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Old 03-08-2007, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd like to start reading aloud some chapter books to my 5 year old ds. I remember a few from when I was a child, but they were from the 4th grade level mostly. Obviously, I'd like something that will hold his attention- any favorites/ideas?

TIA!
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:53 PM
 
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Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote her Little House on the Prairie series in such a way that they're written to the level of a child the age she was in each one. So The Little House in the Big Woods, the first one, would be perfect for that age. We got pulled into the series because of reading an excerpt somewhere of the part where the children were being watched or followed by wolves (can't recall the details now). - Lillian
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:59 PM
 
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"Three Tales of My Father's Dragon" by Ruth Stiles Gannett is the ultimate first chapter book readaloud for young kids, IMO.

The E.B. White children's novels are great next steps ("Charlotte's Web", "Stuart Little", "The Trumpet of the Swan").

Most of the books by Dick King-Smith and Michael Bond are good picks too.

Miranda

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Old 03-08-2007, 08:03 PM
 
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Here are some my DH and I began reading to DS #1 when DS #1 was about 5 or so...

The Mouse and the Motorcycle (and others in the series) by Beverly Cleary
Stuart Little by EB White
Charlotte's Web by EB White
My Father's Dragon (and others in the series) by Ruth Stiles Gannett
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Freckle Juice by Judy Blume
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

DS #1 was also into LEGO Bionicle -- big time! DH would read the Bionicle chapter books out loud to DS #1. Now DS #1 can read them to himself.

A great resource for picking read-aloud books is The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. Most public libraries have a copy, I think.
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:36 PM
 
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My 5-year-old DS really digs the Alan Ahlberg "Gaskitt Family" series. We actually just brought home The Cat Who Got Carried Away from the library today. There is also The Woman Who Won Things, The Children Who Smelled a Rat, and The Man Who Wore All His Clothes. Chapters are relatively short, there are a lot of illustrations, and the stories are great!
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:03 PM
 
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We're reading the Little House series, the Mary Poppins series (not at all like the movie), and just finished Pippi Longstocking with our 7yo girl, and these don't seem to hold the attention of our 4yo boy for long. The only chapter books that keep him interested are the Junie B. Jones books - entertaining for the whole family! The Junie B. audio books are great for long car rides too . . .
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:11 PM
 
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We're reading the Little House Series too. We are also enjoying Adventures of the Little Wooden Horse by Ursula Moray Williams.

The Boxcar Children series is wonderful also, though it models some very old fashioned gender roles.

ZM
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:20 PM
 
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Pippi! Oh god I can't wait untill my 3 yo will sit through chater books.....I'm so tired of picture books, and don't even get me starte don captain underpats : But yeah I love pippi!
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Old 03-09-2007, 12:52 AM
 
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I'm reading Woof by Allan Ahlberg to my 5 yo ds right now. It is about a boy who turns into a dog for no apparent reason. He's enjoying it.
http://www.amazon.com/Puffin-Modern-...3408215&sr=1-2

We'll have to check out the Gaskitt Family series next. I was hoping Ahlberg was a prolific writer.

He has really been enjoying Pokemon books by Tracy West. They really keep his attention.

We've listened to Charlotte's Web and My Father's Dragon. He enjoyed them but might not have listened to me reading them.

I suspect he would love the Captain Underpants books.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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Old 03-09-2007, 01:51 AM
 
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My dd won't be 5 until the beginning of April, but some of her favorites have been:

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (she re-reads this one a lot)
Mr. Popper's Penguins can't remember the author at the moment
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Lookinglassby Lewis Carroll (she loves singing "Jabberwokky" to the tune of "Greensleeves")
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Old 03-09-2007, 02:05 AM
 
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Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O'Brien

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson

Socks by Beverly Cleary

I second the suggestions of:

Pippi Longstocking
Mr. Popper's Penguins
Trumpet of the Swan
My Father's Dragon

All of these have been well-loved by my just-turned-five daughter.

Namaste!
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Old 03-09-2007, 10:27 AM
 
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My husband is currently reading Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" to our 5 year old son. He's greatly enjoying it. He's enjoyed many of the other books listed in this thread. One that I didn't see a mention of are the Henry Huggins books by Beverly Cleary. Those were a really big hit here. Some of the language is dated; mainly, there is sexist language at times like "dumb girl". But if you choose, it's easy to edit that while reading. My son could really relate to Henry's character. The fact that he's an older boy really appealed to him. And Henry is just so likeable.

HTH!
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Old 03-09-2007, 10:45 AM
 
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pippi longstocking! Had forgotten about that! Thanks to those who recommended it

our 5yr old dd LOVES Tashi books... Australian author and fantasy with gentle themes (except one about a cannibal witch that dd reasonably insists on skipping!!!). You could find it on amazon i think??

all the best
arun
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Old 03-09-2007, 10:49 AM
 
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oh i forgot...

she also has read heaps of gnid blighton and loves it... so faraway tree & adventures of the magic wishing chair.

the tone is remarkably moralistic with "bad, greedy children" spoiling the others fun etc.. When dd just turned 4 i could not help but skip over the most annoying bits. Now we can chat about it much more and really enjoy them.

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Old 03-09-2007, 12:19 PM
 
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Mr Popper's Penguins is written by Cynthia Rylant. I would recommend any of her series...especially the Henry and Mudge series (we've read all 22 of them!), and the Poppleton series. Each book has 3 to 4 "chapters" with a pic every other page or so and maybe 2-3 short paragraphs each page.

Question for you all...I am wondering how "attentive" your kids are to books like you listed. I look at books like ones you have all indicated, and there is NO WAY my almost 7 yr old daughter is advanced enough to sit through a read aloud like Charlotte's web or a book by Beverly Cleary. She is very visual, the books I have mentioned above have some pics, so she is able to tolerate them. I have tried some with pics and longer paragraphs, and she is turning the page before I am done so I am quickly paraphasing. I am very good with dramatic voices and such, but that doesn't help.

My only other foray into "chapter books" has been a short series of the Little House books with some books like "Laura and Her Sisters" which are maybe 25-30 pages long and have a few chapters from the original series in each...she can maybe last through a few pages at a sitting. As far as her reading level, she is starting to read some 4 letter words now by sounding them out, but not sentences and not fluently.

Should I be concerned, or is this a concentration issue or will this improve with time? Is it a measure of "success" to read "great children's classics" at such a young age? Sorry, not trying to pick on anyone, just hearing things like this makes me feel bad sometimes, especially being an unschooler and with family on my back that dd isn't reading "fluently" (I just point out that there is no way her ps peers all read at the same level though, but at times their nagging gets to me!)

Also, does anyone know of some of these books in a simpler form? Or more books in a style/#of paragraphs/pics like Cynthia Rylant's books? She also likes audio things like short stories like Robert Munsch's, but I don't think she would last through a verbatim reading on tape of Charlotte' s web or something.

Tina, dp James, dd Stephanie, ds Jonathan here in Manitoba Canada

Tina, RN, wife-y to J, mom to dd (10) and ds (7)
"Beware the lollipop of mediocracy...one lick and you suck forever!"
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Old 03-09-2007, 12:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canuckgal View Post
Mr Popper's Penguins is written by Cynthia Rylant.
Mr. Popper's Penguins was written by Richard and Florence Atwater, long before Cynthia Rylant ever started writing books. It was published in 1938.

My daughter started sitting still on the couch for chapter books when she was 3. She's like me ... she loves to read and books hold her interest very well. Her favorite thing in the whole world is reading.

My son also loves books, but he sits on the floor and drives his trains around, colors, etc. While I read. No way could he sit still for a book, and he is not a fan of chapter books. He likes short, action-packed books with lost of pictures.

It's a personality thing, and your daughter is not imperiled because she doesn't want to sit still for a chapter book.

Namaste!
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Old 03-09-2007, 12:44 PM
 
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We can only do chapter books that have lots and lots of illustrations, which is one of the reasons (in addition to the short chapters) that I like the Alan Ahlberg series I mentioned earlier. We did read "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" also, but I had to go hunt down a specially illustrated edition that had pictures on almost every page. I tried reading him my own copy, which has a black-and-white drawing on about every fifth page, and he rapidly lost interest. So your daughter is not the only one.
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Old 03-09-2007, 12:44 PM
 
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Have you tried letting her colour or play with playdough or paper dolls etc etc while she's listening? It might be easier for her to attend if she is able to occupy her hands.
What about books like the coloured version of the Little House series which has a fair number of pictures or some of the shorter 'chapter' books or books with short chapters.
While I don't think it's a "measure of success" to read these books, I also think that most of the ones listed are at an "appropriate level" for kids around the age of 5.

Karen

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Old 03-09-2007, 01:10 PM
 
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We usually read before bed if we aren't too tired. Sometimes, my ds will only listen to a few pages before he announces "lights out". Sometimes, we will read a couple of chapters. Sometimes, he falls asleep while I'm reading. He is very active and generally won't just sit and listen (except to the Pokemon books) at other times.

Books on tape are nice for car rides and might help a child get used to just hearing a story and visualizing it w/o looking at pictures. My niece likes to look at the book while listening to a story on tape. That way she can look as long as she wants while the story is continuing.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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Old 03-09-2007, 02:42 PM
 
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My son likes The Hobbit. My daughter and I read Little House in the Big Woods together. She liked it, though she got seriously depressed over the parts about killing the calf and all the animal deaths. She is a serious animal lover and those parts kind of traumatized her.

What about the Flicka, Ricka, Dicka books?

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Old 03-09-2007, 02:58 PM
 
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My ds really enjoys the Magic Tree House, Magic School Bus chapter books, and some others that I can't even think of at the moment.
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Old 03-09-2007, 04:19 PM
 
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I'll second what dharmamama said. Different kids are ready to sit through longer books at different times. Having something to do often helps.

Oooh! I, just thought of a good transition to longer books. Eloise! They average about 80 pages each, but are hugely illustrated. The vocabulary is diverse and Eloise is the ultimate unschooler.
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Old 03-09-2007, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Great suggestions- we're heading to the library next week! Thanks!
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Old 03-09-2007, 08:51 PM
 
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Oh I forgot about Henry and Mudge! My 4yo boy LOVES them, as does my 7yo.

I think what is key here is that reading should just be an enjoyable experience for kids this age (& at any age). We read out loud whatever they are interested in and make it a warm, cozy, relaxed time so they associate that feeling with reading for life. Chapter books are fine to read to a 5yo if they are interested, but why push it? I don't see chapter books as more valuable than picture or transitional books.

There's nothing better than a "3rd grader" reading Junie B. and giggling, and that child is getting more out of the reading experience than another reading Harry Potter because it is "big" and the thing to do.

Sorry for the soap box - can you tell I have an issue with kids reading books and being read books they aren't ready for? I see so many parents use the books their child is reading as a measure of how intelligent they are - and there's no better way to turn yoru child off to reading!
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Old 03-10-2007, 03:51 PM
 
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If anybody hasn't mentioned these yet The James Harriot series of books have set of books for younger kids that are filled with wonderful animal stories. They are illustrated by Ruth Brown. http://www.amazon.com/Smudge-Little-.../dp/0312110677 With sweet names like Smudge, The Little Lost Lamb.

Im not sure how many there are but we have read about four of them so far and they are really good.
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Old 03-10-2007, 04:32 PM
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Ursula LeGuin's Catwings series is nice for younger kids...

and yes, I would never expect a young child to just sit and listen... sometimes it happens, but more often they seem to want to do things while listening. Storytelling CDs were a big hit with Rain when she was little (Jim Weiss was almost a member of the family) and she would almost use them as background music while she played... but she knew what was going on and could quote large passages verbatim.

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Old 03-10-2007, 04:39 PM
 
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My 5 1/2 year old son loves:

Captain Underpants
Magic Tree House
The Oz series
Huck Finn
Winnie the Pooh and Christoper Robin (the originals, not disney)

He pays close attention when we read before bed and has also just got into books on tape for car rides.

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Old 03-11-2007, 08:44 AM
 
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We love the Burgess books (insert link thingy not working, so link is here


http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw...ornton+Burgess )

They are for ages 4-8, and are also educational, but in a fun way.
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Old 03-11-2007, 07:20 PM
 
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When my DD was a new 6 we started the Series of Unfortunate Events Books. She loved them, and we had so much fun going to pick up the very last one when it came out this past fall. They are filled with sadness and woe, but tons of humor. She just devoured them and wanted to read them over and over again. We also read anything by Roald Dahl, huge hits. DD will sit through huge books as well, she always has loved reading. I use to read whatever book I was reading out loud to her when she was a babe and whenever she asked me too anytime afterwards (I just would quickly silently read through any parts that were not child friendly).

I fondly remember laying down to nurse her when she was just a few months old and balancing Harry Potter over her head while reading it to her. My family thought I was crazy She loves to read though, so I did something right.

Unschooling Mommy of 3: Lilith (14), Panda (6), and Fox (4)
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Old 03-11-2007, 10:32 PM
 
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We are reading The Hobbit with my son for the second time and he sits and listens very well. I have found that younger kids are actually more likely to sit and listen to a chapter book than my older children (of course they go to ps, which I believe fosters poor attention spans). Generally we read together as a family so the girls and I might work quietly on a handwork project while my husband reads.

Other series we have enjoyed are: Tales of Magic by Edgar Eager, The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper and the Chronicles of Prydain by Llloyd Alexander.

Stephany
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