Y’all, I didn’t even know that today is the last Thursday in May until this morning. This month has been a whirlwind of trips and graduation events (my first nephew is graduating tonight!) and birthday events (my eldest turned THIRTEEN last week!) and. . . and. . . and. . .the slow death of our school year. In fact, the only read-aloud related post I myself have to share are reviews of two chapter books, one for the big girls and one for the little boys: Watership Down and Henry and the Chalk Dragon. I Highly Recommend them both.
And so now the (hopefully!) mostly-blank calendar of summer stretches before us like the boundless ocean. My kids are already signed up for the summer reading program at one of our libraries, and they’re off to a rip-roaring start. Louise started book seven of the Harry Potter books just in time to count all seven-hundred-plus pages of it for summer reading. The DLM has discovered that he enjoys chapter books of the Magic Tree House variety. They multitask. 🙂
(Shameless plug: I share images like this on Instagram almost daily. If you haven’t followed me there and you’re inclined to do so, here you go.)
The only connection I can make to this and reading aloud is that this sort of thing is a part of the reading culture of our home. We talk books daily, even if I don’t read aloud. Louise has officially passed me in the Harry Potter series (I’ve been listening to the audiobooks and barely make progress, while she was sucked in immediately and read them all in about a week). The DLM received a letter from Mary Pope Osborne a few weeks ago in response to a letter he had written to her (and a homemade book he had sent her) months ago after listening to several Magic Tree House audiobooks. And then just the past week or so, he has taken off reading these chapter books himself. This is the sort of synergistic thing that happens in a bookish home that can’t really be explained or forced; it just happens.
I do have a fairly heavy load of mommy-guilt, though, because of how little I’ve been reading aloud to Benny these days. I’m turning over a new leaf now that we’re mostly through with our lessons for a while. I’m determined to sit down with a stack of books and him daily this summer. I’m going to post our stacks on Instagram to hold myself accountable.
I have noticed that there are a few new picture books that are coming out in the next few months or that were recently released that I plan to get my hands on.
Bulldozer Helps Out is a new book that was just released this month by Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann. We have loved everything by Candace Fleming we’ve ever read (here and here), and we have a special affinity for Bulldozer. This one is going on my library request list!
If you’ve been reading here at Hope Is the Word for any time, you know that I have a real love for vintage picture books. Does it get any better than Virginia Lee Burton? I’ve read most of her books to my boys, of course, but I’m thinking that this might be a good time to pull out FIAR and revisit some of them when this book comes out in September. We adore Sherry Duskey Rinker’s books (see here, here, and here), and Big Machines looks irresistible. I can’t wait!
I first read about this next book on a tweet by Jules from Seven Impossible Things in which she said something to the effect of “this is the best book I’ve read all year.” I clicked through and read her review over at Kirkus and decided immediately that it’s a must-read for me. It’s geared toward middle to high school, so I’ll probably read it with my girls, just to be safe. Vincent and Theo by Deborah Heiligman is definitely on my summer list!
I’ll end with a poetry book. I love ’em, and my kids do, too. Poems and bugs–what’s not to love? 🙂 Cricket in the Thicket gets a million quadrillion extra bonus points because it’s illustrated by my always-and-forever favorite, Melissa Sweet ( see here, here, here, here, here, and here). (See! I told you she’s my favorite.)
This might be the first read-aloud post in which I’ve almost solely written about the books we’re going to read instead of what we have read. Ha. That’s the way life is rolling for me these days. If you’ve made it this far in this rambly post, I have one more question for you: if you were going to read a novel to all of your children, from ages thirteen down to four (though the four year old comes and goes, so I don’t really count him in my decision-making process), what would you read? I’m thinking about revisiting Little Britches, but I’m also open to a new-to-us read. Any ideas?
Link me up below to your read aloud posts!