Sunday, June 24, 2012

Great Books to Read Aloud to Kids

Now that summer is in full swing, I find I have more time in the evenings to read with my kids.  No homework or sports practices to bog us down in an evening frenzy.  Just some relaxed evenings where bedtime can stretch out if we want it to .... and generally my kids want it to!

Thought I would share some books that we have read aloud recently.  I read Fantastic Mr. Fox as a child and still have my original copy.  My children enjoyed it just as much as I did.  Nanny Piggins is destined to be a new classic, if my kids have anything to say about it, and Betsy and Tacy was a lovely mother/daughter read aloud, that while dated, gave us the chance to talk about what life used to be like.  Although, I had to keep reminding my daughter that my childhood was not quite similar to the late 19th century and that I did in fact have a car and not a buggy!

So I hope you have a chance to enjoy these with your family!  Don't forget to like One Great Book on Facebook or twitter to get updates on my latest reviews!

To see my other post on Great Read Aloud Books, click here: Reading Aloud Is a Gift We Give Our Kids

Title:          The Adventures of Nanny Piggins
Author:      R. A. Spratt
Target:       Grades 3-5
Series:        Yes.  There are several books published in Australia but only two of the books are currently available in the U.S.
What this book is about:
Nanny Piggins, a former circus performing bovine, has been hired by Mr. Green to be a nanny to his three children.  While the choice of a pig may seem unusual, at the cost of 10 cents an hour, she is too good a deal for Mr. Green to pass up!  Her ways are unconventional: chocolate as a main course, fun and amusement above all else, and a Russian bear as a sidekick.  However, her devotion to her charges is as unwavering as her love of chocolate cake.
Why I love this book:
This is the story of Mary Poppins if she gave into her sassy side.  Nanny Piggins is everything children wish they had but know they really can’t!  That is what makes her soooo much fun.   Nanny Piggins is not bogged down by rules, or conventions and kids will love her hair brained schemes planned to get the family out of trouble.
Each chapter is its own separate story, which makes it a great read aloud. But the stories do build on each other as the characters develop and Nanny Piggin’s becomes a special and intricate part of the family, giving the children the love they so desperately deserve. 
Who this book is for:
This book was written for children.  Nanny Piggins is not burdened by a strong sense of morality, which may bother some parents, but she is full of fun, and redeemed by her strong love and devotion to the children.  
Final thoughts:
”The most exciting saga about a flying pig nanny ever told.   There is a laugh on every page and lesson in there somewhere.  I recommend it highly.” Madeleine Albright.  A recommendation from the former US Secretary of State, now how many children’s books have that!
Plus I must give a shout out to the wonderful illustrator Dan Santat, who does of fabulous job of capturing the fun and lightheartedness of these characters.

To purchase this book, please visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon:  The Adventures of Nanny Piggins  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

Title:          Fantastic Mr. Fox
Author:      Roald Dahl
Target:      Grades 1-4
Series:       No
What this book is about:
This book is essentially about three farmers and a fox.  Mr. Fox has been stealing diner from the farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean for longer than they would like.  One day the farmers decide enough is enough and dig up that fox’s hole to put an end to him.  But the Fox family can dig faster and what ensues is a waiting game to see who will give up first, or is it?
Why I love it: First there is just the nostalgia of a book I enjoyed as a child.  I still have my original copy!  Second, my daughter loved the story and we were rooting for Fox and his little children, although at times I had to remind myself that Fox was not as innocent as he appeared.   In fact there were several small things that reminded me that it was a book from my childhood, such as getting over the shock of the farmers owning guns, something you just don’t read about any longer.  But the story holds up well over time!
Who this book is for: Great for all kids.  The chapters are short so it is an easy bedtime read.
Final thoughts: As the book cover says, “If you’re three years old or more you’ll love this extraordinary adventure story.”

To purchase this book, please visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon:   
Fantastic Mr. Fox  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

Title:          Betsy-Tacy
Author:      Maud Hart Lovelace
Target:       Grades 1-3
Series:        Yes
What this book is about:
Set at the end of the nineteenth century, Betsy’s whole world is Hill street, but there are no other girls her age to play with.  When Tacy moves in across the street, Betsy finds her one true best friend.  They bring out the best in each other and the book covers their adventures from the first day of school, to selling sand and making a backyard fort our of an old piano box.
Why I love this book:
This is good old fashion fun at its best and while the story is charming, it doesn’t shy away from some of the challenges of the times, like the death of Tacy’s little sister.  I don’t share this to scare you away from the book, it is handled deftly, but just to reinforce why this book remains in print after 70 years.  My daughter loved the innocence of the stories and we had a lot of fun talking about what life was like wayyyy back when!
Who this book is for:
This is a girl book through and through, hate to be so gender specific, but no reason to beat around the bush.  Great read aloud that takes you back to years gone by!
Final thoughts:
I wish I had had a friendship like this when I was five!

To purchase this book, please visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: Betsy-Tacy (Betsy-Tacy Books)  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment