Ever since Nina (6) learned to read (her big sisters taught her over two years ago, which is awesome, because even though I’m a teacher by trade, I’d rather eat a tarantula than teach a child phonics), we’ve been reading books out loud together.
Our favorite place to read used to be the bus stop, followed closely by my bed. Lately, we’ve been hanging out on the couch.
The plan is that she’ll have her own blog (so will her sisters) in the fall and talk more about books and stuff.
But, for now, here are some of the books we’ve read together this past year (and what we thought of them):
Clementine and the Family Meeting (Sara Pennypacker)
nina: i really liked the book it was so funny. her mom was pregnant and clemetine was sure not happy. and the hamster was pregnant too. and the end was really good.
Mom: I love Clementine with everything in me. She’s my favorite kind of character–a smart, sassy, super-quirky little girl who just can’t help it, she’s always in trouble. If you haven’t read her, READ HER. There are lots of books in the series: Clementine, Clementine and the Friend of the Week, The Talented Clementine, Clementine’s Letter. The writing is fabulous (and hilarious) and the illustrations are awesome. One of my favorite kids’ series ever.
Ivy + Bean and the Ghost that Had to Go (Annie Barrows)
nina: it was hilaurus. we cryed/laughing the whole way through the book. you might think ivy is the one with the black hair but it’s opposite.
Mom: I don’t remember crying, but we definitely laughed a lot. Ivy and Bean aren’t quite as awesome as Clementine, but they’re sweet and funny and also get in a lot of trouble together. And I love their names: Ivy + Bean. Perfect. These books are easy to read with great illustrations.
The Boxcar Children (Gertrude Chandler Warner)
nina: the boxcar children was fun. one time they went in to a bakery. and the baker’s were mad and the children walked out .and found a hay truck and slept in hay. and then the next day one of the children went in the wood’s and found a couple piece’s of cardboard and that’s how they made the boxcar.
Mom: I’ve probably read the Boxcar Children 10 times in the past 30 years. LOVE it. Although this last time I read it, I didn’t find it as charming as I’d remembered. The writing isn’t all that spectacular. But the story is great. Orphaned kids striking out on their own, making do with what they can scrounge up. Who doesn’t love that kind of plot? The series has over 100 books in it (no lie), but once the kids go from rags to riches, it’s not all that exciting anymore.
The Masterwork of a Painting Elephant (Michelle Cuevas)
nina: that book was hilarious. and funny and weird . first this boy was in his crib. and a pigeon flew in the window. and then got took to a orphanage. and the orphanage was close to a panting elephant. and the elephant’s work was right by the orphanage. then one day the elephant picked up the basket with the boy in it . then this boy got named by the elephant. his name was pigeon. and the elephant’s name was birch. and at the end of the book the got on a train that was on a boat. and both of them were in the circus. and pigeon’s mom and dad were in the circus too. and birch’s friend was in the circus too. oh yeah um on the train only girl could go on the boat. so they had to dress up like girl’s. and it started to rain and the make up washed off. but they made it too the circus.
Mom: This book caught our eye at the library because of the cover: a drawing of a boy riding an elephant. Ever since riding/feeding/being hugged by elephants in Thailand, we’re kind of obsessed. But this book was just a little weird. Okay, a lot weird. Nina’s summary is pretty right on (minus a few weird things she left out). So, if you like weird and you like elephants, ding ding ding! This is the book for you! We just got another book at the library, Tua and the Elephant, about a little girl who lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I have much higher hopes for this one.
Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
nina: that book was funny. probably some of you probably seen the movie and the book.one night this girl named fern was hearing something. and went in to the barn were her dad worked with a pregnant pig. fern went in to the barn and saw her dad about too kill a baby pig. then stoped her dad from killing it.then she want it to be her pet.and then she went to school with it and hid it in her desk and got a bottle and fed it.and did it when her teacher wasn’t looking. and then her teacher cought her.and in the end the pig got big and had to go in the barn.and at night the pig and was hearing somthing. it was charlote the spider.then the family went to the fair.and there were two pigs. and wilburt wone.and fern had a freind there.and after that that at the fair charlote died. then when they got back the egg sack opened up. at the barn and the babys were hanging from the ceilng and wilburt named them.
Mom: Well, I flat-out LOVE Charlotte’s Web. One of the best books EVER. Pure genius. Amazing writing. Phenomenal story line. Beautiful. If you haven’t read Charlotte’s Web sometime in your life, it’s just criminal. Don’t let another day go by.
(I love how Nina’s commentary progressed from book review to Cliff Notes as this post went along.)
Do any of these books sound like something you or your kiddos would like to read? What would you recommend Nina and I add to our To-Read-Together List?
(All of these book links are hooked up with our Amazon Associates account. If you happen to buy any of them after you click the link, Nina and I will get a small percentage of your purchase price. Nina will probably buy fruit snacks with her cut. I will buy homegrown tomatoes and sweet corn.)