We Recommend, More Fantasy + Animals Edition

This feature, in which we recommend books based on what you tell us in an email, is going to be around throughout our summer vacation. I am trying to catch up on all the kind people who have been patiently waiting for a recommendation.  If you have specific questions, needs, or desires (my child is a reluctant reader who loves carnage but hates cats) send it to us here, and we will do our best to recommend the right book for you. And, as always, please don’t hesitate to put in your own recommendations!

We got an email from a children’s librarian (!) who is also looking for fantasy novels for her 6-year-old, a girl who can read well but is skittish about scary things. She’s loved Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Cat Wings series, Dragon’s Child, the Magic Tree House series, and is partial to funny books, and books about animals.
We thought on this for a while and once again came up with this

Fairy_realm_the_flower_fairies

It’s a bit sticky sweet, but sometimes that’s what is called for. It’s tough for early readers; their skills are there but their hearts are young. Books like The Borrowers might also fit the bill. I do feel a little at sea with this one, as though there is the perfect book out there but my pre-vacation brain is too fried to find it. Anyone have an idea?

12 thoughts on “We Recommend, More Fantasy + Animals Edition

  1. These might be too advanced for a 6-year old, but what about Terry Pratchett’s “The Wee Free Men,” (and its sequels), “The Bromeliad Triology,” and “The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents”(this one has one kinda scary part)? Some of the (British) humor might be a bit over the head of a very young reader, but they are still ripping good stories.

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  2. Oooh! This sounds like it might have been my question? In which case I wasn’t clear that she is starting to read, but the books mentioned above were read alouds. She is obsessed with animals and dinosaurs, and hates princesses. I am looking for something that isn’t the magic tree house series, as I have now read around 25 of them to her, and would like a change of pace.
    We got 2/3rds of the way through a Dr. Doolittle book of short stories (So frighteningly sexist and racist too)!
    I brought home a Magic School bus Dinosaur chapter book, and was informed that she didn’t like the Magic School Bus videos they watched at lunch when she was in Zoo camp.
    Would My Side of the Mountain be a good read aloud for a 6 year old? She liked the Jean Craighead George Picture Books…

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  3. What about James and the Giant Peach? Or, Charlotte’s Web? Otherwise I think some of the books that were recommended on a previous “We Recommend” (A to Z mysteries, or Geronimo Stilton, or The Secrets of Droon).

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  4. Moomintroll books! Sweet and funny and, okay, sometimes a tiny bit scary, but full of endearing characters and fun.
    Racketty Packetty House by Frances Hodgson Burnett…about a shabby dollhouse and the shabby dolls that live there and how they save the snooty dolls in their snooty dollhouse…
    How about the Jenny and the Cat Club books? I didn’t like them much but my daughter did, as I remember.

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  5. Sarah you are spot on with the Moomintroll and Jenny and the Cat club books, she loved those! I could try the Racketty Packetty House since I think I would love it, but my daughter hates dolls and and might not like it herself!
    I think all the series book suggestions sound spot on, so I will be trying Geronimo and A to Z mysteries soon.
    Right now we are reading an old book from my childhood called Mr. Pudgins about a magic babysitter who makes bathtubs fly and faucets run soda pop. She also really loves nonfiction books about animals and dinosaurs.

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  6. What about Mr Popper’s Penguins? (It was recommended to me for my 6-year-old, and I have very fond memories of it.) Mrs Piggle Wiggle might be fun too, or the Pippi Longstocking books. They’re not precisely fantasy, but they do look at the world through a pretty unusual, sily lens.

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  7. I loved The Wizard in the Tree, by Lloyd Alexander, which is magical and has a girl as the main character. In addition to the Borrowers, the Littles might also work.

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