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READING / The ABCs of helping youngsters achieve literacy--
the first skill.

Check It Out

March 12, 2000

Books recommended for young readers by Ilene Abramson, senior librarian for the Children's Literature Department, Los Angeles Public Library:

St. Patrick's Day--Enchantment and blarney are served up in these Irish-based books.

Preschool: "Jaime O'Rourke and the Big Potato," by Tomie dePaola

There is no famine in this funny story about a lazy farmer who gets swindled by a clever leprechaun.


Kindergarten to first grade: "Tim O'Toole and the Wee Folk," by Gerald McDermott

Humorous story of a poor man whose luck changes when he happens upon a litter of leprechauns.


Second to third grade: "Billy Beg and His Bull," by Ellin Greene

A magical bull helps a young man slay dragons and ogres, and eventually find serenity with a beautiful princess.


Fourth grade: "Daffy Down Dillies," by Edward Lear, illustrated by John O'Brien

Named after the Irish town, these limericks are silly to read--and great fun to write.


Fifth grade: "So Far From Home," by Barry Deneberg

An immigrant from Ireland faces economic and social challenges when she moves to Massachusetts in 1847.


Sixth grade to eighth grade: "Irish Fairy Tales and Legends," retold by Una Leavy, illustrated by Susan Field

The magic of Irish folk tales is introduced in this collection of stories about love, adventure and the "little people."

Story Time

Some of the books to be read on KCET's "Story Time," weekdays at 12:30 p.m.

"The Empty Pot," by Demi

An emperor tests the honesty of children who wish to succeed him by giving them flower seeds that will not grow. Themes: responsibility, nature.


"Going Home," by Margaret Wild

Hugo is hospitalized, but his room overlooks the zoo and each night, a new animal takes him for an adventure. Themes: rhyme and problem-solving.


"Prize in the Snow," by Bill Easterling

A young boy, eager to be a great hunter, sets out to trap a rabbit with a box and a carrot. Once he traps the rabbit, he decides to help him. Themes: caring, concern for others and nature.

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