My Mom has always used the phrase “readers are leaders” ever since I was a young child. I love to read, but I was not always the best or most advanced reader. As a matter of fact when learning to read while in the first grade at Korger Chestnut elementary I was placed in the slow reading group. The reading groups all had different bird names like “robins” and “blue birds”. Kids are smart and I realized we were separated by ability levels and the group I was placed in was definitely the slow group. In the end it didn’t matter. I learned to read well eventually. I became an avid reader in my youth. As a matter of fact, I remember my first chapter books I read in elementary school. It was the American Girl series books that I checked out at Stillson Elementary in 4th grade. I read the entire Samantha series and then the Kristen series. American Girl books are older than people realize. They were around when I was in Elementary school! Not all, but some were published at that time, as I read them! I wish they had the dolls at that time. I would have loved to own one. I wonder if it’s ok for me to get a Samantha doll now…maybe Santa will bring me one.
I decided this summer that I would start reading chapter books to Brielle at bedtime. I have read Pinkalicious about 100 times now, so I thought it would be nice to have a little change. I started to think about what books were read aloud to me as a child. I remembered that my second grade teacher at Korger Chestnut had read “Charlotte’s Web” out loud to our class and I loved it. That is the book I decided to read to Brielle. It took about a month, but at bedtime we would read this book and she and I became immersed in the words and images in conjured in our minds. She enjoyed it and I did too.
Now that we finished Charlotte’s Web I decided we will start reading the American Girl books. She is at that age where she will start asking for the dolls, so I thought it would be great to actually read a series or two before she gets one of the dolls. The doll will hold more value to her if she knows the stories that go with the doll. I went on eBay and purchased three boxed sets. They are published differently than the boxed sets now, but I wanted the traditional boxed sets. eBay helped me find what I wanted! We are halfway through our first Samantha book already!
Goodreads.com has a good list of books that are voted for best reading aloud to kids.
I saw some great books on this list including “Little House on the Prairie”. I am building our library already. It is so nice to read “real” books to Brielle.
I used to read books aloud in the car when we drove out to Captiva Island on Sunday mornings. (My husband drove!) We read the Wind in the Willows books. I use the plural, because an author who was a great fan of the original chose to create sequels. His devotion to the original was evident and he created sequels that were delightful–and so attuned to the writing and characters that you would not know there were different authors. Commuting, as compared to road trips, can be good for chapter book reading.
That is wonderful!
I also kept a reading journal of the books that I read to Trevor as well as the books that I read for book club or on my own. One year, we had over a book per day read to Trevor. Another reading idea was to put personalized bookplates in the kids’ books for pride of ownership. It is a wonderful memory now to take down a book from my children’s library and the bookplate reminds us of the recipient and occasion of giving.
I absolutely love the book plate idea. Thank you for sharing!