A list of books recommended for storytelling on the playground -- this list was probably prepared for the summer of 1975.

A typed document detailing stories appropriate for playgrounds


Jean Jacques Larrea, The Diary of a Paper Boy, Longmans Canada Ltd, Toronto, 1972
Interest: 6-14

This is the autobiography of the author. It is one of the most amusing children's stories I've read. the story is done in diary form. It tells about the adventures of the author over a period of six months. The very many different kinds of people he meets each have an interesting and funny incident happen to them. The book is very good for all children, especially boys. The paper boys will appreciate the humour in the book. I was a paper boy myself and many of the incidents sound familiar. A very good book!

Ruthe and Latrobe Carroll, Tough Enough, Henry Z Walck Inc, 1954
Interest: Age 7-8

This is the story of a "Walton" type family living in the backwoods of the Great Smoky Mountains. They have a dog named Tough Enough. The dog comes under suspicion of being a chicken killer. The dog is cleared of the charge when it's found a chicken hawk is stealing the chickens. The dog saves two of the children from a flooding stream and is back in good fortune with the family. The story is a simple one that young children will enjoy. The illustrations are in charcoal and add much to the story. Quite a good book. 

Yone Mizuta, Issun Boshi, the Inchling: A Japanese Tale, Walker and Company
Interest: 4-10

This is the story of a tiny boy no bigger than a thumb, who receives a job to defend the Emperor's daughter. One day three demons attack the princess. Issun Boshi defends her. A magic mallet is dropped by a fleeing demon. Issun wishes he were the size of an ordinary man. This is done. He marries the princess.
This is a very simple tale with simple Japanese style water colours. This book would be a good introduction to Japanese art and culture. Good.

Junichi Yoda, The Rolling Rice Ball, Parents Magazine Press, 1969
Interest: 4-10

This amusing Japanese story is about a man who stumbles down a mouse-hole. In return for the Rice Ball the mice give him a chest of gold coins. A greedy man who has seen what has happened shoves a rice ball down the mouse hole, jumps down and tries to make off with a chest. The mice disappear and the mouse hole becomes black. He has to dig himself back to the top. An old lady beats him on the head thinking he is a ground monster.
The tale is very funny with simple but effective illustrations -- Good

A typed document detailing stories appropriate for playgrounds


Hans Christian Anderson, What the Good Man Does is Always Right, Dial Press Inc, 1973
Interest: Age 6-12

This story about a man who trades a horse for a sheep, for, sack of wheat etc. is very good. When he makes a bet if his wife will be mad when he comes back empty-handed, the other bettor loses, and the farmer is one hundred dollars richer.
The story is fun to listen to. The unusual illustrations done in earth tones are quite imaginative and add dimension to the story. Very good book.

Marcia Brown, Stone Soup, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1947
Interest: Age 5-12

This amusing tale concerns three soldiers who stop overnight in a village. The people are reluctant to give them food. The soldiers decide to show the villagers how to make stone soup. Stone soup tastes better with a few carrots, so one villager fetches carrots, barley is good too, another villager gets that. Unwittingly the villagers supply the soldiers with all necessary condiments. Then they taste the soup. Amazing, three stones in boiling water makes marvelous soup.
The story is highly imaginative and the pictures adequate. Quite good.  

Toshiko Kanzawa, Raintaro: A Japanese Tale, Gakken, Publishers, Japan, 1972
Interest: Age 5-10

Raintaro is the child of the Dragon God. He cries all the time, as he has fallen to earth and is being raised by a kind old lady. One day a drought strikes. The grandmother is near death. Raintaro vows to climb up to the Milky Way to find rain. He climbs the tallest tree in the area and pleads to father the Rain God to make rain. This is done and a wind returns the boy to the sky.
This is an imaginative tale with elaborately coloured drawings. This book would be good in an art class. Very good.

Barbara Walker, Pigs and Pirates: A Greek Tale, David White Publishing, 1969
Interest: Age 4-10

This story is about three swineherds in charge of looking after the prince's pigs. The pigs are stolen by pirates who land on the island. But the pigs have been taught to come when a pipe is played. when the pigs hear the pipe they rush to the side of the ship and sink it. All the pirates drown and the pigs swim to shore. The story is highly imaginative and the illustrations colourful. The book could be valuable in introducing to kids the culture of Greece. Recommended.

A typed document detailing stories appropriate for playgrounds

Gail E. Haley, A Story (African), Connecticut Printers, 1970
Interest: Age 6-10

This is the story of Ananse, the Spider Man who wanted to buy all the Sky Gods' stories. The Sky God was willing to sell them if Ananse fulfilled certain conditions. This was done and Ananse came into possession of the spider stories.
The illustrations are reminiscent of the primitive African style and are very colourful. The  text is easy to read and quite interesting. A good book.

Arlene Mosel, The Funny Little Woman, E.P. Dutton & Co, Inc, New York, 1972
Interest: Age 3-10

This is one of the best children's picture books I've seen. The story is imaginative. A little old lady who is always laughing unwittingly falls down a hole and is captured, by a wicked oni. She is made his slave until she barely escapes with a magic ledle. The story is very amusing and the illustrations are in colour and black and white. The drawings are beautiful, based on the ancient Japanese style of illustration. This book surely deserves the Caldecott award.

Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are, Harper and Row Publishers, 1964
Interest: Age 4-8

I read this book quite a while ago and re-reading it I still was amazed at the clever imagination of Mr. Sendak. The colourful illustration and imaginative text make this book one of the best picture books around. The story is about a boy named Max who is sent to bed without supper. He imagines his room a forest where he meets the Wild Things. There is a test of wills to see who is more frightening -- Max or the Wild Things. Max wins and makes friends. He returns back to his room when he smells his supper waiting for him. I highly recommend this book for all children.

Ezra Jack Keats, The Snowy Day, Viking Press, New York, 1966
Interest: Age 3-6

The pictures are what make this book. The illustrations are very simple and colourful. The story tends to be boring for an older child (myself included) but the pictures compensate for this. The story is about a little boy and his adventures in the snow. Peter is the main character. He plays in the snow with friends. The theme could be to have simple desires and you shall be happy. This book is useful only if reading. 

Adapted by Barbara Emberly, Drummer Hoff, Prentice-Hall Inc, 1968
Interest: Age 3-7

This is a very short book. It tells the story of Drummer Hoff who fired it off. (It being a cannon). He had a little help from his friends, but it was Drummer Hoff who fired it off. The story is very simple. A rhyming approach adds more interest to the book as do the very colourful illustrations. I recommend this colourful story-picture book be read aloud to fully appreciate the humour. A very good picture book.

Title: Playgrounds [Reading List]
Date: ca. 1975
Creator: Thunder Bay Parks and Recreation Department, Playgrounds Division
Series: 156, Thunder Bay Central Files (Administration, Parks, Community Recreation)
Location: TBA 5249-06

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