Search This Blog

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Great Read-a-Loud Books

Being a mom is exhausting, right? From the moment you get up in the morning, you're making meals, cleaning them up, chasing the kids, answering phone calls, keeping up with the bills and the mail, volunteering in the classroom, helping with homework, putting on band-aids, walking children to time-out, force-feeding them vegetables...*sigh*

I remember asking my future sister-in-law, when she had just two children, "how often do you find yourself sitting back and just saying to yourself, 'I LOVE being a mom - I just LOVE this!" I was asking because, with her super-cute kids, I fully expected her to say: "ALL the time!" But she was more honest. "Mmmm...10 percent?" Her answer surprised me at the time, but I totally get it now. First of all, for a mom to even find the moment to sit back and think to herself is rare enough, but furthermore sometimes it's a down-right difficult and thankless job most of the time.

That being said, I am in love with being a mom. And that 10 percent or so that I really do get a moment to think about how lucky I am, there is such an intense feeling of love and fulfillment that it makes it all worth it. In those moments, I want to squeeze my kids with tight hugs until they are flat as a pancake!

My favorite moment during our day is bedtime. The house gets still and quiet. The kids get through the routine pretty much on their own (except my two-year old, but he's fun to help): brush teeth, potty, take flouride, wash face. Then we pile into a kids bed (we change it up), and read. I used to have each child read to me for 10-15 minutes, but this became difficult. I might re-institute the tradition later. Right now, they read to me in the morning after breakfast, and at night I read a few chapters of a great book to them.

There is a lot of evidence out there to show that reading to your children can produce a life-long love of reading in them, not to mention increasing their voabulary and attention span. But the best benefit of all is having a great story to laugh about, talk about, and make references to with your kids. I love the questions they come up with to ask, and the plot twists they suggest.

Here are some books we have really enjoyed so far:

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C Wrede
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
The BFG and Matilda by Roald Dahl

And here are some books I am anxious to dig into with them:

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Mr Poppers Penguins by Richard Atwater
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls
Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Percy Jackson series?
The Last Of The Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Edwards
The Story of Doctor Doolittle by Hugh Lofting

I'd love to hear what you blog-readers enjoyed as children, or what you've had success reading to your kids. Please share!


  1. "the Incredible Journey of Edward Tulane" It is soo great! Alta didn't want us to stop. Best kids book I have read in a long time. This summer, I think I have narrowed our summer reading to, "Sideways stories from wayside high" (easy read, funny book that I'm sure the kids will love) and "the Phantom Tollbooth" (time travel book, a classic).

  2. The Great Brain series by John Fitzgerald are really great reads too. Just know that almost anything you read to your children will become their favorites. Harry Potter ( when they are a little older) is great out loud too.