Looking back over the year 2010, my girls and I have enjoyed a lot of good books together. Our reading together has changed somewhat since Lulu is now a first grader–much of our reading aloud time is spent on history and science read-alouds, but we still manage to do quite a bit of fun reading, too. Another difference is that Lulu’s reading has taken off in the past few months, and she now devours short chapter books on her own. I’m loving this new development, but it also helps me realize how short the period is that our children are really intellectually dependent upon us. I remember with fondness our Five in a Row days, and I’m awfully glad we have the DLM’s preschool years ahead of us.
According to my records here at Hope Is the Word, I read eighteen chapter books aloud to my girls this year. That’s a nice number–more than one a month, obviously. Here’s the list, with links to my reviews:
- Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
- The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
- Socks by Beverly Cleary
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary
- Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
- Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
- Betsy-Tacy and Tib by Maud Hart Lovelace
- Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes
- The Bears on Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh (Lulu read it aloud!)
- Pinky Pye by Eleanor Estes
- Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill by Maud Hart Lovelace
- Squanto: Friend of the Pilgrims by Clyde Robert Bulla
- The First Thanksgiving by Lena Barksdale
- The Twenty-four Days Before Christmas by Madeleine L’Engle
- The Light at Tern Rock by Julia L. Sauer
- The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
(I didn’t review The Hundred Dresses, which isn’t technically a chapter book but is too long and picture-less to be considered a picture book. We finished it just before Christmas, when I couldn’t countenance the thought of a book review. It’s a Newbery winner, so I’ll let the metallic seal on its cover speak for it.)
When I asked Lulu what her favorite chapter books from this year were, she listed The Wizard of Oz, Ramona the Brave, Peter Pan, Prince Caspian, The Secret Garden, and Farmer Boy. Her number one pick was Prince Caspian. 🙂 Her response to my query of why was this: “I liked how Caspian ran away and his uncle didn’t find out.” She has developed quite a love for Narnia again lately; most mornings, she gets out of bed and turns on an audiobook in hers and Louise’s bedroom, and the audio-pick for the last several weeks has been The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I don’t know if it’s because of the season or what, but she particularly favors the chapter in which the Beavers and Peter, Susan, and Lucy meet Father Christmas. It’s really quite nice to wake up and hear Narnia thawing in the other room. 🙂
Louise listed three books as her top picks: Farmer Boy, Peter Pan, and Betsy-Tacy and Tib Go Over the Big Hill. Although she couldn’t articulate why, Betsy-Tacy and Tib Go Over the Big Hill was her favorite. (Bookie Woogie, this ain’t. It’s a skill I need to work on.)
I couldn’t have predicted their favorites. They like what they like. I think that listening to audiobooks (over and over, even after I’ve read the story aloud) obviously helps them keep some stories in their minds. For example, Peter Pan is a book we suffered through read together back in the summer, and given my poor attempt at reading it well, it really shouldn’t have been one of their top picks. However, in November we had an opportunity to see a live performance of the play based on the story at the beautiful Alabama Shakespeare Festival. On our drive south, the girls listened to the audiobook of Peter Pan, so the story would be fresh in their minds. The play was wonderful–Peter Pan flew out over the audience and sprinkled us with fairy dust! The pirates entered the theater from the rear, surprised us, and then regaled us with their lovely voices! (Please indulge me this little mini-review in the middle of my year-end post. I meant to write up a post about our experience, but I ran out of time.) Really, it was excellent in every possible way. I even have a picture of the lovely theater to share:
(I realize this nothing whatever to do with this post, really, but I wanted to share it. 🙂 )
I myself would be hard pressed to pick a favorite. I loved the Betsy-Tacy books we read, of course, but I also loved Ginger Pye and Pinky Pye. The Bears on Hemlock Mountain holds a special place in my heart because Lulu did the reading and I did the listening. The Light at Tern Rock was a surprise to me–I loved it!
In short, it has been a year of good reading. This doesn’t even scratch the surface, though–we read so many wonderful picture books, too!
What about you and your family? What have you been enjoying lately? What have been your favorites from 2010? Write up your own post and link it up in the comments, or simply leave a comment sharing the details. Either way, have a happy Read Aloud Thursday, the last of 2010!