Doc McDuke's Books for Kids!

Excellent Early Reader Books or Adult Read-Alouds


Grandpa Green started out as a farmboy, then a soldier, then, finally an artist.  His great-grandson walks into a garden that Grandpa Green designed long ago. It is a fantastic world with fancifully shaped topiary trees. The illustrations alone are more than worth the price of the book. It is a book that parents and grandparents will be sharing with the kids for years to come. It's a wonderful story of aging, memories, and a loving legacy.

This is a true story about a boy who became skilled on the trombone while he was still very young. Believe it or not, he was leading his own band by age six. This book tells how Shorty became a famous international music star. It combines the cultural history of New Orleans with the sheer power of music.

The Giving Tree is a moving story about a tree who loves a boy. It teaches the pricelessness of giving and self sacrifice in a world that is often the opposite. You must buy this priceless book.

It’s a new school year, and Greg finds himself in middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. Greg records the hazards of growing up before you’re ready in his diary. This is book one in a wildly popular series. Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley’s star starts to rise, Greg attempts to use his best friend’s sudden popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in crazy fashion.


Using disarmingly simple language, the author describes at least one major feature of a host of dinosaurs. A young boy's paradise.

This is a wonderful collection of the original Winnie the Pooh stories. It isn't the more simplified silly Hollywood version. I placed the book under early readers, but it's one of the more universal books for children. A five-year-old can enjoy it as an adult read-aloud and I've heard of even 9-year-olds enjoying it on their own.  

This is a mystery that even adults can enjoy reading with their child. Uncle Tooth and young Otto search down this somewhat unscary ghost.

Frog and toad are two helpless simple cronies who are helping each other through life because they worry about the same things your 5- and 6-year-old worries about. This will draw your kids to the two partners like a friendship magnet. You can't beat this price for a boxed collection.

A bear searches everywhere for his treasured hat, until he remembers something very important. Charming book. Multiple award winner.

A little girl goes to visit her uncle in the big city. Her uncle is a baker and not very fun to be around. But then, the girl plants the seeds she brought with her, and somehow the new life growing on a small plot changes their lives.

A duck decides he can run the farm better than the farmer and in the animal election he wins. Running the farm seems like too much work, so he decides he wants to run for governor.  Now the sky's the limit. Why not run for president? 


A funny story about two rather dim-witted cows who decide to drive the farmer's tractor and think they've landed on the moon.

This is one of those great, rare books that are equally meaningful to a child as to an adult. In fact, I heard that as many adults give this book as a gift to friends as the adults who get the book for children. It touches on the perfect, quirky things that true friends do that others just do not do. Great book.

This is a tale written in the 1950s but still as charming. It tells of a little bear left at Paddington Station in London with a sign, "Please look after this bear," The bear ends up being adopted by the Brown family. Everyone loves this bear who likes marmalade and who has many quirky adventures. This is a big book. It can be a great adult read-aloud for younger children or a reader for kids in third or fourth grade.

Pete is having a bad day and he's grumpy. His dad decides to cheer him up by making him into a pizza. That's right. He did not buy a pizza, he did not rent a pizza--he made his son into a pizza. It's a book that gets kids laughing at the fun Pete has with his dad. (Pete lives through it) 


Pirates! Raiders of the High Seas is a true book. In each chapter, a new pirate tells his own story. These are real life pirates telling about the lives they lived on the high seas. Exciting.

This is an ABC book that deserves to get some exposure. How many young kids, especially boys, are totally stoked about becoming firefighters when they grow up? Well, this is the perfect book for such kids, revealing the inside story of what firefighting is all about. Kids will soak up the terminology because, to many, it is such a terrific vocation.


Three warm stories about a boy and his grandfather. The granddad is a kid at heart.

This is a meaningful story of a Southeast Asian boy who travels to meet his adoptive parents. The illustrations are skillfully rendered and it clearly shows how different the culture will be from his native land. The story ends with a joyful welcome by his new parents and a contented child going to sleep in his new bed.

A story about how Crictor, an unlikely  pet boa constrictor, wins the affection of an entire French village. Kids will enjoy this classic.

This is not just a series about a bear cub and his mother. It is the gentle, teasing repartee between the two that creates the charm of these stories. It is the simplest eloquence with a perfect dose of humor that makes it irresistable. This boxed set is cheap but priceless.


Richard Best is afraid to climb a rope in gym class, but he doesn't want anyone to know. A good introduction on how to handle peer pressure.

A young man is frantic because of the noises in his home like creaky beds and squeaky chairs. He asks a wise man what to do, and he instructs him to add cows, sheep, and other sundry noise-making individuals to his household. In the end, the young man learns a lesson about complaining.

Geronimo Stilton is the editor of the Rodent Gazette, but he keeps getting dragged into mysteries he must solve. Stilton is quite a character. He whines a lot about having to solve another mystery but, in the end, he seems to get a bang out of it. This series may be a good adult read-aloud to get reluctant readers interested in books. Illustrations and use of various funky fonts is another attention grabber.

Minna, an Appalachian child, has just lost her father. She can't go to school because she has no coat in the cold. Quilters make her a patchwork coat and all the kids taunt her until she begins to tell the stories behind each family patch that's been contributed. A moving story with substance, yet beloved of children quite young.

Nate the Great is a boy detective. He's cool, and he's smart, and he likes to work alone.

This book uses interesting cut paper collages like a concept book, but the subject matter may be more interesting to early readers. First it shows an animal who wants to eat another animal for lunch. Then the next page shows natural defenses little animals can use to defend themselves. Sounds weird, but children are fascinated with animal behaviors and they're beginning to understand the food chain. This just teaches them a little more about nature.


A really interesting little science book that illustrates the food chain in nature. It begins with plants and advances through animals to humans.

Mother elephant finds pandemonium in the kitchen one morning so she retreats to the bathtub for five minute's peace. But then the children, one by one, troop in and want to perform for her. Then they hop into the tub with her. She flees to the kitchen where she finds just over three minutes of blessed peace. This is a book moms find comfort in and kids enjoy for entertainment.

Chibi, a shy boy in Japan, is shunned by his classmates because he is different. His teacher discovers him and helps the class accept someone who is different. An interesting story to help children accept the limited or challenged.

Davy's dream is about a boy's quest to sail among a pod of Orca whales. It's fun and imaginative. Author, Paul Owen Lewis, would probably be another forgotten children's book writer if he didn't spend much of his time reading his books in schools across the nation. He's sold 74,000 copies of this one.


Narrator takes reader back through seven generations of his family, all train engineers. Simple details and links to newfangled trains make this perfect for any child who loves trains.

Henry has no brothers and sisters, no constant human companions, but he does have Mudge, an 180-pound dog who goes with him everywhere. It is quite likely that your child will go bonkers over Henry and Mudge. If that occurs, there is the Henry and Mudge collection, which is worth its weight in gold.


This book answers typical questions kids wonder about their bodies. The illustrations, some funny, some realistic, bring these truths vividly to life.

When Police Officer Buckle gives safety tips to school kids they snooze--that is until his police dog starts miming the safety tips behind the officer. The kids are delighted and Buckle thinks he's become an entertainer, only to be disappointed when he finds out the truth. However, the dog and the officer learn the lesson that they both need to work together for success.


A dragon, a castle, a young boy, and the castle keeper named Owen, all figure into an exciting dragon story where the boy barely escapes.

Max is minding his own business when two tree branches fall at his feet. He begins making a rhythm with the sticks---a rhythm like the rain on a window, like a train thundering down a track, like the chiming of church bells. Soon he has created a triumph of musical wonder as he exuberantly hammers out the rhythms of real life.


A magic school bus takes kids on an amazing trip underground to the very center of the earth. Then the earth spits them up through a volcano. Educational and exciting.


An interesting and exciting account of the Titanic and its sinking without any gory stuff about the many deaths. The tension is still real.


Greg wants a microscope and when he gets it, he begins examining every tiny thing he can find. The illustrations show up close pictures of what he sees.


This is a thrilling book with vivid illustrations which not only excite kids about tornadoes but warn them about precautions to take.

A really funny Seuss book that contains only 223 simple words. Perfect intro for a young reader.


Read about a boy who turns into a TV set and a girl who eats a whale. What else would you expect from Silverstein? Fun stuff.

Kids everywhere love to identify with Alexander because every single one of them has had a really awful day at school.


Kids who like bugs and enjoy riddles will find this book hard to resist.


A book with super vivid photos of snakes and just the right facts to captivate kids without overwhelming.


Poor Freddy always gets the hand-me-downs and used stuff, so when he's the only green kangaroo in the school play, he's delighted. For once, he's unique.


An amazingly inventive story about a boy on a beach who finds an old camera that yields ocean stories that go back, and back, and back... If you invest in this book, you'll find it's definitely a keeper.


Stellaluna, a fruit bat, ends up in the wrong nest and has to do lots of things bats just don't do. Funny and informative.


Charming classic about a rabbit that comes alive to a young boy. Illustrates the idea that things as well as people thrive on love and real companionship.


A nonsensical but cute story about the rescue of a young dragon by use of lollipops, chewing gum, and rubber bands.

Henry is nuts about chocolate. He gorges on the stuff, but something goes wrong. Brown spots break out all over his body. Oh no! Henry has chocolate fever. His search for a cure is the beginning of a great adventure. But will he find a cure for the dreaded disease?


The classic Scroogy story of a Grinch who wanted to steal Christmas from Whoville. Almost everyone seems to know the story but they still want to read it again.

Judy and Peter find a board game in the park but are unprepared for the game to come to life as the park turns into a jungle with crazy creatures.

A little house is gradually encroached by the monstrosities of city life, until a woman recognizes her and whisks her back to the country where she belongs.

Ferdinand is a shy, bashful bull who ends up with a matador in a bull fighting stadium. You can imagine what might happen.

Few books actually inspire children to want to write their own stories, but this one definitely does. Help your child to make up their own stories based on the extremely evocative illustrations!


A true life story about Barry, a Saint Bernard, who saved many people from injury and death. Kids fall in love with Barry.

Animals find a football, then see a group of boys playing with it. They come up with their own charming game of football.

Grace always imagines herself playing impossible roles. She's told she cannot be Peter Pan in the school play but is inspired by a black ballerina.


Rory is embarrassed about her family's money problems until Eric comes along and helps plan a double-dog birthday party.