Unbelievably, it is the end of the year so I’m looking back over our year and seeing what we actually read. We definitely didn’t read everything I had planned, but this year didn’t go anything like I had planned so I’m good with it.
I am pleased with how many books I read to the kids, considering that we put away nearly all chapter book reading for several months when Olivia got sick. We stuck to familiar and comforting picture books that we read over and over during that time and I don’t regret that at all.
My goal in reading to my children is not to cover the most amount of literature that I can. My kids are young to be working on that. My goal is to experience a positive, shared reading experience that will ignite a thirst for knowledge, good story-telling, books, and reading. So, sometimes we read a book twice. A few of these books I read aloud to them and the kids enjoyed it so much that I got it in audio format so they could listen to the book again during their quiet play time.
Igniting passion for a good story is my aim at this stage. I also love the experience that my children and I have by reading with them. I do have them listen to audio books occasionally, but these are all ones that we read aloud together. Nothing beats the experience of sharing a book together.
I have a 5 year old boy, a 3 year old girl, and a 2 year old boy that sometimes listens in while he is playing, sometimes not. If you are interested, you can find what we read aloud in 2012 here.
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The Twits by Roald Dahl is a ridiculously hilarious and quick read. It’s not quite up there with James and the Giant Peach, but it sure is funny and Stefan kept asking for me to read more. We got through this one really fast, to say the least. We might be becoming Roald Dahl fans. Stefan has actually asked to re-read James and the Giant Peach and you’ll notice I’m not one to discourage any re-reading so we’ll probably pull that one out next year again.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary is such an imaginative story. Really, what’s not to love about a mouse riding a motorcycle all over a hotel and getting himself into all kinds of scrapes and dangerous situations in the process. Definitely a winner in our book! Looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
Paddington Abroad by Michael Bond follows the very patterned format of all the Paddington books. Honestly, it is so predictable that I sometimes bore with it as an adult even though Paddington himself is completely darling. We did really enjoy this one though, as it takes place in France and the kids got a kick out of my French accent. They really liked it, but we’ve read two now and I think we’ll take a break before reading the others.
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald is another very predictable one, but every chapter is so imaginative that it doesn’t bore at all. My kids loved, loved it! And, if you don’t take it too seriously, it has some good life lessons. Can anyone tell me if the rest of the series are equally as good?
Stuart Little by E. B. White is another great mouse story. What is it with the mice? We loved this book so much! I first read the book aloud to the kids and Stefan has since listened to it on audio at least twice more. Definitely a classic for a reason. We also re-read Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White again this year. That beautiful story never gets old either!
Prince Caspian has been a wonderful read aloud for our kids as well as a re-read of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. We read these only when we are all together, Daddy included, so we are going at a much slower pace. I think that now that our lives are a little more settled than this past year we will have more regular family read aloud times which we’re all looking forward too!
The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne is just more beautiful Pooh stories. What can I say? We also re-read Winnie the Pooh, and have also listened to this on audio during some car rides. What I love about re-reading these stories is that I noticed that Stefan got some of the humor the second (and sometimes third) time around that had totally passed him up the first time. Of course, I can’t stop laughing when I read Pooh. Milne wit cracks me up!
Dolphin Adventure by Wayne Grover doesn’t get the highest rating as far as the art of story telling, but it was such an interesting story that we didn’t mind. We actually learned quite a bit about dolphins and later in the year when we were in Florida visiting grandparents we got to see dolphins up close and recalled some of our knowledge from this book which was helpful and fun.
My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles is the first of the three book series. We followed up with Elmer and the Dragon and The Dragons of Blueland. This is a really good first read aloud, or a a good series to start with children who aren’t yet used to sitting and listening to lengthy chapter books. The stories are short and full of adventure, and are great for the imagination! Both Stefan and Olivia really loved these and I have them marked to come back to when Silas and his little brother are the right age for them. Thank you to my wonderful readers for recommending these to me!
The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas by Madeleine L’Engle is a charming book to read at Christmas. This is part of the Austin Family series, but I haven’t read any of the others so can’t speak to them. This particular book was especially fitting for us as it is about a little girl whose mom is expecting a baby right at Christmas. The little girl is worried that her mom is going to miss her being the angel in her Christmas pageant and miss Christmas. It’s sweet, has a sweet ending, and since we are expecting a baby right at Christmas it was a very fitting read for us. Stefan just had his Christmas play in which he was a soldier so no more worries in our house on whether I miss it!
Counting our re-reads, we read 15 chapter books together.
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