October 2014 read-alouds

I’m taking a break in the picture heavy posts I’ve been sharing to share a little reading with you. Honestly, I’m having trouble realizing that October is over. Where did it go? We didn’t finish very many books this month, but the ones we did were good!

Abel’s Island by William Steig (Newberry Honor) was a perfectly delightful read. We added this to our many books where a mouse is the main character. (This also created a discussion between Julie, who is currently living with us, and myself about the number of children’s books with a mouse as the main character…but I digress). The story is of a lazy, only-concerned-about-his-appearance, doesn’t-like-to-work mouse who gets caught in a storm and stranded on an island for a year. He is forced to use ingenuity, creativity, and work just to survive. It’s a fun adventure with the underlying theme of work and creativity being noble. The change in Abel’s perspective on work and life are articulated in such a way that children will pick up on them while still enjoying the adventure.

Pinnochio by Carlo Collodi was one of those books that often had the kids begging for “just one more chapter!” If you are thinking Disney Pinnochio, think again. I had never read the original as a child and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s funny and packed full of moral lessons. A couple of situations (like when Pinnochio has to take medicine) had me laughing so hard because it was so true to life with children! Occasionally it was a bit strange and I did some very minor editing of some language as I read, but nothing too drastic.¬† It’s a fun story and the kids quite easily picked up on many of the lessons throughout. The copy I linked to is the Classic Illustrated Edition which is the one we read.

We also finished¬† Life of Fred Butterflies which is the second book in the elementary math series. I didn’t personally like this one quite as much as the first (Apples), but the kids still think Fred is funny and they are learning stuff so I’m good with that! I’m curious to see what I think of the following books, and we’ll keep working our way through them. At the end of this book there were 45 math problems which Stefan breezed through without error. We have not done any formal math curriculum yet, and have chosen to give him a solid foundation of living math through games, real life, and books. (I should do a post on math books, shouldn’t I?) I’m pretty confident that Stefan is well above the first grade level in math so I think it is working. We plan to start a curriculum soon though to make sure there are no gaps in his learning.

Have you read any good books to your kids lately? Please share!

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  1. Kristy Stewart says:

    I always love seeing what other people are reading with their kids and getting new ideas! I’m finding it harder, as the kids ages range from 12 to 3, to find books that interest them all. We have recently been reading Little Pilgrim’s Progress. Although it is a re-read for the two oldest, they are enjoying it and getting some of the deeper meanings they missed when they were younger, and the younger two are enjoying it too. It is also one of those books like you mentioned, in which they are begging for “just one more chapter”. What mother doesn’t love to hear that?!

  2. We love the Life of Fred series! We haven’t read the other two. I need to check them out.

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