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READING / The ABC's of helping youngsters achieve literacy--the
first skill.

Check It Out

November 15, 1998

Books recommended for young readers by Susan Patron, senior librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library:

Parents can share our oldest cultural treasures with children by reading traditional literature--nursery stories, folk tales and fables.

* Babies and toddlers: "My Very First Mother Goose," selected by Iona Opie and illustrated by Rosemary Wells.

Children love the sounds and nonsense of this exuberant, endearing collection of favorite verses.

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* Preschoolers: "Helen Oxenbury Nursery Story Book."

Popular, not-scary folk tales formatted especially for 3- and 4-year-olds.

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* Kindergarten: "Once in a Wood: Ten Tales from Aesop," retold by Eve Rice.

Children learn exactly why "slow and steady wins the race" in this easy-to-read book.

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* First and second grade: "Rainbow Fairy Book," illustrated by Micheal Hague.

Thirty-one of great folk and fairy tales from Hans Christian Andersen, the Grimm Brothers and Perrault--stories that should be part of every child's heritage.

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* Third grade: "Tales of Uncle Remus," retold by Julius Lester.

Witty, wise and funny African American folk tales, perfect for reading aloud.

Storytime

Some of the books to be read this week on KCET's "Storytime," Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

* "Sheila Rae, The Brave," by Kevin Henkes

One day, the brave Sheila Rae becomes lost on her way home, but her sister Louise helps them find their way back. (Themes: family, siblings and courage.)

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* "Pigs Aplenty, Pigs Galore!" by David McPhail

A man shares his house with a group of pigs until he gets a large bill for pizza. (Themes: rhyme, fantasy.)

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* "Uncle Jed's Barbershop," by Margaree King Mitchell

A little girl tells the story of her uncle Jed, the only black barber in the county, who fulfills his dream of owning a barbershop. (Themes: determination, self-esteem and dealing with disappointment.)

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* "La Gallinita Roja," by Margot Zemach

This is the Spanish-language version of the classic story of the hen who works hard to plant a seed of wheat, help it grow and bake a cake with the flour without the help of her lazy animal friends. (Themes: cooperation, responsibility.)

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* "Flower Garden," by Eve Bunting

A little girl and her father buy flowers for her mother's birthday and plant them in a window box. When the mother comes home, she is thrilled to have a flower garden in her city home. (Themes: family, sharing, nature.)

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