Need recs for books to read to almost 5 year old - similar to Wind in the Willows, Casual Observer - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 01-04-2013, 06:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all -

 

I'm looking for books to read to my almost 5 yo son.

 

These days he's really enjoying books with lots of text and only one picture per page, like Mole's Christmas from Wind in the Willows. We just edit as we go for parts that are too intense for him, like Mole whinging on and on and being too morose - that tends to make my son sad. For context, we also have to edit all the Elsa Beskow books because, for example, Vara the Viper is too scary.

 

I feel constrained because he's ready attention-span-wise for the length and depth of story that usually has more content then we are comfortable giving him. Also, the reading sessions are usually at bedtime, so we have no need for intense stories at that hour.

 

Subject matter could be anything mostly gentle, even if small edits are needed, but he especially favors anything to do with water, ocean life, boating, fishing, etc.

 

Thanks for any thoughts on keeping my little one interested and protected at the same time!


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#2 of 15 Old 01-05-2013, 01:50 AM
 
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The Little House books might fit the bill, pictures here and there, but more text.  There are some parts that require censoring (talk about American Indians, mostly), but they are uplifiting on the whole.  Little House in the Big woods would be a good place to start, I think, and Farmer Boy.  I look forward to seeing what others suggest.


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#3 of 15 Old 01-05-2013, 01:12 PM
 
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Ds (5 yo) is very sensitive to stories/drama etc.  He enjoys Little Bear, Frog and Toad (although there are about 3 Frog and Toad stories we cannot read because they freak him out).  

 

We recently reread Winnie the Pooh (we had read it last year or the year before I think) and he fell in love with it.  We then had to go immediately to the library and get The House on Pooh Corner and Return to the Hundred Acre Woods (which is actually a different author).  The Pooh books work well because each chapter is self-contained (you can also find each chapter as it's own book with more pictures usually at the library) so while some of the story travels from chapter to chapter you are never left on a cliff hanger or high suspense moment at the end of a chapter.  There were several days last month that ds would only respond if called Christopher Robin.

 

I can't vouch for all of these books but this list might be helpful for some ideas.

 

And there is this list, but it is aimed at slightly older kids and I know my ds would be freaked out by several of these books.

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#4 of 15 Old 01-08-2013, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Great ideas - thank you both!

 

We've started Little House on the Prairie, and he's sooooo into it I had to read it at breakfast too. Heavily edited, but it's working great for both of us. I can't wait to go through those lists Tbone!

 

Anyone else? Any more?


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#5 of 15 Old 01-09-2013, 08:15 PM
 
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Have you tried the Tiptoes Lightly books by Reg Down?  They have more pictures to words than some of the books already mentioned, but are such wonderfully sweet and gentle stories.  My four year old loves them and the five year old enjoys them also, if I can get her to take a break from the Little House books.

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#6 of 15 Old 01-10-2013, 07:32 AM
 
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The Lighthouse Family series by Cynthia Rylant may suit. It's been a long time since my kids were that age, and they weren't particularly sensitive. So I'm not sure about any troublesome aspects. 

 

They don't have the natural aspect that you are looking for, but you might try books like 

 

Sophie's Tom by Dick King-Smith

Emil's Clever Pig by Astrid Lindgren

Freddy the Pig by Walter R. Brooks 

 

They are all from series, so if he likes them you should be able to find more.

 

If he is that sensitive, though, you may be more successful with putting together your own stories for him. It's fairly easy these days using some desktop publishing and a few photos or illustrations. I think you will have a lot of difficulty finding books without some level of conflict or struggle or touching on emotions like sadness, loneliness, fear and anger, even for early readers. 

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#7 of 15 Old 01-13-2013, 02:27 PM
 
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I don't think anyone else mentioned the TumTum & Nutmeg books by Emily Bearn. There are a couple of hardbacks available that have several separate stories in them that are each then broken into chapters. I enjoyed those mice as much as my daughter always has!
 


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#8 of 15 Old 01-13-2013, 09:07 PM
 
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barefoot books


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#9 of 15 Old 01-13-2013, 09:41 PM
 
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Oops! Sorry. Just saw this is in Waldorf. I have no idea of any of these will meet your needs. Still, you can read through the list and see.

I'm trying to remember what we read when my son was five. Some of these may have been when he was older.
-- or younger. I don't really recall when we read what.



Magic School Bus picture books

Old series -- Abracadabra

Cam Jansen

Wizard at Work (each chapter is mini story)

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle

Amelia Bedelia

Cheaper by the Dozen

I can't think of the author. They're picture books. One has a sleep walking father who ends up sleeping on top of the refrigerator.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Various alphabet books

Five Little Monkeys

Dr. Suess books and Berenstein (not sure if I got the spelling right)Bears books.
P.D.Eastman books

Uncle Wiggly

Sesame Street books were at our library. They had lots of short stories in them.

Spencer Johnson children's books (ValueTales)
Who Moved my Cheese for children


Usborne puzzle books

The Borrowers

When older, A to Z mysteries, encyclopedia brown, a series about a third grade detective,, and so many more. Madeleine L'Engle books. Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

Even older, Deltora Quest.

I'll have to dig out the booklist I made last year.

I hope some of these tickle your fancy.



Ask at your local library and bookstore.
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#10 of 15 Old 01-14-2013, 03:50 PM
 
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Quote:

Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

 

I second this one. I think E. was 6 when we read this. She LOVED it. I grew up watching the movie.


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#11 of 15 Old 01-14-2013, 04:13 PM
 
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You might want to look into:

 

Jenny and the Cat Club  (and all the other Jenny Stories)-  They're older and my daughters just love them. (I loved them as a kid as well!)

 

Anna Hibiscus-  Stories of Anna and her big family in Africa.  Just wonderful!

 

 

It just occurred to me that you're asking for your son and I've just recommended books with girls names in the titles.  I really don't think that either are particularly girlish. The themes are friendship, family, fitting in, kindness, adventure.  


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#12 of 15 Old 01-16-2013, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So great! Thanks everyone! I'm going to print out the lists and make a big trip to the library...


Mom of one child (2008), wife of one husband, tender of dogs, cats and chickens. Household interests: ocean life (kid), bitcoins (husband), simplifying (me).

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#13 of 15 Old 02-07-2013, 03:14 PM
 
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Hey there!

 

It has not been mentioned by anyone I think and I REALLY can vouch for these ;)

 

Everything written by Astrid Lindgren.

 

Not all of her beautiful children's books have been translated into english, but many have! You can find a long list on amazon :)

 

The chapters are usually very short, just right for kids attention spans. And they are beautifully written pieces of literature, that encourage, rather than scare. Capture and fascinate, rather than get excited and go crazy :P I love her 'Tomten' books, the books about the children from Noisy Village, of course Pippi Longstocking...I don't even know all the titles in english - I am German :D But I recently ordered a bunch used for really cheap on amazon for my in home daycare and know, that I will be reading them to my own children as well...as they have been read to me, when I was little :)

 

They really awaken children's imagination and the characters are lovely. She wrote most of her books for her own daughter and that shines through ;)

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#14 of 15 Old 05-17-2013, 11:54 AM
 
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We are also loving the Thornton Burgess books.  I downloaded many of them for free to my kindle, as they are in the public domain.  Beautiful, well-written stories about different animals.  We are in the middle of Prickly Porky (a porcupine story) right now :)  The chapters are short, which makes them perfect for read alouds.  I typically read two chapters a night for our bedtime story.


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#15 of 15 Old 07-04-2013, 07:10 PM
 
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Second the Lighthouse Family series by Rylant.  Lovely and sweet.
 

We are currently reading Tal and His Marvelous Adventures with Noom-Zor-Noom and my 5 and 9 year olds are enthralled.  The book follows the adventures of a young boy, an old man and a talking donkey through an OZ-like land.  Meanwhile each chapter features a beautiful short story told by the old man to the boy to pass time along the way.

 

Swiss Family Robinson is also a hit.  Sadly the original is too difficult, so we deal with the not-so-beautiful-but-still-get-the-drift EZ / beginner version at B and N. Language is lame but story is fun.

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