I have had several people ask me for suggestions of chapter books for early- to mid-elementary children, and I now have a new suggestion that I am excited to share! The Bedtime Story-Books written by Thornton W. Burgess and illustrated by Harrison Cady are old-fashioned tales with titles such as The Adventures of Reddy Fox, The Adventures of Grandfather Frog, and The Adventures of Bob White. Because we are studying birds we started with the story about Bob White and his family. I love that these books are not only fun, adventuresome stories, free from any off-color language or crude themes, but they also teach simple concepts about the animals, as well as good life lessons in a format reminiscent of Aesop’s fables.
Pros: These are pure and exciting readers that teach valuable lessons.
Cons: While the language is very understandable, some words are not commonly used today and may be unfamiliar to young readers. In The Adventures of Bob White one of the young birds is shot. A brief discussion follows about the “dangers of guns.” While I did not see any problems with the way this was presented, considering that the book is from the perspective of a bird. Parents might take this opportunity to discuss the appropriate use of guns.
Age Range: 4-10