Check It Out

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

For this Fourth of July, treat your children to a feast of good books.

Preschool: "The Beastly Feast," by Bruce Goldstone, illustrated by Blair Lent

Antelope bring cantaloupe, parrots bring carrots and fishes bring knishes to a fun-for-all potluck party.


Kindergarten: "The Teddy Bears' Picnic," by Jimmy Kennedy, illustrated by Michael Hague

Dozens of cute teddy bears explore their woods in this whimsical rendition of a favorite children's song.


First and second grades: "Little Critter's the Picnic," by Mercer Mayer

With too many cars and insects, picnicking can be hard work. Reading this book, however, is a cinch.


Third grade: "Mr. Putter and Tabby Row the Boat," by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Arthur Howard

To escape the summer heat, Mr. Putter takes his cat, a dog and a neighbor out for a picnic and a cruise.


Fourth grade: "Encyclopedia Brown Takes the Cake," by Donald J. Sobol, with Glenn Andrews

After children solve the puzzle, they can have a party using the holiday recipes.


Fifth grade: "Meg's Story," by Susan Beth Pfeffer, inspired by Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women"

Meg and her sisters picnic with a wealthy friend and discover that a loving family is more dear than gold.


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

* "Don't Fidget a Feather," by Erica Silverman

Duck and Gander are friends but always compete until Duck saves Gander from ending up in Fox's stew. (Theme: friendship.)


* "The Hunter," by Paul Geraghty

A girl helps save a baby elephant whose mother has been killed by poachers. (Themes: family, adventure, caring for others, nature.)


* "Tops & Bottoms," adapted by Janet Stevens

A hare works a bear's fields while the bear sleeps. The hare gives the bear a choice of keeping vegetables' tops or bottoms. The bear learns to never sleep through another season. (Themes: resourcefulness, nature.)

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