I’m here! I’m here! 🙂 This week has been all about SAT testing and soccer, so I haven’t had much of a chance to get on the computer. But I’m here now! 🙂 Blogging has had to take a backseat to LIFE lately, but keeping up with what I read aloud to my children is very important to me, so I’m not giving up my Read Aloud Roundups. Plus, I want to hear what you’re reading!
First up is a picture book that we positively love! Life on Mars by Jon Agee is a hoot! The premise of this book is simple: a boy astronaut is exploring Mars with the mission of finding life there. Despite the naysayers, he believes there IS life on Mars. He looks and looks and finally finds a lone flower. However, as the cover art shows, there IS more life than that on Mars–it’s literally right under his nose and he just never sees it. Everyone who read this book in our home found it hilarious! The end is so satisfying. Agee’s text is simple and straightforward, as is his art, but it’s in the intersection of the two that the humor and surprise comes in. Even the youngest of listeners get it. Highly, Highly Recommended. (Dial, 2017)
If Mo Willems is the author, it’s pretty much a given that we’ll love it. Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs is pure read-aloud gold at our house. We enjoyed it yesterday as we sipped cream slushes at Sonic (seventy-nine cents!) between an orthodontic appointment and dental appointments. (The irony of that is not lost on me.) If you and your listeners like subtle, even snarky, humor, read this one. It takes the traditional Goldilocks story and turns it on its ear–sort of a fractured fairytale with a side of, yes, snark. This is yet another picture book that makes reading aloud very enjoyable for the parent. The DLM even enjoyed the endpapers. 🙂 Highly, Highly Recommended. (Balzer + Bray, 2012)
The DLM and I (with Benny along for the ride) also tackled a new Esther Averill story. This time we took a trip around the world with Jenny and her brothers in Jenny Goes to Sea. This one is just as much fun as all the other Jenny books we’ve read, with the added bonus of exotic settings. Of course, since this book was first published in 1957, some of the ports-of-call have changed names. That didn’t seem to bother my boys at all. 😉 The boys enjoyed taking out our big world map and plotting Jenny’s course around the world. Little by little, we’re making our way through all the Esther Averill books, and we’ve yet to read one that disappointed us. Other titles I’ve reviewed are Jenny and the Cat Club, The Hotel Cat, and The School for Cats.
The boys and I have also read and LOVED Henry and the Chalk Dragon by Jennifer Trafton this month. A full review is coming soon.
This month has brought about a new thing for me and the DLM: he has been reading a longish book to me, and all on his own. We’re about halfway through The Boxcar Children, and I have to say that I’m enjoying it. It is so gratifying for a young reader to finally leap the hurdle to complete fluency. I’m including that title here because I don’t want to forget it. <3
The girls and I have been reading the same books all month, and we’re pretty close to being through with one of them. Watership Down has been our world geography read-aloud, and some of us have enjoyed it and some have endured it. 😉 Due to the aforementioned busy-ness, we’ve been having a hard time finding time at night to continue our Year of Anne, though we are finally in Rainbow Valley, which is one of my favorite of the series. We will finish it! We also listened to (and read along with) A Midsummer Night’s Dream in March (I failed to note it in my Read Aloud Roundup post) and are currently in the middle of Two Gentlemen of Verona for our Shakespeare studies.
I also failed to mention in last month’s post that we listened to a dramatization of Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. I had been wanting to add some audiobook listening into our days, but I couldn’t think of something that we could all enjoy together. I knew that no one is too old to enjoy the poignancy and humor of A.A. Milne (and it had been–GASP!–eight years since I read it aloud to the girls), and I was right! The short chapters made the perfect lunchtime listen. Warning: Mama can’t read this one aloud OR listen to it without crying.
Last, I want to mention that we have enjoyed a book that I’ve had around for a long time and only in the past couple of months made an effort to share with my children. (This means that curriculum and book hoarding isn’t necessarily a bad thing!) The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat by Theoni Pappas offers short-but-engaging mathematical scenarios followed by a problem to solve or a mathematical principle to apply. It’s all written from the perspective of a mathematician’s cat, so that makes it somewhat accessible to younger listeners, though the concepts can be quite complex. We’re a few stories away from the end but it has been enough of a hit that I’ll consider going on to the next book in the series. (Wide World Publishing, 1997)
That’s a little snapshot of how we’ve spent most of our read-aloud time in April. How about your family? I’d love to hear all about it!