Books for Independent Reading


newThe Turnip
by Harriet Ziefert
Viking 1996 (32p)
To uproot a huge turnip from the ground, an old man enlists the help of an old woman, a girl, a dog, a cat, and a mouse.
The Magic Porridge Pot
by Harriet Ziefert
Viking 1997 (32p) also paper
A young girl gets into trouble with a magic porridge pot that won't stop cooking in this retelling of a classic English tale.
Young Mouse and Elephant
by Pamela J. Farris
Houghton 1996 (32p)
Boastful Young Mouse sets off to prove to elephant that of all the animals on the plain, even Elephant, he is the strongest.
Chicken Little
by Sally Hobson
Simon 1994 (26p)
A bright retelling of the tale of naive Chicken Little, her friends, and a fox.


newThe Royal Drum
by Mary Dixon Lake
Mondo 1996 (32p)
In a tale from the Ashanti told with rebus pictures, all of the animals except for lazy monkey work hard to make a drum for Lion, the king of the jungle.
Journey of the Nightly Jaguar
by Burton Albert
Atheneum 1996 (32p)
In this story inspired by an ancient Mayan myth, the sun becomes a jaguar at night, stalking through the jungle until it appears again in the morning sky.
Old Bag of Bones: A Coyote Tale
by Janet Stevens
Holiday 1996 (32p)
Young Buffalo imbues decrepit Coyote with youth and power, but wisdom still eludes Coyote.
The Cat and the Rooster: A Ukrainian Folktale
by Ivan Malkovych
Knopf 1995 (32p)
A cat rescues his friend the rooster from the trickery of a wily fox.


newCuckoo: A Mexican Folktale/Cucú: Un folklórico mexicana
by Lois Ehlert
Harcourt 1997
When beautiful but lazy Cuckoo saves a field of seeds from a fire in this Mayan pourquoi tale, he scorches his beautiful feathers but earns the respect of the other birds. Text in English and Spanish.
newWiley and the Hairy Man
by Molly Garrett Bang
Simon 1996 (64p)
With his mother's help, a boy outwits a hairy, shape-changing creature that lives in the swamp near their home.
The Lonely Lioness and the Ostrich Chicks
Verna Aardema
Knopf 1996 (32p)
An ostrich who has her chicks stolen by a lioness with no children of her own enlists the help of different animals to get them back in this tale from the Masai.
Kongi and Potgi: A Cinderella Story from Korea
by Oki S. Han
Dial 1996 (32p)
Kindhearted Kongi is treated unfairly by her stepmother and stepsister, but proves she is worthy to become the prince's bride.
How the Ostrich Got Its Long Neck
by Verna Aardema
Scholastic 1995 (32p)
Crocodile tricks Ostrich into helping him get rid of a toothache in this Kenyan pourquoi tale.
How Thunder and Lightening Came to Be: A Choctaw Legend
by Beatrice Orcutt Harrell
Dial 1995 (32p)
Two silly birds accidentally create thunder and lightning as they look for a way to warn people of approaching storms.


newThe Bootmaker and the Elves
by Susan Lowell
Orchard 1997 (32p)
In a retelling of the tale “The Elves and the Shoemaker” set in the Old West, two elves help a poor cowboy bootmaker and his wife turn leather into beautiful boots.
newDays of the Blackbird: A Tale of Northern Italy
by Tomie dePaola
Putnam 1997 (32p)
In the process of singing a gravely ill duke back to health, the feathers of a beautiful white song bird become permanently black.
Punia and the King of Sharks
by Lee Wardlaw
Dial 1997 (32p)
In this Hawaiian folktale, a clever boy named Punia outwits the king of the sharks, enabling him to fish in the lobster cave that the sharks jealously guard.
People of Corn: A Mayan Story
by Mary Joan-Gerson
Little 1995 (32p)
The gods Plumed Seprpent and Heart of Sky discover the true source of light -corn-and use it to fashion the Mayan people in this creation story.
by Arnold Lobel
Harper 1980 (48p) also paper
Short fables poke fun at human foibles through the antics of animals. Available in Spanish asFábulas.

Books for Shared Reading

newCounting Crocodiles
by Judy Sierra
Harcourt 1997 (32p)
Monkey convinces a sea of crocodiles to line up so he can walk across their backs to reach a banana tree in this counting tale.
Sody Sallyratus
by Terri Sloat
Dutton 1997 (32p)
When an old woman sends her family members to the store for the sody sallyratus she needs to make baking soda biscuits, each one is eaten by a hungry black bear.
The Golden Goose
by Uri Shulevitz
Farrar 1995 (32p)
In a retelling of a traditional Grimm tale, a simpleton wins over a princess with the funny procession of people stuck to his golden goose.
Too Much Talk
by Angela Shelf Medearis
Candlewick 1995 (32p)
In a tale from West Africa, yams, fish, cloth, and water that can all talk cause a funny hullabaloo.

Books for Teachers to Read Aloud

newBrother Rabbit: A Cambodian Tale
by Mingfong Ho
Lothrop 1997 (32p)
Brother Rabbit outwits a crocodile, two elephants, and an old woman to feast on a field of rice seedlings.
by Jane Kurtz
Harcourt 1997 (40p)
In a tale from Eritrea, a young goatherd trades away the gebeta board that his father has given him to stay out of trouble while he grazes his goats.
Toads and Diamonds
by Charlotte Huck
Greenwillow 1996 (32p)
Diamonds and pearls fall from Renee's mouth after she performs a kind deed, but only toads and snakes fall from Francine's mouth in retaliation for her rudeness in this story about two stepsisters who are justly rewarded for their actions.
Little Red Riding Hood: A New Fangled Prairie Tale
by Lisa Campbell Ernst
Simon 1995 (40p)
Little Red Riding Hood foils the plans of a wolf who is out to steal the recipe for her granny's famous wheat-berry muffins.
The Little Red Ant and the Great Big Crumb
by Shirley Climo
Clarion 1995 (32p)
A persistant little ant discovers she has the strength to move a big crumb by herself in this Mexican fable.

Now Available in Paperback

newOld Bag of Bones
by Janet Stevens
The Empty Pot
by Demi
Coyote Steals the Blanket
by Janet Stevens
Hot Hippo
by Mwenye Hadithi
Lon Po Po: A Red Riding Hood Story from China
by Ed Young
Zomo the Rabbit
by Gerald McDermott

Now Available in Spanish

Baby Rattlesnake (Viborita de cascabel)
by Te Ata and Lynn Moroney
Agua Agua Agua (Agua Agua Agua)
by Pat Mora
The Three Billy Goats Gruff (Los tres chivitos Gruff)
by Paul Galdone
The Legend of the Bluebonnet (La leyenda de la flor “el conejo”)
by Tomie de Paola
Strega Nona (Strega Nona)
by Tomie de Paola

Now Available as a Big Book

Johnny Appleseed
by Steven Kellogg
The Mitten
by Jan Brett
Strega Nona
by Tomie de Paola

Now Out Of Print

Henny Penny
by Stephen Butler