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READING

Check It Out

May 30, 1999

Books recommended for young readers by Ilene Abramson, senior librarian for the children's literature department, Los Angeles Public Library:

These series books are requested repeatedly by children, sparking their interest in reading for pleasure.

Preschool: "Arthur" series, by Marc Brown

Children relate to Arthur the aardvark's insecurities and rejoice when he finds workable solutions to all his problems.

*

Kindergarten and first grade: "The Magic School Bus" series, by Joanna Cole

Whether blasting through space or spinning down a small intestine, the magic bus takes Ms. Frizzle's class on science field trips that are lively and informative.

*

Second and third grades: "Henry and Mudge" series, by Cynthia Rylant

These beginning chapter books concentrate on the love of a little boy and his devoted pooch.

*

Fourth grade: "American Girl" series, by various authors

Each character in this series enjoys her own historical period and shares her era with the reader.

*

Fifth grade: "Wishbone Mysteries," by various authors

Based on the television show, these fast-paced mysteries feature an adventure-loving dog that sniffs out clues to solve the crimes.

Storytime

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

"The Itsy Bitsy Spider," by Iza Trapani

An illustrated version of the popular song. After a series of unsuccessful climbs, the spider finally makes it to the top of the maple tree. (Themes: nature, music.)

*

"The Woman Who Outshone the Sun," based on a poem by Alejandro Cruz Martinez

A beautiful woman, ousted from a small town, takes the town's beloved river with her. (Themes: fairy tale, differences.)

*

"Slither McCreep and His Brother Joe," by Tony Johnston

Slither the snake and his brother Joe have an argument over their toys. Slither decides to break all of the toys, but afterward, regrets his action and finds a way to replace them. (Themes: family, sharing, responsibility.)

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