Five Books that Spark Imagination and Fantasy - Kumon

Five Books that Spark Imagination and Fantasy

Taken from the Recommended Reading List, this is a collection of books that captures readers’ imaginations as they are transported into a magical place. Whether it is a spinoff of the classic Cinderella tale to the original published text of a well-known children’s movie, there is something to please readers of all ages.

  1. Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola

Readers between preschool and 2nd grade

Big Anthony, the helper of Strega Nona, the “Grandma Witch”, made so much pasta with a magic pot that the town nearly drowned in noodles. Luckily, Strega Nona was there to save the day. A Caldecott Honor Book Award winner, Strega Nona wows audiences with an excellence in writing and drawing, while imparting an important lesson about listening to others.


  1. The Littles by John Peterson

Readers between kindergarten and 3rd grade

The Littles are a tiny family with tails who live in the walls of a house belonging to the Bigg family. This magical story is full of adventures, animals, and problem-solving as the Littles ensure the home is always in good repair. This imaginative book can be a particularly good introduction for young readers to reading chapter books. The book itself is small and well-illustrated, but the font is sized for young readers. The Littles is a book in a children’s series, if your child likes it there are many more to stories to continue the adventure.


  1. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Readers between 3rd and 6th grades

An unconventional twist on the romance classic Cinderella, Ella Enchanted challenges the traditional female role in fairy tales and offers a positive role model in this Newbery Honor Book. Hampered by a fairy’s curse, Ella is a determined young girl who, after overcoming challenges, saves herself and the prince. A movie by the same name starring Anne Hathaway was made in 2004.


  1. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Readers between 3rd and 6th grades

A popular children’s book, The Phantom Tollbooth is an imaginary tale of 10-year-old Milo and his fantastical adventure in the “Lands Beyond.” One day Milo is bored after school and receives a mysterious gift, a tollbooth that becomes a portal to a strange land. This ingenious fantasy is full of a play on words, clever puns, and double entendres. This book is also a great introduction to satire and irony.


  1. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Readers between 4th and 7th grades

This iconic novel is one of the best known stories in American popular culture due to the commercial success of the magical movie and Broadway shows. The fantastical adventures of Dorothy and Toto, after realizing they no longer are in Kansas, can entertain a children and adults alike. This classic captures the imagination of the reader and has been widely translated into other languages. The Common Core State Standards offers this book as a sample text for kindergarten and 1st grade teachers to read to their classes.