Thursday, August 1, 2019

Read-at-Home Kids Report: July 2019

The Read-at-Home Kids have been reading up a storm this summer far beyond what I expected. As I sit down to write this, Miss Muffet (age 5 years, 8 months) has read or listened to more than 150 books since the beginning of June, and her sisters, Bo Peep (3 years, 10 months) and Jumping Joan (21 months), have listened to more than 100 and nearly 70, respectively. And this doesn't include any re-reads.

Family Read-Alouds

During July, we finished reading The Happy Hollisters and the Sea Turtle Mystery, after taking a short break to read The Spice of America by June Swanson around the fourth of July. The Happy Hollisters book inspired lots of research into the Everglades, air boats, snoring frogs, Seminole Indian culture, the construction of chickees and much more. After we had exhausted all those rabbit trails, then we picked up The Rescuers, the New York Review of Books edition of which Bo Peep selected at the used bookstore based on its resemblance to our copy of Jenny and the Cat Club. It was much, much different than the Disney version I knew as a kid, but very good, and both Miss Muffet and Bo Peep gave it a five-star rating.

Miss Muffet (5 years, 8 months)

School continues year-round here, and Miss Muffet has been totally obsessed with learning about Benjamin Franklin. I read What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin by Jean Fritz aloud to her, and that wasn't enough, so then my husband started reading her Poor Richard by James Daugherty in the evenings, along with A Bird in the Hand by Maud and Miska Petersham. I am now reading Electric Ben by Robert Byrd aloud during school time, and our lunch-time read-aloud is Ben and Me by Robert Lawson. When we're not reading about Benjamin Franklin, we're studying paintings in The Story of Paintings by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom and we're reading Planet Earth by Gerald Ames for science.

For fun, Miss Muffet has been reading the Wayside school series by Louis Sachar, the Lulu series by Hilary McKay (which we borrowed from the library) and Henry and Ribsy. I introduced her to the First Grade Friends series by Miriam Cohen as well. She also recently finished another of the Little House on the Prairie spin-off books, Beyond the Heather Hills by Melissa Wiley, and she's been revisiting lots of favorite picture books and Boxcar Children audiobooks.

Little Bo Peep (3 years, 10 months)

Little Bo Peep and I have started having some school time together in the mornings which typically consists of read-alouds. We've read some library books: a couple of Alfie books by Shirley Hughes , two nonfiction titles she selected about bones and the sun, and one book each from the Annie and Snowball and Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa series. She also loves to read nonfiction books about community helpers, of which there are many on Open Library, and we've also been borrowing other miscellaneous picture books from there based on whatever topics she gives me. As she's starting to give up her nap, Bo Peep has also felt the need to take many books to bed with her after lunch, and often she gets through the whole stack.

Little Jumping Joan (21 months)

Finally, this little one's love of books has taken off. We have read Summer Babies by Kathryn Galbraith dozens of times, and typically, when we get to the end, she hands it to me and says, "Read. Again!" She's also starting to get interested in actual picture books, including the Stanley series by William Bee and pretty much any book that one of her sisters has in her hand and would prefer that she not touch. She's still destroying our board books because she just loves them so much she can't be gentle, but she also spends a fair amount of time pointing to objects in them and calling them by name. Other new favorites for Jumping Joan are Hello Lamb and Goodnight Bear, both by Jane Cabrera.

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