Stories Minarik, Else Holmelund. Little Bear. Illustrated by Maurice Sendak. New York: HarperCollins, 1957. (1957)
From “Birthday Soup” “Mother Bear, Mother Bear, Where are you?” calls Little Bear.
“Oh, dear, Mother Bear is not here, and today is my birthday.
“I think my friends will come, but I do not see a birthday cake. My goodness – no birthday cake. What can I do?
The pot is by the fire. The water in the pot is hot. If I put something in the water, I can make Birthday Soup. All my
friends like soup.
Let me see what we have. We have carrots and potatoes, peas and tomatoes; I can make soup with carrots, potatoes,
peas and tomatoes.”
So Little Bear begins to make soup in the big black pot. First, Hen comes in. “Happy Birthday, Little Bear,” she says.
“Thank you, Hen,” says Little Bear.
Hen says, “My! Something smells good here. Is it in the big black pot?”
“Yes,” says Little Bear, “I am making Birthday Soup. Will you stay and have some?”
“Oh, yes, thank you,” says Hen. And she sits down to wait.
Next, Duck comes in. “Happy Birthday, Little bear,” says Duck. “My, something smells good. Is it in the big black
“Thank you, Duck,” says Little Bear. “Yes, I am making Birthday Soup. Will you stay and have some with us?”
“Thank you, yes, thank you,” says Duck. And she sits down to wait.
Next, Cat comes in.
“Happy Birthday, Little Bear,” he says.
“Thank you, Cat,” says Little Bear. “I hope you like Birthday Soup. I am making Birthday Soup.
Cat says, “Can you really cook? If you can really make it, I will eat it.”
“Good,” says Little Bear. “The Birthday Soup is hot, so we must eat it now. We cannot wait for Mother Bear. I do not
know where she is.” “Now, here is some soup for you, Hen,” says Little Bear. “And here is some soup for you, Duck, and here is some soup for you, Cat, and here is some soup for me. Now we can all have some Birthday Soup.”
Cat sees Mother Bear at the door, and says, “Wait, Little Bear. Do not eat yet. Shut your eyes, and say one, two, three.” Little Bear shuts his eyes and says, “One, two, three.”
Mother Bear comes in with a big cake.
“Now, look,” says Cat.
“Oh, Mother Bear,” says Little Bear, “what a big beautiful Birthday Cake! Birthday Soup is good to eat, but not as
good as Birthday Cake. I am so happy you did not forget.”
Common Core State Standards for english language arts & literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects
appendix B | 15
“Yes, Happy Birthday, Little Bear!” says Mother Bear. “This Birthday Cake is a surprise for you. I never did forget your
birthday, and I never will.”
TEXT COPYRIGHT ⓒ 1957 BY ELSE HOLMELUND MINARIK. ILLUSTRATIONS COPYRIGHT ⓒ 1957 BY MAURICE SENDAK.
Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
Eastman, P. D. Are You My Mother? New York: Random House, 1960. (1960) A mother bird sat on her egg.
The egg jumped.
“Oh oh!” said the mother bird. “My baby will be here! He will want to eat.”
“I must get something for my baby bird to eat!” she said. “I will be back!”
of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. Any additional use of
this text, such as for classroom use or curriculum development, requires independent permission from Random House,
Inc. Mayer, Mercer. A Boy, a Dog and a Frog. New York: Dial, 2003. (1967) This is a wordless book appropriate for kindergarten.
Lobel, Arnold. Frog and Toad Together. New York: HarperCollins, 1971. (1971)
From “The Garden” Frog was in his garden. Toad came walking by.
“What a fine garden you have, Frog,” he said.
“Yes,” said Frog. “It is very nice, but it was hard work.”
“I wish I had a garden,” said Toad.
“Here are some flower seeds. Plant them in the ground,” said Frog, “and soon you will have a garden.”
“How soon?” asked Toad.
“Quite soon,” said Frog.
Toad ran home. He planted the flower seeds.
Common Core State Standards for english language arts & literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects
appendix B | 16
“Now seeds,” said Toad, “start growing.”
Toad walked up and down a few times. The seeds did not start to grow. Toad put his head close to the ground and said loudly, “Now seeds, start growing!” Toad looked at the ground again. The seeds did not start to grow.
Toad put his head very close to the ground and shouted, “NOW SEEDS, START GROWING!”
Frog came running up the path. “What is all this noise?” he asked. “My seeds will not grow,” said Toad. “You are shouting too much,” said Frog. “These poor seeds are afraid to grow.”
“My seeds are afraid to grow?” asked Toad.
“Of course,” said Frog. “Leave them alone for a few days. Let the sun shine on them, let the rain fall on them. Soon your seeds will start to grow.”
That night, Toad looked out of his window. “Drat!” said Toad. “My seeds have not started to grow. They must be afraid of the dark.”
Toad went out to his garden with some candles. “I will read the seeds a story,” said Toad. “Then they will not be afraid.” Toad read a long story to his seeds.
All the next day Toad sang songs to his seeds.
And all the next day Toad read poems to his seeds.
And all the next day Toad played music for his seeds.
Toad looked at the ground. The seeds still did not start to grow. “What shall I do?” cried Toad. “These must be the most frightened seeds in the whole world!”
Then Toad felt very tired and he fell asleep.
“Toad, Toad, wake up,” said Frog. “Look at your garden!”
Toad looked at his garden. Little green plants were coming up out of the ground.
“At last,” shouted Toad, “my seeds have stopped being afraid to grow!”
“And now you will have a nice garden too,” said Frog.
“Yes,” said Toad, “but you were right, Frog. It was very hard work.”
DePaola, Tomie. Pancakes for Breakfast. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1978. (1978) This is a wordless book appropriate for kindergarten.
Arnold, Tedd. Hi! Fly Guy. New York: Scholastic, 2006. (2006) From Chapter 1
A fly went flying.
He was looking for something to eat—something tasty, something slimy.
A boy went walking
He was looking for something to catch—something smart, something for The Amazing Pet Show.
of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. Any additional use of this text, such as for
classroom use or curriculum development, requires independent permission from Random House, Inc. Agee, Jon. “Two Tree Toads.” Orangutan Tongs. New York: Hyperion, 2009. (2009) A three-toed tree toad tried to tie
Disney Book Group LLC, All Rights Reserved. Read-Aloud Stories
Baum, L. Frank. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Illustrated by W. W. Denslow. New York: HarperCollins, 2000. (1900)
From Chapter 1: “The Cyclone”
Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer’s wife. Their house was small, for the lumber to build it had to be carried by wagon many miles. There were four walls, a floor and a roof, which made one room; and this room contained a rusty looking cookstove, a cupboard for the dishes, a table, three or four chairs, and the beds. Uncle Henry and Aunt Em had a big bed in one corner, and Dorothy a little bed in another corner. There was no garret at all, and no cellar—except a small hole dug in the ground, called a cyclone cellar, where the family could go in case one of those great whirlwinds arose, mighty enough to crush any building in its path. It was reached by a trap door in the middle of the floor, from which a ladder led down into the small, dark hole. When Dorothy stood in the doorway and looked around, she could see nothing but the great gray prairie on every side. Not a tree nor a house broke the broad sweep of flat country that reached to the edge of the sky in all directions. The sun had baked the plowed land into a gray mass, with little cracks running through it. Even the grass was not green, for the sun had burned the tops of the long blades until they were the same gray color to be seen everywhere. Once the house had been painted, but the sun blistered the paint and the rains washed it away, and now the house was as dull and gray as everything else. When Aunt Em came there to live she was a young, pretty wife. The sun and wind had changed her, too. They had taken the sparkle from her eyes and left them a sober gray; they had taken the red from her cheeks and lips, and they were gray also. She was thin and gaunt, and never smiled now. When Dorothy, who was an orphan, first came to her, Aunt Em had been so startled by the child’s laughter that she would scream and press her hand upon her heart whenever Dorothy’s merry voice reached her ears; and she still looked at the little girl with wonder that she could find anything to laugh at. Uncle Henry never laughed. He worked hard from morning till night and did not know what joy was. He was gray also, from his long beard to his rough boots, and he looked stern and solemn, and rarely spoke. It was Toto that made Dorothy laugh, and saved her from growing as gray as her other surroundings. Toto was not gray; he was a little black dog, with long silky hair and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose. Toto played all day long, and Dorothy played with him, and loved him dearly. Today, however, they were not playing. Uncle Henry sat upon the doorstep and looked anxiously at the sky, which was even grayer than usual. Dorothy stood in the door with Toto in her arms, and looked at the sky too. Aunt Em was washing the dishes.
Wilder, Laura Ingalls. Little House in the Big Woods. Illustrated by Garth Williams. New York: HarperCollins, 2007.
(1932) From “Two Big Bears”
The Story of Pa and the Bear in the Way
When I went to town yesterday with the furs I found it hard walking in the soft snow. It took me a long time to get to town, and other men with furs had come in earlier to do their trading. The storekeeper was busy, and I had to wait until he could look at my furs. Then we had to bargain about the price of each one, and then I had to pick out the things I wanted to take in trade.
So it was nearly sundown before I could start home.
I tried to hurry, but the walking was hard and I was tired, so I had not gone far before night came. And I was alone in the Big Woods without my gun. There were still six miles to walk, and I came along as fast as I could. The night grew darker and darker, and I wished for my gun, because I knew that some of the bears had come out of their winter dens. I had seen their tracks when I went to town in the morning. Bears are hungry and cross at this time of year; you know they have been sleeping in their dens all winter long with nothing to eat, and that makes them thin and angry when they wake up. I did not want to meet one. I hurried along as quick as I could in the dark. By and by the stars gave a little light. It was still black as pitch where the woods were thick, but in the open places I could see, dimly. I could see the snowy road ahead a little way, and I could see the dark woods standing all around me. I was glad when I came into an open place where the stars gave me this faint light.
All the time I was watching, as well as I could, for bears. I was listening for the sounds they make when they go carelessly through the bushes. Then I came again into an open place, and there, right in the middle of my road, I saw a big black bear.
Atwater, Richard and Florence. Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Illustrated by Robert Lawson. New York: Little, Brown, 1988.
(1938) From Chapter 1: “Stillwater”
It was an afternoon in late September. In the pleasant little city of Stillwater, Mr. Popper, the house painter was going home from work. He was carrying his buckets, his ladders, and his boards so that he had rather a hard time moving along. He was spattered here and there with paint and calcimine, and there were bits of wallpaper clinging to his hair and whiskers, for he was rather an untidy man. The children looked up from their play to smile at him as he passed, and the housewives, seeing him, said, “Oh dear, there goes Mr. Popper. I must remember to ask John to have the house painted over in the spring.” No one knew what went on inside of Mr.Popper’s head, and no one guessed that he would one day be the most famous person in Stillwater. He was a dreamer. Even when he was busiest smoothing down the paste on the wallpaper, or painting the outside of other people’s houses, he would forget what he was doing. Once he had painted three sides of a kitchen green, and the other side yellow. The housewife, instead of being angry and making him do it over, had liked it so well that she had made him leave it that way. And all the other housewives, when they saw it, admired it too, so that pretty soon everybody in Stillwater had two-colored kitchens. The reason Mr. Popper was so absent-minded was that he was always dreaming about far-away countries. He had never been out of Stillwater. Not that he was unhappy. He had a nice little house of his own, a wife whom he loved dearly, and two children, named Janie and Bill. Still, it would have been nice, he often thought, if he could have seen something of the world before he met Mrs. Popper and settled down. He had never hunted tigers in India, or climbed the peaks of the Himalayas, or dived for pearls in the South Seas. Above all, he had never seen the Poles.
Jansson, Tove. Finn Family Moomintroll. Translated by Elizabeth Portch. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990.
(1948) From “Preface”
One grey morning the first snow began to fall in the Valley of the Moomins. It fell softly and quietly, and in a few hours everything was white. Moomintroll stood on his doorstep and watched the valley nestle beneath its winter blanket. “Tonight,” he thought, “we shall settle down for our long winter’s sleep.” (All Moomintrolls go to sleep about November. This is a good idea, too if you don’t like the cold and the long winter darkness.) Shutting the door behind him, Moomintroll stole in to his mother and said: “The snow has come!” “I know,” said Moominmamma. “I have already made up all your beds with the warmest blankets. You’re to sleep in the little room under the eaves with Sniff.” “But Sniff snores so horribly,” said Moomintroll. “Couldn’t I sleep with Snufkin instead?” “As you like, dear,” said Moominmamma. “Sniff can sleep in the room that faces east.” So the Moomin family, their friends, and all their acquaintances began solemnly and with great ceremony to prepare for the long winter. Moominmamma laid the table for them on the verandah but they only had pine-needles for supper. (It’s important to have your tummy full of pine if you intend to sleep all the winter.) When the meal was over, and I’m afraid it didn’t taste very nice, they all said good-night to each other, rather more cheerfully than usual, and Moominmamma encouraged them to clean their teeth.