Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Read-at-Home Kids Report: April 2019

This past weekend, I got the two older girls to help me, and we re-shelved all the books that had been left hanging around after my mom brought us a bunch of new ones right before Easter. We also emptied the bookshelf in the girls' room and refreshed its contents so that the books in it are ones they actually want to read and which actually fit in the shelf when standing up. It was a job well done, and it has caused a lot of old books to feel new again.

Family Read-Alouds

Most of our family read-alouds this month have been read by my husband after dinner. He finished Rufus M. by Eleanor Estes and has now moved on to The Moffatt Museum. The older girls love this series, but the baby can get kind of fussy waiting for the end of a chapter, so I often spend time with her and miss out on the story. I will probably need to read the entire series on my own at some point.

For a while in March and early April, I was doing separate read-alouds for the older two girls, but whenever one girl was hearing her book, the other was left unsupervised and got into trouble, so now we're back to reading all together. For a couple of weeks, we did some short books here and there: a couple of Beatrix Potter titles (The Tale of Two Bad Mice and The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies), The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight: More Poems to Trouble Your Sleep by Jack Prelutsky and Arnold Lobel, and Nobody Hugs a Cactus by Carter Goodrich, which is a review copy.

Now I'm back to reading aloud a longer book at the lunch table. We just started is Inside the Ark and Other Stories by Caryll Houselander, which is a collection of children's stories with Catholic themes from the 1950s.   

We also had our first poetry picnic of the season this month, during which I read Please Bury Me in the Library by J. Patrick Lewis, The Little Bitty Man by Halfdan Rasmussen, and Handsprings by Douglas Florian. The older two girls ran away from me during the picnic, so we may not be doing anymore for a while, but they did enjoy the books before their bad behavior overtook them.

Little Miss Muffet, Age 5 

Our main read-aloud book for school this month was Follow My Leader by James B. Garfield. Miss Muffet has become interested in Braille, and this book follows a young boy from the time he is blinded in an accident until he brings home his guide dog. I found the text really dry, so it took us a while to get through it, but she really loved the story and especially enjoyed acquiring new facts about blindness and blind people.

Now that we have abandoned dinosaurs for the time being, we have returned to reading from The World We Live In. We have covered the desert and the arctic tundra, and now we're focusing on the rainforest. It seemed like it was too much to read both this and The Fantastic Flying Journey at the same time, so that one is on the book burner until we finish this one.

For history, we've started reading The Caves of the Great Hunters, about the young French boys who discovered the cave paintings at Lascaux. She's fascinated by it already, so her interest in cavemen is still going strong.

Miss Muffet has also been busy reading independently. She's revisited some old favorites (Back to School with Betsy and Betsy and Mr. Kilpatrick by Carolyn Haywood, and Surprises by Lee Bennett Hopkins, which is an I Can Read book of poetry) and discovered some new favorites (Attaboy Sam by Lois Lowry, The Treasure Hunt by Meriol Trevor, and How Many Teeth?, which is a vintage  Let's Read and Find Out About Science book by Paul Showers.) Additionally, she is reading an omnibus edition of The Wishing Chair series by Enid Blyton, the latest Sophie Mouse book (#14, The Great Bake-off)  and she has become interested in wordless picture books, especially Journey by Aaron Becker.

Little Bo Peep, Age 3.5

This child is much more likely to find a set of books she loves and stick with it, so she is still enjoying "Ell-oh-nee" (Eloise) Wilkin and the Alfie books by Shirley Hughes, and I don't see her ever moving on from those. She has varied her repertoire a little bit this month, however, throwing in Christina Katerina and the Box by Patricia Lee Gauch as well as a few of the new picture books we received for review: A Piglet Named Mercy by Kate DiCamillo, Rosie & Rasmus by Serena Geddes, and A New Home by Tania de Regkl.  She's also enjoying a new-to-us used copy of A Child's Garden of Verses illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa.  

For Easter, Bo Peep's godparents also gave her a picture book about St. Jerome, whose feast day falls on her birthday.  St. Jerome and the Lion has lovely illustrations, and our copy is even signed by the author! Bo Peep was thrilled to receive a book of her very own and she enjoyed the story even though it was a bit on the longer side. 

Little Jumping Joan, Age 18 months

This little girl is in full-blown toddler mode, walking around the house and exploring everything, including books - both those she should handle and those she should not. She has learned to say "book," too, so she can both label them as she walks by and request one by saying "booook" (pronounced to rhyme with Luke) repeatedly until someone finds a board book and hands it over.

Like Bo Peep, she is fascinated by babies and has been drawn to the same collection of Eloise Wilkin stories. (Thankfully, Grandma replaced it for us again, because the cover of the second copy has now been stripped of its cover.) She also loves Spring Babies and Summer Babies, both of which I received for review from Peachtree Publishing, and The Baby's Catalogue, which was originally a birthday gift from Miss Muffet to Bo Peep. 

Bo Peep also loves the new Wheels on the Bus board book published by Nosy Crow which Grandma brought when she visited. It has moving parts, and only three verses of the song so it actually holds her interest and I'm able to get through an entire book with her before she takes it away from me and wanders off. At nap time, she likes to take either Goodnight, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann or Babies on the Farm (a lift-the-flap book published by Cottage Door Press), to bed with her.

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