Book List: Recommendations for Children’s Books for Young Friends of Mount Auburn

April 11, 2020

For readers young and old, here are 10 books for children that are by or about Mount Auburn Residents or take place in the Cemetery!  These books can be found at your local library or Independent Bookstore such as Porter Square Books, Harvard Book Store, and Belmont Books.

Picture Books

Fannie in the Kitchen by Deborah Hopkinson (2004)

Marcia enjoys being her mother’s helper, so she’s hurt when Mother hires Fannie Farmer to prepare family’s meals. But sure enough Fannie’s charm (and griddle cakes!) win Marcia over, and she finds herself cooking up delights she never thought possible!  Fannie Merritt Farmer (1857 – 1915) is buried on Central Ave.

Dumpling Dreams: How Joyce Chen Brought the Dumpling from Beijing to Cambridge by Carrie Clickard (2017)

A rhyming picture book biography of Chinese chef Joyce Chen (1917 – 1994) who eventually opened several popular restaurants in the States and had her own cooking show. Chen is buried on Azalea Path.

She’s Wearing a Dead Bird on her Head!  By Kathryn Lasky (1995)

A fictional account of Harriet Hemenway and her cousin Minna Hall, founders of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, and how the latest in 1896 Boston fashion led the two women to form a club to protect birds.  Hemenway (1858 – 1960) is buried on Thistle Path.

Five Little Monkeys by Juliet Kepes (1953)

The book is about five little monkeys named Buzzo, Bibi, Binki, Bulu and Bali that are wild and have a bad reputation among the rest of the animals.  It received a 1953 Caldecott Honor. Kepes (1919 – 1999) is buried on Oxalis Path.

Poems for Children

Every Time I Climb a Tree by David McCord (1967)

A delightful collection of twenty-five poems with short lines on such varied subjects as a lost turtle, a fence, the wind, jam, a witch, and bananas and cream. McCord (1897 – 1997) is buried on Chestnut Ave.

You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You by John Ciardi (1962)

Thirty-five imaginative and humorous poems for an adult and a child to read aloud together, including hilarious poems about a mother who sleeps late, frightful children, a cat named Mrs. Lick-a-Chin, and others.  Illustrated by Edward Gorey.  Ciardi (1916 – 1986) is inurned in the Story Chapel Columbarium.

Chapter Books for Young Readers

Carry on Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham (1995)

This classic fictionalized biography for Young Adults tells the story of Nathaniel Bowditch’s important contribution to marine navigation.  Bowditch (1773 – 1838) is now buried in Mount Auburn on Tulip Path, and a statue of the great navigator can be found at the intersection of Chapel and Central Avenues, paid for by sailors who benefited from his revolutionary guide to sailing the seas.

Hatching Magic by Ann Downer (2004)

In this fantasy book, Wyvern the dragon is looking for a place to lay her egg and steps into a bolt-hole that transports her from 13th century England to 21st century Boston, where she makes her nest at Mount Auburn!

Pollyanna by Eleanor Hodgman Porter (1913)

Adult and young readers enjoy the classic children’s novel Pollyanna, the story of a young orphan whose eternal optimism effects all of those around her.  Author Eleanor Hodgman Porter (1868 – 1920) is buried on Cuphea Path.

Lanie by Jane Kurtz

Mount Auburn is well beloved in the birding community for its significance as a Masschusetts Important Bird Area.  In 2010, author Jane Kurtz drew upon this aspect of Mount Auburn’s story for Lanie, a book in the popular “American Girl” series written for young readers.

About the Author: Jessica Bussmann

Director of Education & Visitor Services View all posts by Jessica Bussmann →

One Comment

  1. Meg Winslow says:

    Thank you for these great recommendations – Latham’s Carry on, Mr. Bowditch is dear to my heart – one of our family’s favorites of all time. And She’s Wearing a Bird on Her Head is fabulous! THanks to all your effrots Mount Auburn staff!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.