Re: Need book ideas....
My daughters love the first part of The Once and Future King where Wart turns into all sorts of creatures. I don't know if that is too much magic or considered non-fairy tale magic.
Any of the Fudge books by Judy Blume
Island of the Blue Dolphins
Junie B. Jones
Magic Tree House
Anything by Bill Wallace (but some are sad)
Many things to many people.