If you’ve been keeping up with the saga here at the House of Hope, you’ll already know that I spent a week, more or less, sick, and then a week, more or less, recuperating. This, my friends, was as formidable a hindrance to reading aloud as we’ve faced yet. That means that today I have nothing in the way of chapter books to report. We are very close to finishing our lunchtime history read-turned-bedtime book, Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes. I hope to share my thoughts on it in the next few days, at least before the month’s Newbery Through the Decades post goes up on March 31. We got almost half way through The Hobbit before I succumbed to The Sickness, and since then we’ve been reading Johnny Tremain at night in hopes of finishing it sooner rather than later. We will definitely get back to The Hobbit; it was a great enjoyment to us all, with the exception of one girl who occasionally goes to sleep before we finish the L-O-N-G chapters when I push through and try to read one in one sitting.
As for what we pick up next, well, obviously The Hobbit is first on the list. I’m also considering Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham for our history read-aloud, mostly because I’ve read such glowing reviews of it but have never actually read it myself. It is also a Newbery winner from the 1950s, so it will fit nicely with the Newbery Through the Decades challenge for next month.
What I do want to mention today is a fun picture book that the DLM has really enjoyed. I purchased this one at Goodwill when Steady Eddie and I trekked up to Nashville just before Christmas. I just gave it to the DLM, though, this month because I’m organized like that.
Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann is a mostly wordless picture book, a genre which I used to not appreciate at all. I’ve come to appreciate these books more as I’ve read
hundreds thousands of picture books over the past decade. The DLM seems to enjoy them more than the girls every did, so there is that, too. Like Rathmann’s Office Buckle and Gloria, this book requires a certain level of sophisticated observation that the DLM is dancing right along the edge of. (I say that because I read Officer Buckle and Gloria aloud to his preschool class at co-op, and most of the kids in that class didn’t really get it.) In both books something is going on unbeknownst to the human main character; an animal is outsmarting him. It makes for high hilarity if the listening kid gets it; if not, it makes for puzzled boredom. Of the two, Good Night, Gorilla is the easier one to “get.” The DLM gives it a Highly Recommended. (Putnam, 1995)
By way of offering you something, might I suggest that you check out my list of book review links to the chapter books I’ve read aloud? At fifty-five books, it’s nowhere near complete, and neither is it well organized, but I like to think it’s a great resource anyway.
What have you been reading aloud this month? Please, share links to your blog posts in the comments, or feel free just to comment with what you’ve been reading. I’d love to hear about it!