The Emotional Appeal of Children's Literature

The Need for Love and Friendship

Children connect with stories that show love for family members, pets and toys. Here are some truly fine books of this type:

*A Chair for My Mother (Williams) Grades K-2
Ramona and Her Father (Cleary) Grades 2-4
*Grandaddy and Janetta (Griffith) Grades 1-3
*The Hundred Penny Box (Mathis) Grades 1-3
*When I Go Camping with Grandma (Bauer) Grades K-3
*Talk, Baby (Ziefert) Grades 1-3
Ramona's World (Cleary) Grades 3-5
Yolanda's Genius (Fenner) Grades 4-6
Shiloh (Naylor) Grades 4-6
*Where Is That Cat? (Greene) Grades K-3
*Ira Sleeps Over (Waber) Grades K-3
The Teddy Bear Habit (Collier) Grades 2-5

Children respond strongly to stories of friendship. Those who are fortunate to have many friends may relate their own experiences to such stories. Those who don't have many friends may seek them vicariously through books. Good books about friends include:

Amber Brown Wants Extra Credit (Danziger) Grades 3-6
Bridge to Terabithia (Paterson) Grades 4-6
The Babysitters Club series (Martin) Grades 3-6
*Poppleton in Spring (Rylant) Grades K-2
p.s. Longer Letter Later (Danziger and Martin) Grades 4-7
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (Blume) Grades 3-5

You can help students explore these themes in a meaningful way by having pairs choose a book to read. Encourage the reading buddies to keep a journal with observations, drawings and questions about what they read and to discuss the relationships in the stories.

* Picture books or easy readers.

The Emotional Appeal of Children's Literature


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