Monday, April 8, 2013

Read-aloud books

One of the greatest gifts my mother gave me was her habit of reading aloud to me.  No doubt it bestowed many academic benefits, but it was also a source of great warmth, fellowship and bonding between us.  I hope my kids will remember in the same way the hours we are spending together sharing books.  My husband has surprised me by blossoming into an excellent read-alouder complete with appropriate voices and enthusiasm.  Who knew!

Of course you cannot do the reading aloud without a book and the book must be selected.  Over time, I begin to scratch my head as to what to read next.  I imagine you do too.  I often look up other people's "best of" list at this point and I thought I'd contribute one of my own in the hope it will be useful.  So here's a list of some of  the best we remember from our reading so far. 

Ages 4 - 7  At this stage, our kids are ready to move from picture-story books to having a serial story read at night.  It can be a bit hard to find chapter books with appropriate levels of language and ideas for this age group.  And it varies a great deal with your own kids' tolerance of suspense or danger.

My Father’s Dragon (series) - Ruth Stiles Gannat

The Giraffe the Pelly and Me - Roald Dahl

Fantastic Mr Fox - Roald Dahl

Milly, Molly, Mandy (series) - Joyce Lankester Brisley

Naughty Amelia Jane (series) - Enid Blyton

Winnie the Pooh (series) - A A Milne

Akimbo and the lions (series) - Alexander McCall-Smith

Stuart Little - E B White

The Boxcar children (series) - Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Magic Faraway Tree (series) - Enid Blyton

Ages 7 -9  Longer and slightly more involved stories.  Their interest level in stories usually outstrips their reading ability at this stage so reading aloud keeps their love of books burning until their reading skills catch up with their growing level of maturity.  Some of the books in long series (like the later Anne of Green Gables books) I'm keeping to read aloud as the kids grow to match the age of the main character.

The lion, the witch and the wardrobe (series) - C S Lewis

Charlotte’s Web - E B White

27th Annual African Hippotamus Race - Morris Lurie

Famous Five (series) - Enid Blyton

Nim’s Island - Wendy Orr

How to train your dragon (series) - Cressida Cowell

Anne of Green Gables (series) - L M Montgomery

What Katy Did (series) - Susan Coolidge

Little House in the Big Woods (series) - Laura Ingalls Wilder

Treasures in the Snow - Patricia St. John

Gold of the gods (Mission Survival series) - Bear Grylls

The Adventures of Nanny Piggins (series) - R A Spratt

Swallows and Amazons (series) - Arthur Ransome


So what gems have you read aloud that I'm yet to discover?  Do share!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have precious memories of mum reading "Seven Little Australians" and "Little Women" to me when I was 9 or 10 - though I believe I read the endings aloud as mum was too busy crying!

Thanks for this list - I'll be using some of your ideas! I'm trying Paddington Bear at the moment and my 3 year old boy loved getting a chapter of the original Thomas stories every night J

Tasmanian said...

My strongest read-aloud memories are Patricia St.John's Treasures of the Snow, as you mention, but also Tanglewood's Secret and Rainbow Garden. One holiday several of my sisters took over from Mum who was crying too heavily, only to have tears themselves and have to pass the book along to the next sister.
Mary Poppins has been a winner lately. Last night we started one of the "Mystery" books by Enid Blyton. Raggedy Ann was lovely as an audio book on our long car trip recently - from booksshouldbefree.com.

Deb said...

OH, Little Women! Forgot that one. Must put that on my future list. We did read Paddington aloud at one stage but I think the kids were too young and I was the one enjoying it the most. I didn't realise how hilarious it was until I read it as an adult!

Deb said...

Must see if I can dig up Raggedy Ann!

Petrina said...

Excellent suggestions, I'm looking forward to working our way through your list.

Another list I'm working my way through: http://www.whatdowedoallday.com/2012/08/50-chapter-books-for-preschoolers-and-3-year-olds.html

So many options!

Deb said...

What a fantastic link, Petrina! Thanks so much!