Welcome to the Hanson Library!

I was on another forum and a mother asked for good reading lists for her 5-6 year old boy, she wanted picture books and children’s literature of quality, as well as suggestions for science, social studies etc… For those who aren’t familiar with the Charlotte Mason homeschool approach, one of the biggest focuses is on quality literature – not “twaddle”.

In the homeschool world there are many definitions of twaddle, but they all boil down to this simplified explanation: a dumbed-down (in terms of the vocabulary it contains), senseless book, devoid of any rich meaning, thought or relation. The majority of children’s books today are considered twaddle. They’re written for mindless entertainment purposes only.

Don’t get me wrong, we have many twaddle books, and the children enjoy them, but just as we want to feed our children’s bodies wholesome foods – fruits and vegetables instead of candy and pop, likewise we should want to feed their minds rich, wholesome books. Therefore in the last year, I have made a real conscientious effort to improve the quality of books that we buy.

I decided after reading this woman’s post, that I would share the books that we own. Now, this is far from a complete list, my children own roughly 1000 books combined – I’m not including the twaddle books, or bedtime stories, holiday books (though that’s another list I plan to work on at some point!) etc… But rather I’m including some of the books that I consider quality children’s literature, as well as good living books (educational books) that we would use in our homeschool. The age range on these books varies. Some of these books touch on sad topics (death of a loved one for example), but I don’t believe in shielding even young children from life, and these books do a wonderful job of touching on the subjects, in a gentle manner. Hopefully you’ll find something that piques your interest, and your children will be able to enjoy these great books as well!


* I have linked many books to Amazon so you can see a preview, however, I find www.abebooks.com to be the best source of used books.

**I have updated this list to include some of our toddler/preschool favorites, as well!



The Big Book of Animal Devotions by William Coleman

Children’s Guide to the Bible by Robert Willoughby

Bible Stories for Children

Day by Day Devotions (we use this for a combined Bible/Character Training)



Favorite Poems Old & New 

National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry

Animals, Animals by Eric Carle

Wings on the Wind: Bird Poems

A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk


Picture Books: 

Any original classics by Dr. Seuss

Anything by Eric Carle

Anything by Margaret Wise Brown


Wynken, Blynken and Nod

The Little Engine that Could


The “My First Little House” series

Fritz and the Beautiful Horses (and anything else by Jan Brett)

My Pony

A Year Around the Great Oak

Waiting for Winter

Little Raccoon

Reading and Literature: The Primer

It’s Mine by Leo Lionni (or other books by him)

Sky Tree

The Story of Ferdinand

Mike Mulligan and More

Island Boy

As Long as the River Flows

If You’re Not From the Prairie

The Big Snow

Winter’s Gift

Tico and the Golden Wings

Looking for Loons

The Biggest Bear

The Giving Tree

The Farmer

Chester’s Way (and most other books by Kevin Henkes)

Dr. De Soto

Blueberries for Sal (and any other book by him)

The Little Engine that Could

The Luckiest One of All

Mary of Mile 18

The Velveteen Rabbit

Over and Under the Snow

Owl Moon

The Polar Express

Something from Nothing

Three Names (or any other book by Patricia MacLachlan)

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

Where the Wild Things Are

Curious George (or the other original books written by H. A. Rey)’

Tommy’s New Block Skates

Waiting for the Whales

Henry’s Freedom Box

Stranger in the Woods

Miss Rumphius

We also love the Berenstain Bear books, and the original Raggedy Anne & Andy series

Stone Soup

Clown of God

Make Way for Ducklings (and any other book by Robert McCloskey)

Song of the Swallows

The Little Match Girl

Brother Sun, Sister Moon

The Song of Francis and the Animals

The Song of Francis  (and many other books by Tomie dePaola)

Midnight in the Mountains

The Tale of Three Trees

The Boy Who Drew Birds

Peter and the Wolf 

The Story of Babar

The Weight of a Mass

The Ugly Duckling (and any other classic fairy tale)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Book of the Sandman and the Alphabet of Sleep

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Grandfather Twilight

Brother Eagle Sister Sky


Classic Compilations

The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh

The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter

Your Favorite Seuss

Aesop’s Fables

The Lion and the Puppy, and Other Stories for Children

The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales

The Book of Virtues

The Moral Compass

Thomas the Tank Engine Story Collection

James Herriot Treasury for Children

A Child’s Seasonal Treasury


Chapter Books/Read Alouds

Little House on the Prairie series

Rabbit Hill

Any of the Classics in an Early Reader format

Sarah Plain and Tall

My Father’s Dragon

The Little Prince

The Lighthouse Family series (The Storm, The Turtle, The Eagle, The Whale, The Octopus)

Anything by Thornton Burgess, Clara Pierson, Arthur Scott Bailey

Anything by E.B. White

The Wind in the Willows

The Old Meadow

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

The Family Under the Bridge 

The Red Pony

Classics like The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, The Railway Children etc…



Science: General

Any of the Let’s Read & Find Out About series (ex. How a Seed Grows)

Any of the Magic School Bus series (ex. In the Time of the Dinosaurs)

Science Through Children’s Literature

Berenstain Bears Big Book of Science and Nature

Science in Seconds for Kids

Science Arts: Discovering Science through Art Experiences

106 Days of Creation Studies


Science: Animals/Insects

The Bird Atlas

The Animal Atlas

National Geographic Encyclopedia of Animals

Any of the Smithsonian Backyard series (ex: Canada Goose at Cattail Lane)

Bird, Butterfly, Eel

Any of the Cat in the Hat Know-It-All books (ex: Hark! A Shark!)

Any of the Know It Alls! series (ex: Lizards!)

Not a Buzz to be Found

A Butterfly Is Patient (or any of her other books on natural science)

One Tiny Turtle

The Burgess Bird Book for Children

The Burgess Animal Book for Children

Jack’s Insects + Companion

Skunk Baby 


Science: Nature/Earth

A Rock is Lively 

Secrets of the Garden

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle

DK First Nature Encyclopedia

Usborne Complete First Book of Nature

The Nature Connection

Usborne First Encyclopedia of Our World

Nature in a Nutshell for Kids

Outdoor Secrets + Companion


Science: Health

Usborne First Encyclopedia of the Human Body

My Five Senses

The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body


History: General

A Pioneer Sampler

Usborne Who Were the First North Americans

Great Explorers 

Explorers Who Got Lost

Usborne First Encyclopedia of History

Exploring American History

The World of Little House

A Child’s History of the World

Planting the Trees of Kenya (The Story of Wangari Maathai)

Dakota Dugout


History/Social Studies: Canada

The Spirit of Canada

The Story of Canada

The Big Book of Canada

The Kids Book of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada

Stories of the Maple Land



Material World

Window on the World

Global Art

Around the World in 80 Tales

Maps and Globes



Math Arts

Math Though Children’s Literature

Any of the Stuart Murphy MathStart books







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