Book reco' for beginning reading, but not easy-reader style? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-15-2008, 02:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Our just-turned five yr old son wants to read very much. He knew several sight words by 18 months, but as I wrote in another post, he has had the strangest stop and start way of learning the written language, and doesn't take well to instruction. At all. He'll accept discussion now, thankfully, but last year if I even pointed to a repeated letter in a book, he'd close it as he rolled his eyes and walk away, annoyed at me.

Anyway, he fully understands books like those in the Chronicles of Narnia (we are currently reading through these), Treasure Island, Swiss Family Robinson, and others. He understood both Alice books by Lewis Caroll, and The Wizard of Oz, and others at about the same level nearly two years ago. I read memoirs of naturalists working in the field, encyclopaedias, excerpts from the books I'm reading, etc...; all of these are written for adults.

He absolutely refuses to read or listen to easy-readers of any sort. He would be willing to read any naturalist book, if it is written for adults; he feels annoyed by those written for children- even the national geographic ones. He wants lots and lots of details, complex ideas and multi-syllabic words. The thing is that it is difficult to help him read along with such small text in these books, and sometimes they have subdivided pages, which is even worse for sharing a book, yk?

It just occurred to me that we'll be moving to a city with a library next month :. Has anyone used large print books for easy-reading material for beginning readers? Did that work out? I'm thinking that finding Narnia in large print might be just what he needs.

Does that make sense? Am I missing something? I read spontaneously as a child and have no idea how others learn to read. Dh is the same and with ds1 being so resistant to instruction, we have been somewhat disarmed in our attempts. We don't push him to read, and thankfully, he is interested in discussion about this because now we talk about what he wants and why and how he wants to go about it, but he doesn't really know how he wants to approach it either. He mostly just wants to be treated as an adult (which we do, but he thinks that for him to feel like an equal to us, he has to just do things on his own- no matter how often we share the things that we have sought help to do, because we need it sometimes too), but is frustrated with the apparent asynchronicity between his abilities and his expectations. Familiar?

Oh, and I should mention that he learns best through contextual deduction.

Are there other books you might recommend? I thought I had a specific question, but now I'm just wondering what others have done if anyone else has been/is in the same situation. That and I'm going to try the large print books at the library as soon as we arrive in our new city (so I answered my own question...).

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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Old 08-15-2008, 03:03 AM
 
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Do you have any Richard Scarry Books like What do People do All DaY?
http://www.amazon.com/Richard-Scarry.../dp/0394818237

They are not easy readers, but the text is in chunks on the page, and there is a lot of context in the pictures. But it sounds like your son doesn't have exposure to high quality picture books or does not like them? Picture books are awesome. Please read them yourself and demonstrate that looking at beautiful, artful images is something that adults do.

Coffee table books are also really nice, because the text is often broken into different blocks with pictures and images.

But I would just bring him to the library and let him go wild. Find a Children's literature library and ask him/her what they might recommend based on your child's interest.

My son has read hungrily since age 4, but will really read anything--even now--he will read ingredient lists, or picture books, or novels.... but then again, I read anything as well...

I think the large print might work, but the selection will be limited. Good luck and I hope that this helps...

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Old 08-15-2008, 04:06 AM
 
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I would always just flip through the books at the library to find ones with suitably large text. Sadly, they're few and far between, but it's worth the effort to find them.
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:20 AM
 
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Would he like comic books or graphic novels? Because of the graphics, they can have pretty complex stories for their reading level.
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Old 08-16-2008, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by carmel23 View Post
Do you have any Richard Scarry Books like What do People do All DaY?
http://www.amazon.com/Richard-Scarry.../dp/0394818237

They are not easy readers, but the text is in chunks on the page, and there is a lot of context in the pictures. But it sounds like your son doesn't have exposure to high quality picture books or does not like them? Picture books are awesome. Please read them yourself and demonstrate that looking at beautiful, artful images is something that adults do.

Coffee table books are also really nice, because the text is often broken into different blocks with pictures and images.
Yes, we do actually have that book, but it doesn't challenge his vocabulary (and I loath grammatical errors in children's books -notoriously Scarry- but that's my preference...); I do like it though. I had to 'fix' another one because it had a picture of a construction worker (rhino) with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth :. When he was a baby, we read Things that Go until it literally wore out and dh was happy to let that remain absent because he hated it (again, grammatical errors)

I laughed because for some reason, I just assume that picture books are a given because I am a visual artist and they are my personal default; we have hundreds of art books, coffee table books, photojournalist's compilations, and children's picture books (oops, forgot to include this information, sorry. ) He adores these books, but again, prefers the adult ones with biographical and technical information, all in small type, not really great for reading along.

He sculpts like a maniac- he has wire or paper or some other material in his hands from morning until 10pm when he goes to bed, manipulating it into amazing forms all day (sometimes we have to physically- but very gently- remove it from his hands so he can eat a meal). Our house doesn't have a nook without a sculpted creature in it.

All that to say that yes, we do have many art and picture books, but that isn't what he's after for reading, at least it seems that way right now.

I was wondering if I could find graphic novels at the library; that might be a way in for him. It's been so long since I've been to a library, and the last time was when ds1 was a young toddler, that I am not familiar with what they might carry. We have over 2000 books in our collection, and with internet access, I haven't found too much need to go to one- although I would if there was one here, for our dc, especially.

On September 1st we'll be in the city, so I don't have to wait too long now.

Visiting the library is seriously the most exciting aspect of moving, after the mountains and proximity to the ocean, of course! :

Thanks for the ideas, mamas!

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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Old 08-16-2008, 06:15 PM
 
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I wonder if books about writing written for adults might help.
http://www.amazon.com/Letter-Perfect...8917472&sr=1-1
http://www.amazon.com/Ox-House-Stick...8917472&sr=1-2

Timmy's Mommy WARNINGyslexic typing with help of preschooler, beware of typos
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Old 08-16-2008, 07:05 PM
 
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I would let him just go through the library and see what he likes. Although that might be difficult if you try to limit or alter what the books contain. Censorship or altering books seems very grave to me; I'd rather discuss it with my children then alter the author's/artist's work (most cases of censorship are done with "protecting children" as an intent, but it hardly seems to help them but rather hurt their ability to filter information for themselves.) If the material is something that we're just not ready for I would avoid the book until later...

Sometimes we have to read some not so perfect books to recognize the better, more interesting ones out there, and if a child doesn't have the opportunity to read even bad books he/she will have trouble trusting his/her own ability to choose and develop taste... Like dark chocolate that has a bitterness making the sweetness all the more interesting.

Like Captain Underpants books, I don't have any interest in reading them but if my kids want to, fine with me. Developing a love of reading and discernment and an ability to contrast Captain Underpants and the Chronicles of Narnia... dig?

Most libraries have a graphic library section, if it is a fairly largish library. There is typically a youth graphic novel section and then an adult one--some of the adult graphic novels can be rather graphic, but there are some good ones. My guys love Tintin, but if you don't want your son to see a smoking hippo they might not work for you (a lot of smoking and drinking, but then adults do do that sometimes in reality).

One thing you might like to do is go to project Gutenberg and print out some of the classics or something you might think your child would enjoy in a large sized type. At least a few chapters....

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Old 08-16-2008, 11:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PreggieUBA2C View Post
Yes, we do actually have that book, but it doesn't challenge his vocabulary (and I loath grammatical errors in children's books -notoriously Scarry- but that's my preference...); I do like it though. I had to 'fix' another one because it had a picture of a construction worker (rhino) with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth :. When he was a baby, we read Things that Go until it literally wore out and dh was happy to let that remain absent because he hated it (again, grammatical errors)

I laughed because for some reason, I just assume that picture books are a given because I am a visual artist and they are my personal default; we have hundreds of art books, coffee table books, photojournalist's compilations, and children's picture books (oops, forgot to include this information, sorry. ) He adores these books, but again, prefers the adult ones with biographical and technical information, all in small type, not really great for reading along.

He sculpts like a maniac- he has wire or paper or some other material in his hands from morning until 10pm when he goes to bed, manipulating it into amazing forms all day (sometimes we have to physically- but very gently- remove it from his hands so he can eat a meal). Our house doesn't have a nook without a sculpted creature in it.

All that to say that yes, we do have many art and picture books, but that isn't what he's after for reading, at least it seems that way right now.

I was wondering if I could find graphic novels at the library; that might be a way in for him. It's been so long since I've been to a library, and the last time was when ds1 was a young toddler, that I am not familiar with what they might carry. We have over 2000 books in our collection, and with internet access, I haven't found too much need to go to one- although I would if there was one here, for our dc, especially.

On September 1st we'll be in the city, so I don't have to wait too long now.

Visiting the library is seriously the most exciting aspect of moving, after the mountains and proximity to the ocean, of course! :

Thanks for the ideas, mamas!
If you want to have a few ideas about which graphic novels you're looking for, here's a website devoted to them: http://www.noflyingnotights.com/

Good luck!

ZM
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