This is a rendition of Top Ten Tuesday by the thebrokeandthebookish.wordpress.com. This week was top 10 underrated books in a genre, and I have chosen to do Childhood Books because frankly, there are too many wonderful books that no one else seems to have read and/or are out of print. So, if any of you have also enjoyed these works, please tell me!
Most Underrated Childhood Books
-Picture book section:
1. The Keris Emerald by Mary Parke Johnson
This is a fairy tale about a Russian lad who wants to gain the attention of a princess by giving her the greatest of all emeralds, hidden in the forest of the Keris fairies and guarded by a snow leopard…It’s gorgeous, and strange, and lovely.
2. The Princess on the Nut by Michelle Nikly and Jean Claverie
This is the tale of the son of the princess on the pea and his search for a bride who isn’t so “perfect” or princessy as his mother. The pictures are gorgeous and give a lot of extra information, too!
3. The Magic Pumpkin by Lucille E. Sette and Phyllis L. Tildes
One of my favorite Halloween books, The Magic Pumpkin is about old Mr. Squiggs, who loves Halloween because he gets to be even more unpleasant and dreadful, and it is sanctioned! I love the way this writing goes in threes: how he interacts with men, with women, with children, his jack-o-lanterns are dreadful, are hideous, are frightening! Only this year, the pumpkin has something to say about being so horrible.
4. All works by Barbara Helen Berger
This artist/writer creates such gorgeous, magical works that I cannot recommend them enough. My first was “Grandfather Twilight” and I think that’s the easiest one to find, though.
5. This Is the Place for Me by Joanna Cole and William Van Horn
This charming book is about a bear who’s fed up with his house and goes looking for a better place to live. I still think of this bear when I need some perspective or am thinking of making crazy, impulsive life-choices, and the images still make me smile in amusement, so what more could one want in a picture book?
(Extra): Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady by Selina Hastings and Juan Wijngaard
-Since it’s a well-known tale I felt this was more of an extra mention, but this work probably began my great love with all things Arthurian, the artwork is amazing, and it’s just one of the most vibrant treasures.
6. The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye
Again, I cannot recommend it enough-a committee suggesting they hire a dragon to help wed their plain daughter, a princess who runs off rather than having it and finds living with animals in the wood a rather unpractical affair and so gets work with her non-anthropomorphized squirrel and crow…read it! I do every spring.
7. The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope
And this is the book I read every fall. It’s set in England during Mary Tudor’s reign, with the stubborn, curious, and practical Kate sent into exile in a palace full of mysterious circumstances and tales of living elves…It’s a retelling and expansion of the Tam Lin tale and it’s brilliant.
8. The Gammage Cup: A Novel of the Minnipins by Carol Kendall and Erik Blegvad
This world is delightfully filled with poetry, courage, and discovery.
9. A Royal Pain by Ellen Conford
This one is more real-world…almost. “A sixteen-year-old in Kansas, who discovers she is really a princess, is taken to a tiny European monarchy to assume her duties and marry a distasteful neighboring prince, and in the ensuing weeks tries to become such a “royal pain” that everyone will want to be rid of her.” It’s great fun, and a good read-aloud book.
10. My Angelica by Carol Lynch Williams
Angelica is an elementary student who dreams of becoming a great and famous romance writer! Unfortunately, her book is filled with sentimental tripe wrapped in hilariously absurd euphemisms. Her best friend is both a good poet who’s aware of this problem and utterly in love with her. It’s a ridiculously charming read. Why it didn’t catch on I do not know.
So! How about you guys? What are your favorite childhood books that other people’s lack of knowledge keeps you from talking about? Have you read any of these?