We Recommend, III

So, I'm feeling pretty stuck with the horrible name "we recommend," which serves as fair warning to anyone who is thinking of being ironic when titling something. This…service? idea? feature?… is my attempt to use my superpower—the ability to pick the perfect book for someone—for the power of good. (Though how you would use it for the forces of evil is not entirely clear to me.) Anyway, if you want in, here's the deal: e-mail me here and tell me a bit about the person we're recommending for—age, likes, dislikes, idiosyncrasies, favorite books, reading strengths, bizarre and little-known facts—and (when I get a chance) I'll post here with my pick. The real treat? You get the excellent recommendations of this group of extraordinarily generous commenters. And so…

Today's child is a 6 and a half year old boy, who's a fairly fluent reader caught between the world of picture books and beyond. He can read Danny and the Dinosaur without much trouble, but is showing a mother-irritating tendency to bring home Transformers and Pokemon books when brought to the bookstore. He loved the Mercy Watson books, and, for those of you who can figure out a way that this could work in, he has diabetes, so it would be kind of excellent to offer him something that took that into account.
What's the right thing?
Based on the Pokemon allure, I'm going with this:


They're good for beginning readers (though beware, there are some scary-ish things, and if he's a nervous guy maybe look further down) and they're truly interesting. Plus, lots of literary references that might draw him into other things down the line. Other ideas I had were Nate the Great, Henry and Mudge, and perhaps  my own personal favorite, Poppleton.
But I feel uneasy, as though there's a perfect book for this young man somewhere, and I just don't happen to know what it is. If you do, put it in the comments, by  all means!

8 thoughts on “We Recommend, III

  1. Oooh, I think I have some suggestions, though I have a daughter, not a son.
    How about the Calvin and Hobbes comics? My daughter devoured those.
    And she suggests the McGurk mysteries and the Alvin Fernald books.
    And how about the Mary (?) Rodgers’ books? Freaky Friday and Billions for Boris?


  2. My son, who is 5.5, loves Bunnicula. Silly-scary, cat and dog characters, and probably at an appropriate reading level.
    He also loves Calvin and Hobbes (though was disappointed to learn that there is no such thing as a gravity bill that we could forget to pay)


  3. My 5 1/2 year old has very similar taste (loves Mercy Watson, Poppleton AND those ridiculous Transformers books)
    I would recommend the following: the Babar books (a good balance of adventure and humor) the “Stink” series (Judy Moody’s little brother) and then the Zinc Alloy comics by Donald Lemke. As far as comics go, the kids feel grown-up reading them, but the stories are FAR less violent.


  4. Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I love your blog. In case the diversity of your audience interests you, I’m a 20-year-old college student with no kids, just an appreciation for children’s literature and intelligent commentary. Please keep up what you’re doing here.


  5. OK. I know I am YET AGAIN treading some deep water here, but my son (who is five) loves Captain Underpants. I am also not ashamed to admit that I do too. Since we are going to hear about all of the gross things anyway (usually during dinner) we know we can’t beat them, so we have chosen to join them. I am not sure that this little boy could read it independently, but as a read aloud it would be great.


  6. My nephew devoured the Tin Tin series at about 6 years and that was the stepping stone to “chapter books” like Captain Underpants and Dan Jerris’ Dragon Blood Pirate series. Oh and Beast Quest is popular in their house too, so much so that daddy is making the youngest a shield just like Tom’s.


  7. My 5 year old loves the Stink series–only 4 in all (or 5)? It doesn’t deal with illness, but Stink is short for his age, and thus different from his classmates.


  8. Sorry to get to this so late; we were on vacation last week. Thank you all for your suggestions. I’m sure my son will find a new favorite among them.


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