Living Books, Twaddle & Whole Books

Cassat%20Reading%20to%20ChildrenLiving books are the opposite of dull, dry textbooks. The people, places and events come alive as you read a living book. The stories touch your mind and heart. They are timeless.

For a list of children’s books recommended by grade level, click on the illustration.

Catherine Levison, author of A Charlotte Mason Education, says:

“Charlotte Mason advocated avoiding twaddle and feasting children’s hearts and minds on the best literary works available. Twaddle is what parents and educators today might call ‘dumbed down’ literature. It is serving your children intellectual happy meals, rather than healthy, substantive mind- and soul-building foods.”

Miss Mason also recommended whole books rather than anthologies. Whole books are the entirety of the books the author actually wrote. If the author wrote a book, read the whole book. The opposite of this would be anthologies that include only snippets from other works—maybe a chapter from Dickens, a couple of paragraphs from Tolstoy, etc.


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