National Read a Book Day is September 6th! It is the perfect day to get lost in a good book and expand your imagination. Reading builds skills such as vocabulary, empathy, curiosity, language, and communication. Our seasons are heavily inspired by literature, we love taking books and bringing them to life on stage! We continue that work in a lot of our programming off stage, such as REP Readers, Early Elementary Story Drama, and Writes of Spring! We have a handful of books based on the shows in our upcoming season to suggest for your reader on this national holiday celebrating literacy and the written word! Read a book and then come and see a show! What could be better?
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Playing at Orlando Family Stage in October 2021
The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight: More Poems to Trouble Your Sleep
by Jack Prelutsky | Best for K-5 grades
The creepy creations in this poetry book are sure to send shivers down your spine!
In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories
by Alvin Schwartz | Best for 3-5 grades
This collection of chillingly scary tales and legends are just the right amount of spooky for your young reader who likes to be scared!
Washington Irving: A Treasury: Rip Van Winkle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Old Christmas
by Washington Irving | Best for 8th grade and up
There is no better way to get in the mood for this upcoming production than reading the original story itself! Check out several classic stories by Washington Irving in this anthology!
Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe Volume 1 & 2
By Edgar Allen Poe | Best for 8th grade and up
Dive into the mysterious and often unsettling world of Edgar Allen Poe through some of his most famous stories such as “The Raven”, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, and “The Cask of Amontillado”.
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Broadway Edition)
Playing at Orlando Family Stage this holiday season
Cinderella Stories Around the World
by Cari Meister | Best for K-5 grades
Cultures all around the world have their own Cinderella stories. Visit Canada, China, Egypt, and France, and find out whose glass slippers are made of red silk, and whose fairy godmother is a fish.
by Tony Johnston | Best for K-5 grades
This unexpected Cinderella story takes you deep in the forest with some bigger than usual characters. In the old growth forest, a dashing Bigfoot prince searches for his Bigfoot princess. Rrrrrella, who also lives in the forest, would be a perfect match. But can she get past her ugly stepsisters to win the prince’s heart?
Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella
by Robert D. San Souci | Best for K-5 grades
Adapted from a traditional Creole story, this fresh retelling captures all the age-old romance and magic of Cinderella, melding it with the vivid beauty of the Caribbean and the musical language of the islands. Told from the perspective of the magical godmother, a poor washerwoman, who finds her goddaughter, Cendrillon, heartsick over a rich man’s son. At first she does not know what to do, but she has sharp wits, a strong will, and the magic wand her mother left her—and soon she has a plan to give her dear Cendrillon the gift of a love that will change her life.
So This is Love: A Twisted Tale
by Elizabeth Lim | Best for 6th grade and Up
What if Cinderella never tried on the glass slipper? Unable to prove that she’s the missing princess, and faced with questions of love and loyalty to the kingdom, Cinderella must find a way to stop the villains of past and present…before it’s too late. This young adult novel is part of a whole series of twisted stories!
Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds
Playing at Orlando Family Stage in February 2022
Every Little Thing
by Cedella Marley | Best for K-2 grades
Written by Cedella Marley, Bob Marley’s daughter, every family will relate to this universal story of a boy who will not let anything get him down, as long as he has the help of three special little birds. This cheerful book will bring a smile to faces of all ages—because every little thing is gonna be alright!
Kallaloo! A Caribbean Tale
by Phillis and David Gershator | Best for K-2 grades
Can a shell really make soup? It might, if it is a brown-and-white West Indian shell, fresh from the sea. All it needs is a master soup-maker, like Granny, to stir the pot. Learn a little about Caribbean culture through this colorful and fun story!
Who Was Bob Marley ?
by Katie Ellison | Best for 3-5 grades
Get to know the man who became a symbol of Jamaican culture and identity, and created the best-selling reggae album of all time. This book tells the story of how a man with humble roots became an international icon.
Jamaica in My Tummy
by Jean Hawthorn-DaCosta | Best for K-5 grade
This early reader book is about a young Jamaican girl who travels through different parishes of Jamaica tasting all kinds of delicious food. She enjoys the company of her Grandmother as she travels but most of all she loves the food.
Pete the Cat
Playing at Orlando Family Stage Early Spring 2022
Pete The Cat: I Love My White Shoes
by James Dean | Best for K-2 grades
It’s all good! Pete the Cat goes walking down the street wearing his brand-new white shoes. Along the way, his shoes change from white to red to blue to brown to WET as he steps in piles of strawberries, blueberries, and other big messes!
Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons
by James Dean | Best for K-2 grades
Pete the Cat is wearing his favorite shirt—the one with the four totally groovy buttons. But when one falls off, does Pete cry? Goodness, no! He just keeps on singing his song—after all, what could be groovier than three groovy buttons?
Splat the Cat Series
by Rob Scotton | Best for K-5 grades
Ok, these may not be about Pete, but Splat is an equally charming cat who has his own friends and adventures that are super fun and great for young readers! The series includes books such as Splat the Cat Sings Flat, Splat the Cat: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Splat the Cat and the Duck with No Quack, Splat the Cat Takes the Cake, and Splat the Cat: The Name of the Game.
Disney’s Freaky Friday The Musical
Playing at Orlando Family Stage April and May 2022
by Mary Rogers | Best for 6th grade and up
Spoiler Alert! This is the original story that inspired the movie and the musical! Annabel Andrews is tired of her mother telling her what to do. One Friday morning, Annabel’s wish comes true when she wakes up and realizes she’s turned into her mother! But after a day in her shoes, Annabel starts to suspect that being an adult is not as much fun as it seems.
by Megan Shull | Best for 6th grade and up
Seventh grader Frannie Hudson wonders what it would be like to trade in her family for a new one. When Frannie makes one desperate, crazy wish—BOOM!—she magically bounces into a whole new life, with a totally different family. And. It. Is. Amazing! There’s only one catch: waking up as someone else keeps happening. Plunged into lives and adventures she’s only imagined—Frannie finds courage in the unforgettable friends and families she meets along the way. But as her new life spins out of control, Frannie begins to worry if she’ll ever get back home.
Where I End and You Begin
by Preston Norton | Best for 8th grade and up
Ezra has been in love with Imogen Klutz since the fourth grade, and after years of pining for her, he decides to ask her to junior prom. There are, however, two problems: the first is Ezra’s social anxiety and the second is Wynonna, Imogen’s best friend, who bullies him relentlessly. These two sworn enemies suddenly switch bodies in this witty and heartfelt novel of romantic relationships, gender identity, and the joy of being yourself as they realize that they have more in common than they thought.
Writers from Orlando REP!
Did you know that REP Alumnae are authors as well? In addition to being excellent teachers and performers, they also tell their stories through writing! Writing a book is a great way to express yourself and have your story heard. Will you write one yourself?
Dancing with Naima
by Desiree Parkman | Best for K-5 grades
Desiree has been a Teaching Artist at Orlando REP! Follow Naima as she prepares for her first day of dance school. From the ballet barre to the center floor Naima discovers a love and excitement for ballet as well as the dedication and discipline it takes to become a ballerina.
The Story of Princess Audrey
by Kristen Lee Waldbieser | Best for K-5 grades
Kristen was a Youth Academy student and Power Chord and is now an author and educator. Follow the adventures of Princess Audrey, as she prepares for a royal ball, meets a beautiful mermaid, and even celebrates her favorite holiday! Each of these three stories is the perfect length for reading aloud, making them perfect for bedtime stories. Princess Audrey is a princess that all children can relate to, making it the perfect happily ever after story for everyone.
by Brad Stefani Illustrated by Natalie Mercado and Kate Revels | Best for K-5 grades
Illustrator Kate Revels was a Youth Academy performer for many years and has turned her creativity towards design for this delightful picture book. Inspired by true events, Shippy and his crew set sail for Montego Bay in what aims to be the funniest cruise ever! Unfortunately, Shippy catches a serious cold that spreads not only throughout the ship but also all around the world! Now Shippy must find a way to make things right and help turn around a bad situation!
It’s Your Universe
by Ashley Eckstein | Best for 6th grade and up
Ashley, former Orlando Family Stage Youth Academy performer, tells her story of being a little girl dreaming of being on a Disney stage, voicing the first female Jedi, Ahsoka Tano, and starting Her Universe, a blockbuster clothing line and community for fangirls. With prompts for journal entries and quotes from iconic Disney characters, Ashley shows how princesses, Jedi, and superheroes were great role models for choosing her own path.