Finally, it occurred to me to move away from the picture books. We started reading books like Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, The Voyage of Doctor Doolittle, The Enormous Egg and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This was certainly an improvement. He was entertained. I was entertained. He always begged for me to read more. We were happy.
Fast forward a couple more years. I can hardly stand to read picture books to my children anymore. I do it, of course. Any love of books will serve a child well and Sadie is still a little bit young to follow lengthy stories and plots, although I know she's listening while she plays. Every once in awhile she pipes up with a question or comment. There are some well-written children's picture books out there, but they are hard to come by if you ask me. It seems that the sillier they are, the more popular they are. And, this trend seems to be continuing with books targeted at late-elementary school age children. My goodness.
Thankfully, there is so much wonderful (real) literature for children out there I feel as if I'm a child in a candy store having to choose only a certain number of pieces out of thousands of choices (all chocolate, mind you).
Two books we recently finished which go along nicely with the subject of early American history (which we are studying this year) are The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare (thank you, Kimberlee)...
and Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink (thank you, Cinde).
These books are full of rich adventure, history and language. You do not need to be studying early American history to enjoy these. In fact, even if you are reading them for history purposes, you won't feel like you are. These books are wonderful. We highly recommend them both.
I want to read living books to my children. I want them to see a larger picture, to think beyond themselves and their little worlds. I want to read them stories that show courage, honor, ingenuity, perseverance and, most of all, compassion. Instead of them pretending to be animals that can ride bikes or children that are forever messy, I delight when I hear my kids pretending to build a claim shanty (and refer to it as such) or when I see Sam fashioning a bow and arrow from tinker toys (to hunt animals for survival).
Sam heading off outside with his tinker toy bow and arrows (it really worked). Lacking a quiver, he used his back pocket.
We need to give our kids some credit and leave the twaddle behind. You and your children will enjoy reading so much more.
Some other books we've enjoyed this past year are...
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George (I cried)
Julie of the Wolves also by Jean Craighead George
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls (I cried again)
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (abridged version) original by Jules Verne This was Sam's choice. This abridged version's language was dull as all get out to me, but Sam evidently didn't mind it and loved the book.
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
I'm open to suggestions, folks. What books do you recommend? Pin It