Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder: Little House in the Big Woods

Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★☆

Once upon a time, sixty years ago, a little girl lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin.

Plot

This beloved story of a pioneer girl and her family begins in 1871 in a log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Four-year-old Laura lives in the little house with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their dog, Jack. Pioneer life is sometimes hard for the family, but it is also exciting as they celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do the spring planting, bring in the harvest, and make their first trip into town. And every night Laura and her family are safe and warm in their little house, with the happy sound of Pa’s fiddle to send them off to sleep.

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Five Children and It by E. Nesbit

Edith Nesbit Five Children and It

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

The house was three miles from the station, but, before the dusty hired hack had rattled along for five minutes, the children began to put their heads out of the carriage window and say, “Aren’t we nearly there?”

Plot

The five children are Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane, and their baby brother. But what is ‘It’? It is the Sand-fairy known as the Psammead, and it lives in the gravel pits where purple and yellow wildflowers grow. It is furry and fat with hands like a monkey’s – and has the power to grant wishes. The children discover that wish-making is fun at first, but sometimes, when wishes come true, fun can soon turn into trouble…

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The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

Rating: 2 Stars★★☆☆☆

Centuries ago there lived – “A king!” my little readers will say immediately.

Plot

Once upon a time, there was a talking, walking, dancing piece of wood. His name was Pinocchio, the marionette created from an enchanted log by Tuscan woodcarver Geppetto.

The miraculous puppet dreams of being a real boy, but he has a mischievous streak. Pinocchio fights, kicks, lies, and runs away before Geppetto can teach him the lessons of life.

Challenged by an escalating series of misadventures, Pinocchio must learn to be selfless, respectful, and honest in order to fulfill his wishes and lose his strings

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Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house.

Plot

In Coraline’s family’s new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close. 

The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own. 

Only it’s different. 

At first, things seem marvelous in the other flat. The food is better. The toy box is filled with wind-up angels that flutter around the bedroom, books whose pictures writhe and crawl and shimmer, little dinosaur skulls that chatter their teeth. But there’s another mother, and another father, and they want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go. 

Other children are trapped there as well, lost souls behind the mirrors. Coraline is their only hope of rescue. She will have to fight with all her wits and all the tools she can find if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself. 

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Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

If, standing alone on the back doorstep, Tom allowed himself to weep tears, they were tears of anger.

Plot

When Tom is sent to stay at his aunt and uncle’s house for the summer, he resigns himself to endless weeks of boredom. As he lies awake in his bed he hears the grandfather clock downstairs strike …eleven …twelve …thirteen …Thirteen! Tom races down the stairs and out the back door, into a garden everyone told him wasn’t there. In this enchanted thirteenth hour, the garden comes alive – but Tom is never sure whether the children he meets there are real or ghosts …

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The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Wizard of Oz L Frank Baum

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

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.

Plot

Swept away by a cyclone from the Kansas prairies to the Land of Oz, Dorothy and her dog, Toto, must find their way home. Travelling to the Emerald City with a new band of friends – the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion – Dorothy’s fate is in the hands of a great and terrible wizard. But a wicked enemy stands in her way.

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Heidi by Johanna Spyri

Heidi Johanna Spyri

Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★☆

The pretty little Swiss town of Mayenfeld lies at the foot of a mountain range, whose grim rugged peaks tower high above the valley below.

Plot

At the age of five, little orphan Heidi is sent to live with her grandfather in the Alps. Everyone in the village is afraid of him, but Heidi is fascinated by his long beard and bushy grey eyebrows. She loves her life in the mountains, playing in the sunshine and growing up amongst the goats and birds. But one terrible day, Heidi is collected by her aunt and is made to live with a new family in town. Heidi can’t bear to be away from her grandfather; can she find a way back up the mountain, where she belongs?

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