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Seattle Children's Theatre Recommended Reading List for the 2000-2001 Season


bulletAnimal Farm
bulletThe Red Balloon
bulletPrince Brat and the Whipping Boy
bulletThe Mask of the Unicorn Warrior
bulletWinnie The Pooh
bulletSideways Stories From Wayside School


Production:  Animal Farm
Booklist prepared by Peg Dombeck, Seattle Public Library. Books available from

For Children
coverAnimal Farm: A Fairy Story; George Orwell
Farmer Jones' animals throw over their drunken human master in favor of a collective society in which all animals are equal. All goes well until the pigs decide that they are more equal than anyone else and thus justify selling out the revolution.
cover1984; George Orwell
Winston Smith works at the Ministry of Truth "correcting" his country of Oceania's history because, as anyone knows, "Who controls the past controls the future and who controls the present controls the past." When he falls in love, he finds the courage to fight the Thought Police by joining The Brotherhood. But with Big Brother watching his every move, can he win?

Watership Down; Richard Adams
A scruffy band of rabbits flee their warren on the eve of its destruction by land developers. Looking for a safe haven to live and mate in peace, Hazel and his cohorts survive many difficult adventures, including a horrifying encounter with a huge warren, run with military precision by General Woundwort.

Lord of the Flies: A Novel; William Golding
A group of English schoolboys is plane-wrecked on a deserted island. Ralph and Piggy try to impose order and responsibility. But many of the boys would rather swim, play or hunt wild pigs. Will civilized behavior prevail or will Ralph and Piggy join the ranks of the hunted?

Poppy; Avi
Poppy is a beautiful, young deer mouse. She and her controlling father and boyfriend are all under the "protection" of Ocax, the hoot owl. Or are they?

Year of Impossible Goodbyes; Sook Choi
Ten-year-old Sookan and her little brother must flee North Korea on their own, now that the Soviets have driven out the Japanese. A moving account, with much suspense and emotion.

The Thief of Always; Clive Barker
Mr. Hood's Holiday House is a place of miracles where every childhood whim is satisfied. Young Harvey Swick is bored with his life and doesn't stop to consider the price to be paid. Who will win this contest of wills?

Freddy the Detective; Walter R. Brooks
Freddy the pig, stimulated by reading about Sherlock Holmes, sets up his own detective agency on the Bean farm. From the first crime to the last trial, it is apparent that the animals, not the farmer, are in charge. First of a series.

coverBunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery; Deboarah Howe
If your tomatoes suddenly turn white, sucked dry and colorless, do you accuse your new pet rabbit of being a vampire bunny? The Munroe's dog, Chester, tries to make his fear know with hilarious results.

Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution; Ji-Li Jiang
Will Ji-Li be one of the young adults who will testify against her family during Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution of the 1960's? Ji-Li doesn't realize she's at war with her government until her father is imprisoned and her mother's health is imperiled. Then, the choice is easier to make.

Brave New World; Aldous Huxley
Into a controlled state that allows for no personal emotions or individual responses comes John Savage, a thinking, feeling individual who tries to fight the system when his mother dies of an overdose of the brave new world's feel-good drug. Will he even have a chance to win against the "World Controller?"

A Wrinkle in Time; Madeleine L'Engle
Meg Murray and her little brother, Charles Wallace, are aided in their cosmic search for their missing father who is studying time travel by three eccentric women - Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which. Will their combined efforts be enough when they arrive on the planet Camazotz, where IT, an evil Brain, controls a conforming society?

Redwall; Brian Jacques
Can Matthias, the clumsy mouse, defeat the deliciously evil Cluny, the Scourge and his army of rats, from bringing an end to the idyllic world of "Redwall?"

Story of Ferdinand; Munro Leaf
What happens when the bull would rather sit under a tree and smell the flowers than be a rip roaring fighter in the bull ring? Can he be forced to fight?

Three Terrible Trins; Dick King-Smith
The Trins, Thomas, Richard and Henry Gray, are trained by their mother to avoid their father's fate at the hands of the house cats. They also help organize a class based soccer tournament which pits the attics against the ups, downs, and cellar mice as they scrimmage using the farmer's glass eye. But will they avoid the house cats that killed their father?

Shade's Children; Garth Nix
How can Young Gold-Eye escape his horrific fate of having his brains and muscles harvested by the Malevolent Overlords? A computer-generated adult named Shade, who provides him with food and shelter in exchange for information, dangerously obtained, seemingly rescues him. What is Shade's ultimate goal? Will he sacrifice Gold-Eye and his friends to achieve it?

House of Stairs; William Sleator
Five fifteen-year-old orphans are forcibly placed in a house of endless stairs. They become subjects in psychological experiments to determine what is a conditioned human response.

The Giver; Lois Lowry
When Jonas is chosen as his conforming community's "Receiver of Memories," he must decide just how much he is willing to pay to maintain this ordered and pain-free society.

Farmer Duck; Martin Waddell
Is it fair that the duck has to do all the work while the farmer lazes his days away in bed? Luckily for the duck, the other animals take pity on him and, joining together, oust the farmer to live in peace and harmony.

The Golden Compass; Philip Pullman
When Lyra and her animal counterpart, Pantalaimon, overhear a secret discussion of a mysterious entity called Dust and learn about children disappearing into the frozen north, they set off to find answer. They save the day armed with her trusty alethiometer and aided by witches and an armor-clad polar bear. [The story continues in The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.]

The Tales of Uncle Remus: The Adventures of Brer Rabbit; Julius Lester
When you feel helpless in the face of adversity or an overwhelming power (like slavery), Brer Rabbit stories can be powerful medicine and wonderfully comforting. Julius Lester and Jerry Pinkney breathe new life into the trickster rabbit. [The stories are continued in several sequels.]

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich; Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Solzhenitsyn was imprisoned for almost ten years for making derogatory statements about the Soviet leader, Stalin. His experiences helped him create an accurate account of a typical day in the life of an inmate of Stalin's prison camps and a moving tribute to man's triumph of will over relentless dehumanization.

For Parents and Educators

The Origins of Totalitarianism; Hannah Arendt
A comprehensive treatment of totalitarianism in the former Soviet Union and in Germany, under Hitler, and its dehumanizing qualities. How did so many "normal" people become jailers and murderers of their fellow men and women.

Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930's; Sheila Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick gives a sense of what it really was like to live under Stalin in urban Russia. [She covers the rural areas in her earlier book, Stalin's Peasants.]

Totalitarianism and the Modern Conception of Politics; Michael Halberstam
Halberstam offers a thought-provoking study in the history of political thought and reveals how the idea of totalitarianism embodies truths and contradictions about liberalism.

Stalinism and Nazism: Dictatorships in Comparison; Ian Kershaw and Moshe Lewin
This book explores the leadership cults of Hilter and Stalin, the deadly "war machines" clash of 1941-1945, and the ways in which interpretations of the past have shifted in Germany and Russia since the end of the dictatorships there.


Production:  The Red Balloon
Booklist prepared by Kim Kopetz-Buttleman, Seattle Public Library. Books available from

For Children

coverRed Balloon; Albert Lamorisse
Narrative text and stunning photographs taken during the original filming depict the adventures of Pascal and the red balloon.

coverOoh-la-la (Max in Love); Maira Kalman
Max the millionaire poet dog travels to the city of lights in this tale of poochy love.

Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm; Jerdine Harold A child ventures out into the middle of the night to see how Harvey Potter grows his amazing balloons.

Balloon Science; Etta Kaner
Balloon experiments, activities, games, riddles and surprising facts are presented in an easy-to-read format. [Out of Print]

The Ring; Lisa Maizlish
It seems to be just another boring day until a small plastic ring and a young boy's imagination create magic.

The Inside-Outside Book of Paris; Roxie Munro
The sights of Paris, both grand and small, are presented in this pictorial tour.

coverYou Can't Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum; Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman
A young girl and her grandmother view works inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, while the balloon she has been forced to leave outside floats around New York City causing a series of mishaps that mirror scenes in the museum's artworks.

Sector 7; David Wiesner
While on a field trip to the Empire State Building, a boy is taken by a cloud to visit Sector 7, the place where clouds are shaped and channeled throughout the country.

Eloise in Paris; Kay Thompson
Eloise, the little girl from the Plaza, takes in the sights of Paris with her trademark charm and wit.

The Moon Was the Best; Charlotte Zolotow
A mother visiting Paris brings back to her daughter all her best memories of the City of Light.

For Parents and Educators

Magic Trees of the Mind: How to Nurture Your Child's Intelligence, Creativity and Healthy Emotions from Birth through Adolescence; Marian Diamond and Janet Hopson
Diamond and Hopson provide fascinating information and intriguing anecdotes on how to nurture your child's brain development to increase intelligence, creativity and healthy emotions.

Put Yourself in their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World; Barbara Meltz
Columnist Barbara Meltz offers advice on what questions to ask children, what to listen for or observe in their answers and how to get a child to discuss issues.

Raising Curious Kids: Over 100 Activities to Develop Your Child's Imagination; Nancy Sokol Green
Unusually fun and surprising science activities and thought-provoking questions will pique the whole family's curiosity. [Out of Print]

Donna's Day: Fun Activities that Bring the Family Together; Donna Erickson
A compilation of creative and inventive activities using everyday household materials from the host of Public Television's Donna's Day.

Experiments With Balloons; Robert Gardner
In depth explorations and challenging balloon experiments introduce the concepts of density, air resistance and fluid displacement.


Production:  Prince Brat and The Whipping Boy
Booklist prepared by Judy T. Nelson, Maren Ostergard, Farida T. Shapiro, and Shauna Yusko, King County Library System. Books available from

For Children
coverThe Whipping Boy; Sid Fleischman
In this book, the orphan Jemmy, who must take the whippings for the royal heir, Prince Brat. Jemmy plans to flee this arrangement until Prince Brat beats him to it, and takes Jemmy along. The two get into and out of scrapes throughout.
Humbug Mountain; Sid Fleischman
A young boy and his wandering family foil villains and rout nasty varmints as they make a home for themselves in a beached boat on the banks of the Missouri.
Harald and the Giant Knight; Donald Carrick
When a group of knights decides to use his father's farm for their spring training, Harald and his family must take desperate measures to get the troublesome knights off their land. [Out of Print]
coverJim Ugly; Sid Fleischman Max and Me and the Time Machine; Gery Greer
Steve and his friend Max buy a time machine and travel back to 1250 where they find themselves in the middle of a joust with the fierce Sir Bevis as their enemy.
coverPaper Bag Princess; Robert Munsch
A spunky princess sets off to track down a dragon who has burned down her kingdom, kidnapped her prince and left her with nothing to wear but a paper bag!
A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver; E.L. Konigsburg
While waiting in heaven for divine judgement to be passed on her second husband, Eleanor of Acquitaine and three of the people who knew her well recount the events of her life.
The Ramsay Scallop; Frances Temple
At the turn of the fourteenth century England, 14 year old Elenor finds her betrothal to an ambitious lord's son launching her on a memorable pilgrimage to far-off Spain.
A Royal Pain; Ellen Conford
A sixteen- year old girl from Kansas who discovers she is really a princess is taken to a tiny kingdom and is told she is expected to marry a distasteful neighboring prince. Her only way out is to become a "royal pain." [Out of Print]
coverSir Gawain and the Loathly Lady; Selina Hastings
After a horrible hag saves King Arthur's life by answering a riddle, Sir Gawain agrees to marry her and thus releases her from an evil enchantment.
Kids in the Middle Ages; Lisa Wroble
What was life like for kids in the Middle Ages? Find out what they ate and wore, how they were educated and what they did all day.
Knights in Shining Armor; Gail Gibbons
Who could be a knight and what did you have to do? All this and more.
Food and Feasts in the Middle Ages; Imogen Dawson
Eat, drink and share the fun of meals in the Middle Ages.

For Parents and Teachers 
coverCastle; David MacAulay
Recreate a castle and the adjoining town in 13th Century Wales with these detailed drawings.
Castles: Facts, Things to Make, Activities; Rachel Wright
[Out of Print]
Kings, Queens, Knights, and Jesters: Making Medieval Costumes; Lynn Schnurnberger
Want to look like a king or a court jester? Simple costumes are described to help bring the period to life. [Out of Print]
Outrageous Women of the Middle Ages; Vicki Leon
Biographies of some outspoken and influential women who lived in Europe, Africa and the Far East during the Middle Ages.


Production:  The Mask Of The Unicorn Warrior
Booklist prepared by Chance Hunt, Seattle Public Library. Books available from

For Children

coverThe Hero and the Crown; Robin McKinley
Aerin, with the guidance of the wizard Luthe and the help of the blue sword, wins the birthright due her as the daughter of the Damarian king and a witchwoman of the mysterious, demon-haunted North.

Catherine, Called Birdy; Karen Cushman
The thirteen-year-old daughter of an English country knightkeeps a journal in which she records the events of her life, particularly her longing for adventures beyond the usual role of omen and her efforts to avoid being married off.

The Arkadians; By Lloyd Alexander
To escape the wrath of the king and his wicked soothsayers, an honest young man joins with a poet-turned-jackass and a young girl with mystical powers on a series of epic adventures.

Wind Child; Shirley Rousseau Murphy
Unaware of her unusual parentage, Resshie grows up restless and longing to know the secrets of the wind. In the end she uses her extraordinary ability as a weaver to help her achieve her dream.

The Crane Wife; Retold by Odds Bodkin A traditional Japanese tale about a poor sail maker who gains a beautiful but mysterious wife skilled at weaving magical sails.

The Firebird; Retold by Robert D. San Souci
Prince Ivan wanders into an enchanted garden and, with the help of the magnificent Firebird, rescues a princess from an evil sorcerer. [Out Of Print]

The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure; William Goldman
Buttercup loves Westley, but when he is captured by pirates, she is chosen by the evil Prince to be his bride, beginning a series of fantastic efforts to free her.

coverMichael Hague's Magical World of Unicorns; Michael Hague
Wonderful illustrations accompany passages from poems, plays, stories, and proverbs about unicorns.

The White Cat: An Old French Fairy Tale; Retold by Robert D. San Souci
In this powerful story of friendship, love and loyalty, a white cat helps the youngest prince win his father's throne.

Unicorn Treasury; Compiled and edited by Bruce Coville
A collection of stories, poems, and lore about the mythical beast. [Out Of Print]

For Parents and Teachers

coverThe Unicorn Tapestries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Adolfo Salvatore Cavallo
A lovely volume detailing the marvelous Unicorn Tapestries.

Unicorns: Opposing Viewpoints (Great Mysteries); Norma Gaffron
Examines scientific and legendary sources to explore the existence of unicorns. [Out Of Print]

Here There Be Unicorns; Jane Yolen and illustrated by David Wilgus
A collection of new and previously published stories and poems written by Jane Yolen.


Production:  Winnie The Pooh
Booklist prepared by Franja Bryant and Shauna Yusko, King County Library System. Books available from

For Children

coverPooh's Bedtime Book; A.A. Milne
A collection of three stories and five poems from the original Pooh books. Selected for bedtime reading.

The World of Christopher Robin: the complete When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six; A.A. Milne
A rollicking collection of the verses that A.A. Milne wrote for Christopher Robin.

Don't You Dare Shoot That Bear! A Story of Theodore Roosevelt; Robert Quackenbush
A humorous biography of the twenth-sixth president, for whom the Teddy Bear is named. [Out of Print]

Imagine That: Poems of Never-Was; Selected by Jack Prelutsky
An illustrated collection of poems about imaginary things, by many well-known poets.

Little Bear's Friend (An I Can Read Book); Else Holmelund Minarik
Little Bear makes friends in the woods with Emily and her doll Lucy. When summer ends and Emily must leave, Little Bear is very sad until he writes his first letter to his new friend.

The Pooh Cook Book; Virginia H. Ellison
Recipes for beverages, sandwiches, desserts, soups and meat and vegetable dishes, most of which use honey. Also read The Pooh Party Book. [Out of Print]

Michael Bond's Book of Bears; Michael Bond
A collection of stories about bears and teddy bears with their original illustrations.

The Mouse and His Child; Russell Hoban
A wind-up toy mouse and his child set out find the animals and doll house which they were with in the toy shop.

Take My Hand: Songs from the 100 Acre Wood
Thirteen songs about Winnie-the-Pooh and friends performed by Kathie Lee Gifford, The Chieftains, Tyler Collins and Maureen McGovern.

Winnie the Pooh Collection Website
Listen to Charles Kuralt read Pooh stories; find biographical information about Milne, Shepard and Pooh; click on "Fun Stuff" for games, activities and recipes.

For Parents and Educators

The Brilliant Career of Winnie-the-Pooh: The Definitive History of the Best Bear in all the World; Ann Thwaite
A copiously illustrated history of Winnie-the-Pooh and his creator, A.A.Milne. Filled with fascinating photos, sketches, news articles and background information about many of Milne's works.

coverThe Century of the Teddy Bear; Constance King
A comprehensive, beautifully illustrated history of the Teddy Bear. Includes photographs of an original Pooh bear and some of E.H. Shepard's original illustrations for Winnie-the-Pooh.

The Pooh Dictionary: The Complete Guide to the Words of Pooh & All the Animals in the Forest; A.R. Melrose
Provides definitions for and examples of many of the unique words and phrases found in the texts of "Winnie-the-Pooh" and "The House at Pooh Corner".

Beyond the World of Pooh: Selections from the Memoirs of Christopher Milne; Christopher Milne
A collection of essays from Christopher Robin Milne's memoirs, describing the lesser known side of his life which included being a bookseller, a skilled woodworker, a naturalist/environmentalist and a husband and father.

Pooh's Little Instruction Book; Inspired by A.A. Milne
Humorous and insightful words of wisdom from "Winnie the Pooh" and "The House at Pooh Corner."

Pooh Corner Website
Includes photos and interesting, kid-friendly biographical information about Pooh Bear, Christopher Robin, E.H. Shepard, A.A. Milne and others. Also provides reviews, recordings and an extensive bibliography of books for Pooh lovers.


Production:  Sideways Stories From Wayside School
Booklist prepared by Susan Anderson-Newham, King County Library System. Books available from

For Children
coverSideways Stories from Wayside School; Louis Sachar
The Wayside School was supposed to be one story high, with 30 classrooms side by side; instead, it was built sideways, with 30 one-classroom stories.
coverWayside School Gets a Little Stranger; Louis Sachar
Something strange is going on at the already peculiar Way side School, when Mrs. Jewls leaves her students with a succession of substitute teachers.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; Mark Twain
The irrepressible orphan takes us on a marvelous tour of mischief and the Mississippi River in the 1830s. Never has trouble been so much fun!

CDB!; William Steig
C D B? D B S a B-Z B. (See the bee? The bee is a busy bee.) Steig's delightful pen and ink drawings help you figure out these letters-as-words phrases. I N-V U!

coverFrindle; Andrew Clements
Agreeable trickster, Nick Allen, strives to create a new word and put one over on his wise and wonderful, dictionary-loving teacher.

Matilda; Roald Dahl
Can Matilda save her beloved teacher and subdue the horrendous principal of her school? You'll never know unless you read her story.

Holes; Louis Sachar
Stanley Yelnats struggles to outwit a heartless warden, save a fellow inmate, and end the family curse in this wild and wonderful novel set in a detention camp for boys.

Laugh Book: A New Treasury of Humor for Children; Compiled by Joanna Cole and Stephanie Calmenson
Funny jokes, tongue twisters, puzzles, games, and stories from our funniest writers. You'll chuckle all the way through this big book of humor. [Out of Print]

The Muffin Fiend; Daniel Pinkwater
Silliness abounds when Inspector LeChat requests the help of the composer Amadeus Mozart in his desperate search of Paris and Vienna for a tireless muffin thief. [Out of Print]

School Daze: Jokes your Teacher will Hate; Louis Phillips
Teacher: Patricia, every morning you are late to school. Why is that? Patricia: Because you're always ringing the bell before I get here. A whimsical volume of school jokes.

Secret Letters from 0 to 10; Susie Morgenstern
Ernest's absurdly ordered life in Paris changes drastically when the quirky and chatty new girl, Victoria, conclusively decides that she is his girlfriend.

So Many Dynamos! And Other Palindromes; Jon Agee
A variety of silly palindromes (groups of words that read the same, backwards and forwards) brought to life by Jon Agee's lively illustrations. Check out the Garden of Eden where Eve is "Mad at Adam".

For Parents and Educators

Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year; Esme Raji Codell
Treat yourself to this first year teacher's extraordinary diary. Poignant, refreshing, comical and inspiring, this book will stay with you a long, long time.

The Laughing Classroom: Everyone's Guide to Teaching with Humor and Play; Diane Loomans and Karen Kolberg
An excellent resource for combining laughter and learning in the classroom. Joyfully packed with analysis, ideas, activities and anecdotes.

Kids' Crazy Concoctions: 50 Mysterious Mixtures for Art and Craft Fun; Jill Frankel Hauser
Fun recipes for paints, doughs, goos, papers, and clays plus stimulating suggestions for easy crafts and projects. An appealing layout filled with engaging ideas.

The Laughter Prescription: The Tools of Humor and How to Use Them; Dr. Lawrence J. Peter
Laughter is the best medicine. And Dr. Peter's advice will help you heal yourself with humor. As Mel Brooks said," Humor is just another defense against the Universe". Go ahead, feel better, laugh. [Out of Print]


For booklists from other productions of the Seattle Children's Theatre, click here.


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