Loving Learning with Living Books

My plea is…that the young people shall learn what history is, what literature is, what life is, from the living books of those who know.

–Charlotte Mason

Few things compare with cuddling on the couch with my children reading a great story. Even my teen enjoys story time. And I enjoy her enjoyment.

Charlotte Mason refers to living books as “the living progeny of living minds.” They are gateways to places, experiences and ideas; they feed both the imagination and the soul.

Here is a list of some of our favorite stories. I will add to it, periodically, but this is a start:

Picture Books

“The Story About Ping” –Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese

“Lentil” –Robert McCloskey

“Five O’clock Charlie” –Marguerite Henry

“Chicken Soup with Rice” –Maurice Sendak

“Where the Wild Things Are” –Maurice Sendak

“Madeline” –Ludwig Bemelmans

“Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel” –Virginia Lee Burton

“Katy and the Big Snow” –Virginia Lee Burton

“Cranberry Thanksgiving” –Wende and Harry Devlin

“Little Bear” –Else Holmelund Minarik

“Horton Hatches the Egg” –Dr. Seuss

“The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins” — Dr. Seuss

“Jumbo” –Rhoda Blumberg

“Make Way for Ducklings” –Robert McCloskey

“Bread and Jam for Frances” (and other Frances stories) –Russell Hoban

“Miss Rumphius” — Barbara Cooney

“The Little Red Hen” –Paul Galdone

“There is an Alligator Under my Bed” –Mercer Mayer

“The Gingerbread Baby” –Jan Brett

“The Mitten” –Jan Brett

All of the tales of Beatrix Potter.

The Complete Adventures of Curious George –Margret & H.A. Rey

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh –A.A. Milne

Short Stories

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” –James Thurber

“The Night the Bed Fell” –James Thurber

Fairy Tales, Folk Tales and Fables

Danny Kaye’s Around the World Story Book –Danny Kaye

Andersen’s Fairy Tales

Grimm’s Fairy Tales (although some of these are, indeed, grim)

Just So Stories –Rudyard Kipling


Anything and everything by Marguerite Henry and illustrated by Wesley Dennis, including Brighty of the Grand Canyon, Misty of Chincoteague, Justin Morgan Had a Horse, Black Gold.

The Arabian Nights –Rene’ Bull

The Jungle Book –Rudyard Kipling

The Wanderings of Odyseuss  and Black Ships Before Troy–Rosemary Sutcliff

The Chronicles of Narnia –C.S. Lewis

The Hobbit –J.R.R. Tolkein

The Lord of the Rings –J.R.R. Tolkein

A Christmas Carol –Charles Dickens

Little Britches –Ralph Moody

Anne of Green Gables –L.M. Montgomery

Treasure Island –Robert Louis Stevenson

Island of the Blue Dolphins –Scott O’Dell

The Witch of Blackbird Pond –Elizabeth George Speare

Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn –Mark Twain

Little Women –Louisa May Alcott

The Penderwicks –Jeanne Birdsall

God’s Smuggler  –Brother Andrew (may need some editing for younger audiences)

A book serves the ends of education only as it is vital…having found the right book, let the master give the book the lead and be content himself with second place.

–Charlotte Mason


About Kristen Chevrier

Kristen Chevrier is married to Brian Chevrier. They are the parents of five awesome children. Kristen began researching home schooling twenty-two years ago, when her first child was six months old, and fell in love with the idea. Kristen received her MA in English from Brigham Young University. She has taught Freshman English at BYU and has taught Theater, History, English Literature and Composition for private schools and groups of home schooled teens. Most of all she enjoys being with her family. She is very comfortable with home schooling, but blogging is a new adventure.
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