July 25, 2013
Kids Chapter Books You Will Enjoy Too! Vol. 1
Daniel, my oldest, is 5 and reading up a storm. Watching him learn to read is honestly one of my proudest parenting moments so far. I get to see him wake up to a whole new world-he can order from his own menu, read his own stories, understand the writing in movies. Best of all, he's hit the point with his attention span where we can switch to reading chapter books at night.
I have been lugging my favorite books from my childhood to bases all across the country in anticipation of this day. Our poor packers and movers-we quite literally bring a library with us wherever we go. I started with books that I had already read and loved but I keep finding new ones for us to check out. It makes me really happy that I now have two "to be read" lists...one for myself, and one to read with my boys.
Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater
The story is about Mr. Popper, a house painter in a small Midwestern town, who dreams of the arctic. One day an admiral exploring the South Pole answers his fan mail by sending the Poppers a penguin. The story follows the Poppers as their brood of penguins expand and they take the show on the road,literally. It is a sweet book and each chapter feels like a mini story.
Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
Chances are that by the time your child is ready to start reading chapter books they will already know a lot about Pooh. There are so many movies, tv shows, spin-off board books and toys out there. The books have a pretty extensive vocabulary but I never worried that my boys wouldn't understand what was going on. Each chapter is a little adventure, and the characters learn a lot about friendship. One warning-the chapters are long for bedtime reading.
Magic Treehouse Series by Mary Pope Osborne
These stories follow siblings Annie and Jack who find a treehouse full of books that magically take them to different places and times. They do have a plot that carries from book to book, but I've found that my kids don't mind reading out of order. They are really good to pair with interests or school lessons. (Dinosaur week at school would go really well with the first book for example). The chapters are short, and while the children get in situations that might feel a little scary to little ones-they always get out of them quickly and safely.
Charlotte's Web by EB White
The story of two unlikely friends-a pig and a spider teaches a lot about life and friendship. There are certainly some big themes here but the book deals with them frankly and reassuringly, and make for good follow up conversations. This is one that I loved as a child, and my boys really enjoyed it too.
Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl
Since this is by Dahl, it may not be for the very young or very skittish. The story centers around a crocodile who wants to eat children but all the other animals foil his dastardly plans in very silly ways (no one actually gets eaten). The way the crocodile gets his comeuppance is one of our favorite scenes. There aren't really chapters, but each animal has several pages showing how they stop the croc and those are good break points if you need them.
Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo
Mercy Watson is a pig who likes to eat. She lives with her mom and dad (who are human) in a little house and when trouble befalls her parents she saves the day! Anything by DiCamillo is fantastic and this is the first in a series. The chapters are very short, and there are lots of pictures so it's a good starting chapter book.
Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
These are not technically chapter books but since each page has an illustrated poem on it, they are easy to pick up and put down as you'd like. They are silly and funny and occasionally very sweet. I adored these when I was little and I adore them now. If you have never read these yourself-pick one up and try it. They are good enough to read even without littles.
What are some of your favorite children's chapter books? We've got a list we're working on but I love finding out about new titles. When I gather a good batch of books together I'll do another post!