Sunday, April 7, 2013

Wonderful Books to Read Aloud to Kids

My daughter and I have been on a read aloud marathon lately.  Crazy schedules, sports, and travel got us off our nightly read aloud "dates" but recently we picked back up right were we left off and it has been so much fun.  Reading aloud to my kids is one of those things that I have to force myself to do, especially when I look at the pile of dishes to be done, and the mounds of stuff (I was going to say crap) to be put away.  However, right after I finish reading, I always wonder why I put it off.  I end up getting so much enjoyment from it.

So it seemed fitting to share some books we have loved recently.   I would also encourage you to read to all your kids.  My older ones will stop to listen and then settle in to hear the whole story and they enjoy it as much as the youngest.  There is really no age limit to reading aloud to kids, because don't we all enjoy just sitting back and letting someone do the work for us, and when it's a story, all the better.

Reading aloud to kids:   Gets them to associate reading with pleasure
                                             Builds stronger vocabularies
                                             Gives them knowledge

So what are you waiting for .... get out there and read them a book!

Title:       Nanny Piggins and the Wicked Plan

Author:   R. A. Spratt

Target:    Grades 3 - 5

Series:     Yes

What this book is about:
Nanny Piggins is back for her second set of adventures!  For those unfamiliar with this chocolate cake loving bovine, she is the nanny for the three Green children.  Her willingness to work for 10 cents a day and her previous experience being shot out of cannons for the circus, make her the obvious choice to take care of young children.  In this book Nanny Piggins must: stop Mr. Green from remarrying so that he can simply replace her, dig a hole to China, take on the duties of Headmistress for a day and stop an unruly Gypsy wedding.  So is the life a gorgeous pig.

Why I love this book:
Nanny Piggins is everything a child wants in a nanny, but nothing a parent does.  Well, that is not quite true.  What redeems Nanny Piggins every time is her unflinching love of her wards, which every parent wishes for their child.  

Why play tag outside when it is so much more fun in the house?  Chocolate cake is the cure for anything that ails you! School really needn’t be five days a week.  These are just some of the tenets which Nanny Piggins lives by and I dare you to find a child that will not delight in these stories.

Who this book is for:
I have placed the beginning target age at third grade for independent reading, but I started reading these books aloud to my daughter in second grade and she loved them.  They do make wonderful read alouds.  Also, while you don’t have to have read the first book to enjoy this one, I think you will enjoy the stories more if you have read the first in the series, The Adventures of Nanny Piggins.

Final thoughts:
Human nannies are so overrated!

To purchase this book, click here to connect to Amazon: Nanny Piggins and The Wicked Plan  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

Title:       Wolf Story

Author:   William McCleery

Target:    Grades 1-4

Series:     No

What this book is about:
This book is about a story, told at night and during outings, by a father to his son Michael and Michael’s friend Stefan.  Oh, and there’s a wolf named Waldo, a hen named Rainbow and a farmer’s son named Jimmy Tractorwheel.  And did I mention that Michael’s father is inventing this story as he goes along and that Michael and Stefan are quite demanding about how the story should proceed.

Why I love this book:
This book is a reprint of a 1947 “underground” classic.  It is absolutely charming and every child and parent can see themselves in this engaging tale.  An exasperated father who is trying to tell a story at bedtime, children who love to hear their father’s story but are very opinionated when the story does not go the way they intend and a very foolish wolf who gets pulled in every direction to satisfy the whims of the listeners.

Who this book is for:
I can’t imagine a child not loving to hear this story read aloud.  My daughter was skeptical when I brought it in at bedtime the first night, but after just one chapter she was hooked and begged each night for more chapters.

Final thoughts: 
Overall this book is so relatable to both parents and kids that it easily overcomes some of the parts that are a bit dated, a problem suffered by many other “classic" tales.  This is a wonderful book that both parents and kids can enjoy!

To purchase this book, click here to connect to Amazon: Wolf Story (New York Review Collections)  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

Title:       Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days

Author:   Stephen Manes

Target:    Grades 3-6

Series:     There is a sequel: Make Four Million Dollars by Next Thursday

What this book is about:
When Milo gets hit in the head at the library by a falling book, he takes notice.  This particular book is written by Dr. Silverfish, and it’s impressive title, Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days, is just too good to pass up.  Milo follows the instructions, word for word.  Does it work?  Do you think you could do it?

Why I love this book:
Fun and funny book.  Day one is probably the funniest and my third and eighth grader were both laughing out loud.  Let’s just say that every time I asked if they wanted one more chapter, the chorus was a resounding “yes!”

The book does have a lovely message which I think parents will appreciate.  Also the chapters are just the perfect length with just the right amount of suspense so that kids won’t be able to wait for the next night.  

Who this book is for:
Great for elementary and middle school kids who like to laugh. 

Final thoughts:
The copy I got from the library had the most horribly dated illustrations.  No child will ever pick this one up on their own, but once you start reading it, they won’t want you to stop. 

To purchase this book, click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days!  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

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