Recent Favorite Family Read-Alouds — All With a Mouse Theme!

Recent Favorite Family Read-Alouds — All With a Mouse Theme!

We recently finished reading Poppy and Rye by Avi (the second book in his “Dimwood Forest” series) with the girls, and as I closed the book, it dawned on me that in the last few months, we’ve used three different chapter book series about mice for our family read-aloud books! Each of these series is written on a different level and has a unique feel to it, so other than the mice, they don’t really have much in common… But I figured I’d share them anyway, because they all made for wonderful read alouds!

Continue reading “Recent Favorite Family Read-Alouds — All With a Mouse Theme!”

Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry

Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry

Earlier this spring, we read the first two books in the Gooney Bird Greene series by Lois Lowry, and they were a HUGE hit! If you’re looking for a family read-aloud book that is bound to make your children laugh, inspire them to tell and write their own stories, teach them a bit about writing craft, AND is part of a 6-book series (so you’ve got lots of material once your kiddos are hooked, which they will be…), then look no further than Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry, illustrated by Middy Thomas!

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The Zoey and Sassafras Series by Asia Citro

The Zoey and Sassafras Series by Asia Citro

About a year and a half ago, a friend recommended that I check out the Zoey and Sassafras series by Asia Citro, illustrated by Marion Lindsay, to read with my older daughter. Trusting this friend, I bought the first in the series sight-unseen and excitedly opened it to read with my daughter, but she wasn’t into it… Never afraid to abandon books, I put it aside, but I had taken enough of a look at it that I knew we’d be revisiting it when the time was right.

Fortunately for me, the time was right earlier this spring, when I picked Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows up to read to both girls before bed one night, and they LOVED it! Even more fortunately, I had the foresight to grab the rest of the series from the library just a few days before they shut down for shelter-in-place. We absolutely flew through all 7 books in the series, and all of us (husband included) wish more books about Zoey and her scientific adventures had already been written! Read on to see what makes the Zoey and Sassafras series unique. Continue reading “The Zoey and Sassafras Series by Asia Citro”

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

If you follow me on Instagram, you might remember that we read The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, about a month ago for a rabbit-themed family chapter book read aloud just before Easter. It had probably been at least 10 years since I had read this book in the classroom, and I was struck every single day we read by just how beautiful this book is. On top of that, my girls absolutely LOVED Edward’s story, asking for more and more chapters each day we read (I think we were able to finish this in about 4 days!). Sharing what makes The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane so magical became obviously necessary, so read on for a little insight into the emotional evolution of this beloved toy. Continue reading “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo”

The Clementine Series by Sara Pennypacker

The Clementine Series by Sara Pennypacker

If you’ve followed along for a while, you might remember that it took our older daughter a long time to be interested in chapter book read alouds. Thought she LOVED cuddling up to listen to a picture book, and she’d sit and listen to audiobook chapter books for hours, she had a harder time with chapter book read alouds. Recently, though, both girls changed almost overnight to requesting almost only chapter books when it is time to read together. While we still read lots of lots of picture books (because, remember, they’re great for kids of all ages!), we’ve had a lot of fun exploring chapter books together. Most recently, the girls have been laughing their way through the Clementine series by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Marla Frazee. Read on for a little information about these books, as well as why we love them! Continue reading “The Clementine Series by Sara Pennypacker”

A Must-Use Resource for Parents and Teachers

A Must-Use Resource for Parents and Teachers

Do you know and love Common Sense Media? If you are a parent or a teacher, or are somehow responsible for helping make decisions about which books children read or movies kids see, you need to know about this wonderful resource! Continue reading “A Must-Use Resource for Parents and Teachers”

The True Gift by Patricia MacLachlan

The True Gift by Patricia MacLachlan

Now that our girls are a year older and a year more used to listening to chapter book read alouds, I thought I’d try some Christmas novels this season, to go along with all of the holiday picture books that we love to read (you can find my 2018 list here and my 2019 list here!). Since I always try to preread as many chapter books as I can (I am pretty particular when it comes to characters’ language and attitudes… My girls don’t need any more models of things we won’t want to see!), I got my hands on a handful of Christmas chapter books, and decided to start with The True Gift by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Brian Floca. We finished this one yesterday, and the girls delighted in it just as much as I did when I read it on my own! Continue reading “The True Gift by Patricia MacLachlan”

Tips for Transitioning to Chapter Book Read-Alouds (and a Delightful Series to Try)

Tips for Transitioning to Chapter Book Read-Alouds (and a Delightful Series to Try)

One of the questions that I often get asked is how and when to transition from reading only picture books with your children to reading some chapter books as well. While no one child will transition the same way, I’ll share some tips and tricks here for you, as well as recommend a delightfully sweet chapter book series to share with your children! Continue reading “Tips for Transitioning to Chapter Book Read-Alouds (and a Delightful Series to Try)”