The first quarter of 2012 has been spare on the blogging front, but it’s been busy and delightful on the home front from my perspective! My daughter is now five weeks old, and my son (age 4) and I are starting to settle into a routine again of reading picture books. I’m reading my baby The Secret Garden aloud during nursing sessions, and occasionally my son and I read a chapter in a Boxcar Children novel.
In general, the past few months have found my son steering himself toward the early reader books, partly because he loves the sense of accomplishment when he can read to me and partly because I haven’t had as much time to read picture books to him! We have found some memorable picture books in the past weeks, but we haven’t been plowing through them at the rate (30+ a week) that we read them last year. We both are eagerly awaiting the time when our baby will show an interest in the board books that her big brother tries to show her.
The Fly Guy books by Tedd Arnold have been a huge hit with my young reader! He loves that he is able to read every word of the book himself, and the fact that the simple text was divided into “chapters” gave him an added degree of pride, since that makes it seem like a “big kid” book. Besides the format of the book, Raisin loved the content: what could be better than a boy with a gross pet fly? I cringed every time he requested the books, but the best part was he could take charge of the reading time himself. Since I don’t read these to him, I didn’t have to think too hard about the gross-ness of the concept of a child nurturing a relationship with a fly, of all things.
The Honey Bunny and PJ Funnybunny books by Marilyn Sadler also make an impression on my young reader. Raisin enjoyed the stories: one about magic (P.J. Funnybunny’s Bag of Tricks) and others about buying things for friends (Money Money Honey Bunny), family relationships between brother and sister (P.J. Funnybunny Camps Out), and so forth. I liked the rhyming and rhythm of the stories as an adult assisting my young reader.
The early reader series of We Both Read books (published by Treasure Bay) has begun a new tradition in our parent-child reading. Those books are designed with parent-child reading in mind: the parent reads a harder, more complex page, and then the child reads the next page. Since we discovered these books, when we read together, my son likes to take one page and assign me the other.
I love how, even in harder-to-read picture books, my son normally does not mind taking charge of a side of the book. This challenges him even when we’re not reading a “We Both Read” book.
We’ve read a few of the fairy tale books in the We Both Read series: Jack and the Beanstalk, The Frog Prince, and so forth. I have not necessarily been impressed with the retellings of the fairy tales, but it’s the parent-child format of the books that bring us back for more.
What have you been reading with your children this month?