The Adventures of Lightfoot the Deer

The Adventures of Lightfoot the Deer by Thornton W. Burgess

The Adventures of Lightfoot the Deer by Thornton W. Burgess

The Adventures of Lightfoot the Deer is another set of children’s stories by the conservationist, Thornton W. Burgess. More serious than some of Burgess’ other children’s books, much of this book chronicles the tense predator-prey relationship of a human hunter and Lightfoot the Deer during the autumn hunting season. Later, Lightfoot discovers a hunt of a different kind.

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Hans Brinker

Hans Brinker by Mary Mapes Dodge

Hans Brinker by Mary Mapes Dodge

Mary Mapes Dodge created an instant bestseller with “Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates.” She wanted the book to be partly a book of travels and partly a domestic story. It is a tale written for children that adults also find interesting and uplifting. Dodge writes as if she is sending a series of letters from Holland to children in America, and her you-are-there perspective is aided by a nice attention to detail and vivid imagery.

The Brinkers are a poor but stoic family under a dark cloud – Raff, the man of the house, fell from the dikes while reinforcing them during a bad storm, and for ten years he has been in a vegetative state. With no steady income, the family’s lot is grinding poverty. Despite their unfortunate circumstances, Hans and Gretel are cheerful children, yet always attentive to the needs of their mother and their present-but-not-really-there father. Their social standing is very low, but they both attract firm friends, even among the gentry, for their honesty, industry, and good-heartedness.

Then a glorious skating race is proposed for the town of Broek, with the prize a pair of silver skates for both the winning boy and girl. In the weeks leading up to the race, we follow the adventures of five of the local boys who are showing a visiting relative from England the sights of the Netherlands. Hans improbably meets the one man who might be able to heal his father, and somehow Hans finds a way to afford some skates so that he and Gretel can enter the race.

This all leads up to a dramatic, moving, and entirely satisfactory conclusion. “Hans Brinker” hits a series of high notes and encourages children to cultivate and display their finer qualities.

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The Adventures of Jimmy Skunk

The Adventures of Jimmy Skunk by Thornton W. Burgess

The Adventures of Jimmy Skunk by Thornton W. Burgess

The Adventures of Jimmy Skunk is another in the long list children’s books by the conservationist, Thornton W. Burgess. In this book, Jimmy Skunk has encounters with Reddy Fox, Peter Rabbit, Unc’ Billy Possum and other acquaintances of his in the Green Meadows and Green Forest. Along the way, we learn some of the habits of Jimmy and his friends and we learn little lessons about life such as the importance of always keeping one’s temper, keeping promises and not playing practical jokes. We are also treated to a philosophical discussion by Jimmy Skunk on the advantages of defensive weaponry.

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The Wonder Garden

The Wonder Garden by Frances Jenkins Olcott

The Wonder Garden by Frances Jenkins Olcott

Here are 150 nature myths and short stories from all parts of the World. They are the kind that children delight in — tales of transformations of maidens into trees and fountains, of youths into flowers, and of men into birds. Blossoms, fragrance, and joy are the themes of many of these tales, while a few a tender, pathetic, or humorous.

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Seven O’Clock Stories

Seven O'Clock Stories by Robert Gordon Anderson

Seven O'Clock Stories by Robert Gordon Anderson

“Not once upon a time but just now, in a white house by the side of a road, live three happy children.
Their mother and father gave them very odd names, for two old uncles and one aunt, which pleased the old people very much. Their names are all written in the big family Bible,–Jehosophat Green, Marmaduke Green, and Hepzebiah Green.”
So begins this collection of bedtime stories for children, one each night for twenty days, involving these three happy children and their playmates.

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The Scarecrow of Oz

The Scarecrow of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Scarecrow of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Scarecrow of Oz is the ninth book set in the Land of Oz written by L. Frank Baum. It was Baum’s personal favorite of the Oz books and tells of Cap’n Bill and Trot journeying to Oz and, with the help of the Scarecrow, overthrowing the cruel King Krewl of Jinxland.

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Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Christmas Tree Cove

Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Christmas Tree Cove by Laura Lee Hope

Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Christmas Tree Cove by Laura Lee Hope

Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue were featured in a series of 20 books for young children published by the Stratemeyer Syndicate from 1916-1930. In this adventure, first published in 1920, Bunny and Sue lose a valuable possession belonging to their mother. They have many adventures and misadventures during a family boating vacation to Christmas Tree Cove.

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The Tale of Benny Badger

The Tale of Benny Badger by Arthur Scott Bailey

The Tale of Benny Badger by Arthur Scott Bailey

Mr. Bailey centered all his plots in the animal, bird and insect worlds, weaving natural history into the stories in a way that won educator’s approval without arousing the suspicions of his young readers. He made it a habit to never ‘write down’ to children and frequently used words beyond the average juvenile vocabulary, believing that youngsters respond to the stimulus of the unfamiliar.”

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