The Book Tree: A Christian Reference for Children’s Literature is exactly what it says it is – a book reference guide. Although the preface is addressed to Christians, I really do think this book would serve Christian and non-Christian alike quite well. Published by Canon Press, the authors of this book have “done the leg work” in compiling a list of some of the best children’s literature of all times. There are hundreds of titles included in this book, with short descriptions for each work. The books are separated in appropriate age categories beginning with Preschool Literature and taking you all the way through high school. All of the titles are nicely organized in the back both by title and then again by author for easy access.
What this book attempts to do is to provide a handy reference for parents, teachers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. to be able to offer good reading material to the children in their charge. This book is friendly enough and easy enough to use that children themselves should be able to open this book and grab a suggestion for a good book to read.
The reason it is subtitled “A Christian Reference for Children’s Literature” is because the authors and compilers of this work are Christians and they’ve taken the time to eliminate books from their “Master List” that involve language, sexual references, etc. Basically they’ve removed things which might be considered objectionable by the conservative reader (Christian OR non). However, anyone and everyone has different standards and areas in literature that they are perfectly willing (and enthusiastic about!) quibbling over. Assume that the books recommended within the covers of this one are generally clean and unobjectionable.
In the preface to the book they take the time to talk about the benefits of reading good literature. They quote C.S. Lewis as saying, “a children’s story which is only enjoyed by children is a bad children’s story.” His point was that good literature is good for all. McCallum and Scott also argue the point that abridged stories aren’t really beneficial to children and that instead of “dumbing down” literature we should raise our children up to classic standards. I do happen to agree with them with the caveat being that I also happen to think that illustrated works and some manipulatives can be helpful in better understanding works of the past.
Yet this is not just a book that focuses on classics. It is updated through today’s literature and, as our editor at 5 Minutes for Books will be delighted to know, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? also makes the cut. (The second edition of the this book didn’t catch The Mysterious Benedict Society but I’ll be lobbying for that in the Third Edition.)
On the whole I find this book to be a marvelous resource full of good ideas and good stories to introduce children to. It’s a tool worth investing in and I think you’ll be delighted with it.
The publisher of this book, Canon Press, has graciously offered to giveaway one copy to one of our readers. You must be a U.S. Resident to win. If you would like to be entered in the contest, please leave a comment below. Good luck! We’ll announce the winner on Wednesday January 21.
The winner of last week’s giveaway, a subscription to Happy Times from Concordia publishing is #20 Stacy.
Carrie comes by her book obsession honestly, having descended from a long line of bibliophiles. She blogs about books regularly at Reading to Know.
Hmm, a book that “christians” can use to make certain their little pumpkins don’t read anything pre-approved by their controlling parents Some of the world’s finest literature are “banned” books. Just say no to censorship
Meredith Rogen says
Looks like a good read.
Christina G. says
This sounds like a good book. Thanks for the giveaway!
crystle tellerday says
please pick me
Robert A. Piacquad says
I hope I win the book.
Sharon Jones says
great prize…would love to win. THANKS
susan varney says
love to be the winner thank-you
I’d love, love to win this book! Thanks for the chance!
I subscribe to your feed.
Great prize. Thank you
Cathy Casper says
Right now my favorit book is Marley and me and I would love to win this book
Please enter me. Thank you.
The books sounds good.
Susan Smith says
Sounds like a nice book
joni chadwell says
Oh… How nice this would sure come in handy!
Gabriel J. says
Please, enter me, great prize!!! I would love to win this.
Jennifer Hedden says
What a great resource. Thanks
We are kid book crazy and would love to be able to use this book as a reference!
Carla Pullum says
Would like this for my two daughter’s!
I would love the chance to win thanks.
Sharon Whitehurst says
I just want a chance to win this.
Would love to win!
This would come in real handy in my daycare.
CHARLENE S. says
Marion B says
This book would be nice to have!
Julie Donahue says
This would be an awesome resource!
Julie Donahue says
I have your button.
Julie Donahue says
Ed Nemmers says
Happy Inauguration Day Eve!
Terry Vanderpool says
Please enter me in this great contest thanks
Katherine Frazier says
Sounds like a great reference book and help in picking out reading material for my kids.
Hesper F says
What a great resource! Thanks for the chance to win.
Wounds like a great reference for families, thanks for the giveaway
Cassandra Janda says
This will be so helpful. Thanks so much!
Would make a great resource for my kids AND church youth group.
Angela Cisco says
I would love to win thanks for the contest.
angelacisco at rocketmail.com
Jason Lawless says
This looks like a great resource, especially since we have 3 kids in our house!
Ronda C. says
What a great resource. Would love to read this.
Thanks for the giveaway!
Amy A says
Thanks for the chance! I could use this!
Marcia S says
This looks like an excellent resource–I’d love to win!
Miss Heidi says
Please enter me. Thanks.
Michelle H. says
This sounds like a great resource and I would love to win.
john ferris says
This sounds great.
Geri Nyland says
Thanks for a great web site that gives us the oportunity to win such a great book :o)
Heather B says
I would really love to have this for my daughter who is just learning to read.
Elizabeth M. says
What a wonderful resource this would be!
Renee Borders says
I have 7 grandchildren……I need this! 🙂