5 Great Children’s Story Books You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

childrensbooksReading to your kids is so very important!  I’ve been reading books to Bug at bedtime for longer than he remembers.  I started reading him books before he was big enough to even know what was going on.  It’s a nightly tradition that I hope lasts a long time.  He’s 6 now and sometimes HE reads a bedtime story to ME.  That hurts my heart a little.  But I still get bedtime snuggles even if he is doing the reading.

But we read at more than just bedtime.  Since we homeschool, we read a lot!   But sometimes on a rainy day or a day when we were under the weather, we will get a pile of books and just read for fun.  We’ve read a lot of great books over the years – many of them countless times!   We borrow books from the library but I also might be guilty of buying a few too many – but at least I hit up thrift stores, yard sales and book sales for cheap books!

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Here are some books that I think are FANTASTIC!  But judging by their reviews on Amazon (some have been reviewed less than 10 times – compared to books like The Giving Tree that have 1500+ reviews) it tells me people don’t know how great these books are!

So here are our 5 favorite lesser-known storybooks:

That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown

Emily Brown’s rabbit, Stanley, is NOT FOR SALE.  Not even to her Most Royal Highness Queen Gloriana the Third.  Not even for all the toys Emily Brown could ever desire.
So when naughty Queen Gloriana steals “Bunnywunny” away, Emily Brown sets out to get him back. Along the way, she shows the queen how to love a special toy of her very own.

I bought this at a book sale our library was having for $.25.  Best quarter I’ve ever spent.  Bug loves this one.  And it’s especially special if you child has a “special toy” of their own.  You know, the one that goes EVERYWHERE with them.  The stuffed animal that you have to sneak out of their bed at night, wash, dry and replace before they wake up?  Yeah, that toy.  That’s their “Stanley”.  Any child with a “Stanley” will appreciate this book.  Oh, and it helps to read the character’s voices in your worst British accent.  It will double the laughter.

And apparently there are more Emily Brown stories. And Stanley is in all of them.  I need to check them out!

 Library Lion

Miss Merriweather, the head librarian, is very particular about rules in the library. No running allowed. And you must be quiet. But when a lion comes to the library one day, no one is sure what to do. There aren’t any rules about lions in the library. And, as it turns out, this lion seems very well suited to library visiting. His big feet are quiet on the library floor. He makes a comfy backrest for the children at story hour. And he never roars in the library, at least not anymore. But when something terrible happens, the lion quickly comes to the rescue in the only way he knows how.

This one has been a favorite for a while!  I can’t even remember where I got it but it looked lovely.  Bug was barely 3 when I got it and it’s a little lengthy but he always sat still for it and requested it very often.  It’s a wonderful story with lovely illustrations.  It’s also a New York Times bestseller – but you would never know because no one seems to know about it!  Bug found it at our library one day and he said “Look, Mommy!  It’s Library Lion.”  And he proceeded to tell the librarian about how much he liked the book and she said, “I’ve never heard of Library Lion.  I guess I’ll have to read it!”  How could a librarian not know about a New York Times bestselling book about a lion in a library??  Baffles me.

Anyway, Library Lion is great!


Take Care, Good Knight

The old wizard has asked the dragons to take care of his cats for a few days. There’s just one problem: they can’t read the wizard’s instructions! The dragons make their best guesses. They take the cats swimming and camping, with hilarious results. Of course, it’s up to the Good Knight to come to the rescue in his funniest outing yet.

This is another long-time favorite.  It was given to us by Bug’s great-grandmother.  She bought a stack of books at a yeard sale and this was one of them.  Another lengthy one that I didn’t know Bug was capable of sitting through from as young as 2 years old, but it has always held his attention.  Dragons, a wizard, a knight and a houseful of cats – what fun!  I recommend this book because of all the giggles you will get out of it!

Captain Buckleboots on the Naughty Step

Most of the time, Sam is a good little boy, but every once in a while he is naughty. For punishment, he has to sit on the bottom step of the stairs, where he can’t play with his toys or do anything else except sit. With nothing to do, he’s left to think about the naughty thing he has just done. But one day, as he is sitting on his step, he is joined by a pirate named Captain Buckleboots . . . and then by several other strange fellows. They all have to sit down and think about the naughty things each of them has done. . . like fighting, or behaving like monsters. Finally they understand that they all have one more important thing to do. They each have to decide how to say “I’m sorry!” 

We found this one at our library and it became an instant favorite.  But it only has five reviews on Amazon.  Why don’t more people know about this book?  “Jumping Jellyfish!”  It’s one of our favorites.  It makes us laugh, the pictures are engaging and it teaches kids how to say “I’m sorry.”  What could be better?

The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot July 25, 1909

“This book . . . recounts the persistence of a Frenchman, Louis, to build a flying machine to cross the English Channel. . . . The text is succinct, caption-like in its directness and brevity. . . . The paintings . . . add the necessary texture and tone to this marriage. This is vintage Provensen.”–School Library Journal. Caldecott Medal.

This one won a Caldecott Medal.  And it’s different than the other books on this list.  But I picked it because we liked it so much.  And it’s never to early to introduce your children to history.  This book is factually accurate but also interesting.  Bug (at age 5) asked to read it over and over.   I would’ve never know about this one if it hadn’t been listed in our homeschool curriculum to read.  I’m glad we did end up reading it!

Ok, and now there is an honorable mention.  I know, I know, I said 5…but what can I say… We love books.

Dewey: There’s a Cat in the Library!

When Librarian Vicki Myron finds a young kitten abandoned in the Spencer Library return box, she nurses him back to health, deciding then and there that he will be their library cat, and naming him, appropriately, Dewey Readmore Books. Dewey loves his new home, but once he discovers the littlest library visitors-who like to chase him, pull his tail, and squeeze him extra tight-Dewey begins to wonder if he’s truly cut out for the demands of his new job. In the end, he is triumphant as he realizes that helping people big and small is what he is meant to do, and that by sharing his special brand of Dewey love, he can be the best library cat of all.

Bug picked this one up at the library one day because it was displayed on their “new arrivals” shelf.  I dismissed it because I thought he wouldn’t like it.  But he begged.  So we checked it out and read it.  It’s good!  We check it out regularly.  It’s the kid version of Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World – which is a true story.  It’s a sweet story.  There are some funny pictures of kitten antics that make Bug giggle.  All-in-all, it’s a lesser known winner.

So tell me, did you know any of the books on this list?

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