Since I failed to get the March read-aloud post up (even though I had it written) I am just going to combine March and April.
Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary is one I will happily admit that I picked mainly to try to encourage Stefan to read longer chapter books. Henry and his dog get into hilarious scrapes and it totally was right up Stefan’s humor. Also? As soon as we finished reading it aloud, Stefan wanted to read it himself. He was unsure if he could (he has always been one that assumes he reads less than he actually does), so he read the first chapter aloud to me. Then that was it and he finished it the very next day. So there you go.
On the Banks of Plum Creek was our next book in the Laura Ingalls Wilder series. It was a huge hit again and we enjoyed everything about it. The grasshopper plague was especially interesting to the kids. This one begins to reveal the reality of how difficult life is in those times with Pa having to walk by foot nearly 300 miles just to find work. Our pedestrian lifestyle looks like nothing when reading these!
We continued the series with By the Shores of Silver Lake which sees the the Ingalls family moving from Minnesota to North Dakota. The very beginning of this book has their beloved dog, Jack, dying and Mary going blind. This starts things off on a sad note, but thankfully the book doesn’t remain sad all the way through. [As an aside, I read in The Pioneer Girl that Mary most likely went blind from viral meningitis/encephalitis and not Scarlet Fever as the book mentions. She describes Mary having a stroke and being delirious. In the children’s book it states rather matter-of-factly that Mary went blind, but no details surrounding it. However, in actuality, among other things, Pa took Mary to Chicago to see a specialist to try to improve her eyesight. Obviously this cost a lot of money and had to have contributed to the Ingalls’ financial difficulties. Olivia had encephalitis two years ago, so I found all this very sobering and fascinating.] There is a lot about the railroad in this book which Stefan loved. For my engine loving boy, the non fiction picture book The Locomotive by Brian Floca is a lovely read to go alongside this.
Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace is a beautiful read about two five- year-old girls who are best friends. I read this with Olivia and she loved it. These books loosely follow the author’s own life, and are very realistic about what a five year old would play like or be concerned with. Olivia could identify quite well with Tacy who is the more timid of the two friends. One thing to note, Tacy’s baby sister dies and while it was treated very gently I wish I had known it was coming as we read it jut before Maisie was born. Olivia dealt with it by holding onto the idea of them not having many hospitals in those days. That was enough to settle it for her, but the timing was just not the greatest for us. It didn’t make her love the book any less though, as she immediately asked Brian to re-read parts to her. Also, have any of you read the rest of the books in the series? I’d love to know if they are as good as this one.
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren was our humorous read this month. The kids loved all the silliness and craziness of these classic stories. They did tell me that she had very bad manners, though. 😉 It was fun to have a funny book to laugh with.
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