Friday, November 15, 2019

The Read-at-Home Kids Report: October 2019

There was so much reading going on here in October that it's taken me a couple of weeks to organize it into a coherent post! Last month, the girls heard a number of read-alouds at home and at their Grandma's house and they each read and looked at a variety of books on their own as well. Here are the highlights.

Family Read-Alouds

We kicked off our lunchtime reads for the month by finishing the Cobble Street Cousins series. The final book, Wedding Flowers, surprised me by including what appeared to be a Catholic priest, and Miss Muffet and Bo Peep loved all the wedding details, especially clothes and food.

As we looked ahead to Halloween, we then read King Oberon's Forest by Hilda van Stockum, which I and they both loved (review here) and What the Witch Left by Ruth Chew, which I've been describing in my mind as "Carolyn Haywood-esque" fantasy. Though I'm not a big fantasy reader myself, it's a favorite genre for both of the big girls right now, and this was the perfect gentle story for their ages and comfort levels.

As the month ended, we had just begun No Flying in the House by Betty Brock, which is another sweet and gentle fantasy story.

I've also been trying to read poetry after breakfast on occasion, and in the days before Halloween, we read Monster Soup by Dilys Evans and Ghosts and Goosebumps by Bobbi Katz on Open Library. The poems in these collections were just the right level of spooky for us, and they set the mood for the holiday very nicely.

After dinner, my husband read aloud Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt by Elizabeth Payne, Arabian Nights: Three Tales by Deborah Nourse Lattimore, and The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (which we finished on audio).

On our road trip to my mom's house, we listened to On the Banks of Plum Creek and By the Shores of Silver Lake. Cherry Jones does such a spot-on perfect job with the narration of these books. They really are pretty much perfect.

Reading with Grandma

My mom collects children's books just like we do, so when we spent five days with her in mid-October, she was eager to share some of her books with the girls. During our visit, the girls and Grandma read:
  • Angelina and the Princess by Katharine Holabird 
  • Angelina's Halloween by Katharine Holabird 
  • The Apple Pie That Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson and Jonathan Bean
  • Click, Clack Surprise! by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin
  • Click, Clack Boo by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin 
  • Red Knit Cap Girl by Naoko Stoop 
  • Red Knit Cap Girl to the Rescue by Naoko Stoop 
  • Kiss Baby's Boo-Boo by Karen Katz
  • Mommy Hugs by Karen Katz
  • A Little Book About ABCs by Leo Lionni 
  • Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler 
  • Bridget's Beret by Tom Lichtenheld 
  • Pantaloon by Kathryn Jackson and Steven Salerno
  • Owl Babies by Martin Waddell (pop-up book)
  • Chirri & Chirra by Kaya Doi 
  • Sleepytime for Baby Mouse by Margaret Hopkins
  • Alphabears by Michael Hague
  • Autumn Harvest by Alvin Tresselt and Roger Duvoisin
Room on the Broom was the big favorite from this list, partly because Grandma gave us a copy to take home and we were able to read it over and over. The big girls also love the Click Clack series.

Little Miss Muffet (5 years, 11 months)

As I mentioned in my recent post about October in our homeschool, Miss Muffet read six books on her own in October:  Uncle Wiggily and his Friends by Howard R. Garis, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Daughter of America by Jeanne Marie Grunwell, Stella Batts: Superstar and Stella Batts: Scaredy Cat by Courtney Sheinmel, Something Queer at the Haunted School by Elizabeth Levy and Mordecai Gersten, and a good portion of The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting, which she was still working on as the month ended. She also read a short story in My Bookhouse, "The Secret Door" by Susan Coolidge.

Dr. Dolittle has been a really good challenge for her. Because she loves talking animal stories, she is motivated to stick with it even when the vocabulary is a bit difficult, and the plot is exciting enough that she is always dying to know what happens next. I think we'll have her read some easier books in between before taking on another hard one, but I do think she'll read more from this series and maybe some other titles at that level.

Little Bo Peep (4 years, 1 month)

Bo Peep was the most interested in Halloween of any of the girls, and we read a few picture books on the subject, including my childhood copy of The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll, Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell, The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches by Alice Low (this one she requested repeatedly), and The Witch Next Door by Norman Bridwell. We also went back to having her listen to audiobooks during naptime (which has transitioned to more of a quiet time for her), and those have included the Mercy Watson series (she likes to follow along in the books) and The Moffats by Eleanor Estes. She also loved our review copy of Roly Poly by Mem Fox and Jane Dyer. As she has been somewhat uncertain about our new twins arriving in March, I think she found Roly Poly's adamant stance against having a baby brother somewhat validating. She took the book to bed with her during nap time many times after we first read it.

Little Jumping Joan (2 years)

As Bo Peep did before her, Jumping Joan has fallen in love with We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. She loves to flip through the pages, pointing out all the obstacles the kids encounter on their adventure, and looking for the baby on every page. She also likes doing the motions suggested by Michael Rosen in this video, which her sisters have happily been teaching her. Jumping Joan also enjoyed reading Now It's Fall by Lois Lenski and The Teddy Bears Picnic by Michael Hague at Grandma's house, and at home, Where is the Witch? (a review copy from Candlewick that I wrapped as a gift for her birthday), and It's Pumpkin Day, Mouse! which we read at story time, and which caused her to become fascinated by feelings and facial expressions.

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