Today I wanted to share an alphabet book I’ve had for a couple of years but that I recently pulled out to read to the DLM. I first learned of this book when I heard Sonya Shafer of Simply Charlotte Mason speak at a homeschooling conference. She cited it as an alphabet book she likes because of its open-ended nature–plenty of room for the discussion of ideas. Well, I’ve never been a huge alphabet book fan, so I had to have this one. It’s actually kind of funny that I bought it since both my girls were well past the typical age to “need” an alphabet book. So, there it sat, until one day I decided to just go for it with the DLM. (My lightbulb moment was that I’m probably never going to have the planning time I crave to make well-coordinated preschool “lessons” for him.) I was surprised at how much he enjoyed The Alphabet Room by Sara Pinto. We read it twice in one sitting and then he requested it again the next day. It’s a colorful lift-the-flap sort of book, about the size and heft of a square board book. The only words are the alphabetized ones that accompany the letters: A-apple; B-bowl; C-cat; and so on. The upper-case letter is on a contrasting field of color with the word in lowercase just below it. On the facing page is the object (apples, a bowl, etc.), and that brightly-colored panel opens up to reveal the alphabet room. At first the room only contains the apples, but with each succeeded letter, more objects are in the room. Each picture is different, so it’s fun to point out the different objects. Some of pictures are humorous; some are like a hidden object puzzle. I imagine you could spend all sorts of time with this book and your pre-reader. This one is definitely a cut above the usual. Highly Recommended. (Bloomsbury, 2003)
Of course, the DLM and I have been reading other books, but nothing else really stands out. I’d have to say that his favorites right now are the Froggy books by Jonathan London. (My girls went through this phase a few years ago.) Marc Brown’s Arthur books are also usually a hit, as is anything involving heavy equipment. 🙂
I did start reading the DLM his first official chapter book last week. He has demonstrated surprising attention to detail for some while now during the girls’ chapter book read-alouds, so I thought, why not? I picked My Father’s Dragon because it’s also next month’s mother/daughter Bookclub pick at the library. I read it aloud to my girls when they were 4 1/2 years and almost 3 years, so the DLM is right in the middle of that at 3 3/4 years. Of course, the girls are listening in again, too. If all goes well with this one, we’ll follow up with Elmer and the Dragon and The Dragons of Blueland.
I finally hit the wall with reading separate books with each girl. I was attempting to read Thimble Summer to Lulu and Caddie Woodlawn to Louise, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
However, we did finish The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander and The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright (who also wrote Thimble Summer). We all loved both of these books and are eager to move onto the next in each of these series. (In fact, we’re already about a third of the way through the next in the Chronicles of Prydain, The Castle of Llyr.) This year is shaping up to be the year of the series as far as our read-alouds go. Of course, I still sneak in a picture book or three with the girls, so check the links below for a few more links from moi. 🙂
Also of read-aloud interest–I am a sometimes reader of the blog Amongst Lovely Things, so naturally this announcement of a Read Aloud Revival podcast coming in April caught my attention. This post also has a list of archived links that look interesting.
How’s reading aloud going in your home? Chat with me in the comments, and/or leave your link in the linky list below.
Happy Read Aloud Thursday, friends!