the present. The stories are not dated, as any parent of a child like Alexander can tell you - every untied shoelace is a major tragedy, a move around the corner can be traumatic and 'unfair,' and a dollar can buy you just about anything when you're in that wonderful 4 to 8 year old time of life.

Parents reading the book will see the humor. Children hearing the words will feel as though they are being understood.

As kids grow up (8 to 9 is about the end of the line for this series) they'll begin to see the humor in Alexander's thoughts.

Well written, with illustrations that are well above average, these books are a wonderful addition to any family library. And as long as you are going to get one, you may as well get all three and save yourself time and money! ... Read more

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