January 2016 read alouds

A lot has changed in our lives the past few months, but at least reading has remained a constant. Reading aloud together has helped us to find our groove more than anything else. When we all are feeling out of sorts and not sure which end is up, I grab a book, invite a child on my lap and start reading. Usually before long the crew has gathered around me.

We’ve been deep in beautiful picture books lately. I’ve been sharing some of those on instagram so be sure and follow me over there, but these are the longer books we finished up this month.

tchaikovskyOur composer for this past term was Tchaikovsky and we read The Story of Peter Tchaikovsky by Opal Wheeler. I continue to love this series by Opal Wheeler and am slowly adding them to our library. These short biographies with music included are great introductions to composers. This particular book only really covers his childhood so doesn’t delve into his actual composing career at all, but it is an interesting read and communicates Tchaikovsky’s rather tempestuous but also deeply sensitive personality.




cricketWe absolutely loved The Cricket in Times Square by George Seldon. This was the perfect read to start off our year and had my kids begging for more. This is a really imaginative story, with great story-telling. We loved it and flew through it. I love when we find a book that all the kids are just begging for more. All the kids would give you a thumbs up on this one and I loved that it had them both sitting at the edge of their seats in hushed silence and laughing out loud a different times. This book makes for a great read aloud.





WheelWe actually started The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong a long time ago, but life, and a big move meant that this one got shipped in a box. We were glad to pull it out and finish it up! The kids really enjoyed it, but I have to say that some of the chapters were quite long and it was also easy to get confused with the names. (Jella, Jana, Janus, etc). Once we got comfortable with all the names it was easier, but that did take awhile. The aspects of the story that I loved were how it had a multiple generations working together to get the storks back. I loved how the children and elderly interacted, and thought that was probably the best part of the story. I’ll admit that there were several times when I felt the story was lagging and I wanted to get a move on things, but the kids didn’t seem to mind.


What books have you read with your family recently? I’d love to hear!

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  1. Thank you for recommending A Cricket. …we are listening to it in the van.

    We are still reading Understood Betsy, The House at Pooh Corner. I’m thinking about reading the Little House series next for everyone. I read it with Maryn years ago. Or maybe I could just start with Farmer Boy with them…. not sure what to do.

  2. I’ll have to put The Cricket on my list. I had forgotten about that one.
    We read The Wheel on the School a couple of years ago and it’s not one I recommend to people. I agree with all your points- wordy chapters that dragged on and confusing names. There are so many good books out there that I don’t feel the need to revisit this one.
    We’re in the midst of Little Hoise on the Prarie but we may take a break from the series after this and try something different. I’d like to do another Roald Dahl book.(I read James and the Giant Peach with my son a couple years ago). Also have The Indian in the Cupboard and The Penderwicks on my list to read soon.

    • We loved James and the Giant Peach! Stefan also read Fantastic Mr. Fox on his own by Roald Dahl. I should do another read aloud of his. He is so humorous. The Penderwicks is on my list to read too…sometime!

  3. I’ve never heard of that first book – I need to find a copy!

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