Tuesday, February 17, 2015


It happened quickly.  Charles entered kindergarten knowing all of his letters and some of the sounds they make, and now, barely 5 months in, he can read full books aloud to his brother.


photo 2 (83)


And thank God, because I’m getting a little tired of reading about Star Wars.


Charles’s and Jamie’s reading diet has been heavy on the superheroes, with a smattering of Berenstain Bears, Mercer Mayer, and random other books from our shelves or the library.  However, I’m constantly scouring Pinterest (the Devil’s website) and library websites for recommendation for chapter books to read aloud to my boys.  Jamie, believe it or not, will sit still and listen to chapter books, even when he doesn’t totally understand the plot.


Charles is a bit too young for The Boxcar Children, but here are some other great chapter books we have enjoyed:


Beverly Cleary books, nearly all of them.  We’ve worked our way through the Ramona Quimby books, the Henry Huggins books, and some of the Motorcycle Mouse books.  Charles loved them, especially Henry & Ribsy because Henry catches a Chinook Salmon, just like Charles did last summer.


My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett.  Seriously, this book is fantastic.  It’s short enough to be read all at once or over a couple of evenings, and it presents some good examples of cleverness.


Nate the Great series by Marjorie Sharmat.  These detective stories and easy to understand, and I love the idea of teaching Charles to be observant.  Charles really loves the pancakes.


Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater.  We’re reading this right now, and the kids BEGGED me to read another chapter before school this morning.


Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.  Prepare to cry when Charlotte dies.  My kids, my boy children, just don’t understand.


Roald Dahl books, all of them.  We’ve read James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  There are some tough parts where we’ve had conversations about poverty and what happens when one’s parents die, but overall, we loved the whimsy in these books.


It makes my heart so happy that my children are readers.  They love books so much.  Aside from all the obvious benefits of reading and loving books (cognitive function, vocabulary, learning about different places and times), I once read that novel readers are more empathetic because they learn to see things from others’ points of view.  So yeah, I’m teaching my kids empathy without even trying.  Parenting win, right?


What are some of your favorite early chapter books?


Leland said...

The Bighead by Edward Lee.

Sylvie said...

No way Charles (or Jamie) are too young for the boxcar children. It's way easier than Charlotte's Web. Even Griffin like them (we are at the end of #3).
Next on my list is Farmer Boy by LIW (if they like it, ii might venture into the little house in the big woods...but I am starting with the little boy to lure them in ;)
Another series of books they really like was the childhood story from Tomie DePaola (starting with 26 Fairmoun avenue).