Tag Archives: reading

Bedtime Reading: Sharing My Love of Reading

I enjoyed reading to my son since before he could speak. I thought that we would begin that tradition and he would instantly love to read, too. However, in school they were assigned a reading log and have had to do it every night for a certain length of time.  When it was forced, he did not love reading so much. Our last teacher did not require the logs and the struggles ended. His tastes are definitely maturing and unique to him. At age 9, here is what keeps his attention:

“Captain UCaptain Underpantsnderpants” by Dav Pilkey – is done in comic book style. They have been illustrated in black and white but “The Attack of the Talking Toilets” was in Full Color! The main characters, George Beard and Harold Hutchins, came up with the super hero comics. I won’t try to come up with any educational value here—the stories make my son laugh.

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid” by Jeff Kinney details the daily adventures of a boy named Greg Heffley. He has two brothers and a best friend named Rowley. Life can be a challenge both at school and at home and he tells it like it is. Funny and awkward, kids can relate to his frustrations and the movies based on the books have been fun to watch, too! We have seven installments of the Diaries.

“And then what happened, Paul Revere?” by Jean Fritz was a gift from his third grade teacher. This started us on a string of biographies. This one, in particular, came from Scholastic Books and it provides a balance of reading, with illustrations and plenty of historical material. It was the launching point for a book report and he foWonderund additional books to round out the source material.

“Wonder” is a book by R.J. Palacio about a boy in the fifth grade that begins at a new school. The twist is that he has a facial difference that had kept him from attending a mainstream school. So he is dealing both with entering a new situation but also being different from the others and tells how he copes. My son wanted to get it (and the accompanying “365 Days of Wonder”) because they were reading it in class. I’m going to read it myself.Civil War Soldier

“You Wouldn’t Want to be a Civil War Soldier!” by Thomas Ratliff has been a favorite because my son really loves history. There are more in the series—about being a colonist, a pioneer, and a pirate’s prisoner—but they look a bit grim. I will share that this is not for younger kids—there are some realistic details about medical treatment included along with battle information. That being said, it contains a glossary of terms so vocabulary development will definitely be a bonus.

More Bedtime Stories I Enjoy Reading

Charlie Cook coverI am constantly looking for new books for my son. We’ve made the transition from me doing all the reading to now he reads to me (mostly). Since he is in school, he is supposed to complete a “reading log” to show he has spent at least ten minutes per night reading. Does anyone else have this to do daily? His tastes run toward Star Wars. I like more variety. I decided to share a list of books (in alphabetical order) that I don’t mind reading over and over again, that have captured his imagination, too. I have included some that are holiday-oriented. I figure we can all use new suggestions, so please use the comments section to provide titles you enjoy, too.

“Charlie Cook’s Favorite Book” by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler details the adventures of a boy named Charlie Cook who likes to sit in a big armchair reading his favorite books. There are pirates, a knight and a dragon, a crocodile, and a ghost, among others, who also enjoy books. I’m not too subtle as I try to instill a love of reading in my son!

“The Duckling Gets a Cookie” by Mo Willems is really simple and yet it gets some big laughs from my son. A duckling has a cookie and the pigeon wants it. He gets it. Turns out the duckling prefers them without nuts.

“I Can Read with My Eyes Shut” by Dr. Seuss is one of a number of Seuss books we read. It contains a rather obvious lesson: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

“Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree” by Robert Barry shows how Mr. Willowby shares his huge tree with his neighbors, including the Bear, Fox, Rabbit and Mouse families. Nothing goes to waste and everyone’s homes are made more festive with their new trees.  Mr-Willowby

“Room on a Broom” The pair of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler again offer some fun illustrations along with poetic language: “Over the reeds and the rivers they flew, the bird shrieked with glee and the stormy wind blew. They shot through the sky to the back of beyond. The witch clutched her bow—but let go of her wand.” And we are taken on an adventure with an unlucky witch and her passengers. We have 6 books written and illustrated by this duo and all are very entertaining.

“We Are in A Book,” I think we have more than half a dozen of Mo Willems’ works involving Piggie and Gerald as the main characters. They live life and tackle problems together. At some point, they come to the realization that they are being read. It is funny when they start to address the audience directly.

5 More Bedtime Stories I Enjoy Reading

Some time has passed since I last shared books we’re reading in my household.  I decided to share a list of five more (in alphabetical order) that I don’t mind reading over and over again.  We can all use new suggestions, so please use the comments section to provide titles you enjoy, too.

“Big Al” by Andrea Clements and illustrated by Yoshi introduces children to a fish named “Big Al.” The lesson learned via Big Al is not to judge someone by appearances.  He seems scary and the smaller fish avoid him so he’s lonely.  However, he is able to demonstrate his bravery and, in the process, becomes a hero and friend to many.

“Duck at the Door” by Jackie Urbanovic.  We like ducks around here and this is a funny story of a household that gets a visit from a duck with surprising results.  A quick read.

“If You Give a Moose a Muffin” by Laura Numeroff continues the series we started with a mouse.  The cautionary tale of what happens when a little boy decides to give a moose a muffin: it results in a string of events that is illustrated beautifully by Felicia Bond.

“My Friend Bear” by Jez Alborough is another tale about friendship which brings together a boy, Eddie, and a bear.  The great big bear thinks his teddy can talk but it is actually the Eddie hiding behind it.  Nice rhymes and lesson on finding friends in unexpected places.

“The Three Little Javelinas” is the story of the three little pigs done in a Southwest theme.  Written by Susan Lowell, she replaces straw with tumbleweeds and bricks with adobe.  A coyote is the antagonist and they are beautifully illustrated by Jim Harris.

10 Bedtime Stories I Enjoy Reading

I’m sure we all have our nighttime routines.  Children thrive on us being reliable.  We read books before going to bed and sometimes my son will grow fond of a book and make me read it every night for weeks at a time.  Some I like more than others.  I decided to share a list of ten (in alphabetical order) that I don’t mind reading over and over again.  I figure we can all use new suggestions, so please use the comments section to provide titles you enjoy, too.

“Big Red Barn” by Margaret Wise Brown introduces children to all the inhabitants of the barn from “a pink pig who was learning to squeal” to “the little black bats (that) flew away out of the barn at the end of the day.”

“Duck Tents” by Lynne Berry and illustrated by Hiroe Nakata shows five little ducks going on a camping trip.  They have a fishing adventure and roast marshmallows, then settle in for the night.

“How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?” is one of a series of dinosaur books by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague.  We enjoy a number of them, but this one was the first I found.

“If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff is the cautionary tale of what happens when a little boy decides to give a mouse a cookie: it results in a string of events that are illustrated beautifully by Felicia Bond.

“Kiss Good Night” by Amy Hest This story mirrors anyone’s evening: Mrs. Bear is putting her son, Sam, to bed.  But she is forgetting something.  When she remembers, she kisses him “once and twice and then twice more.”  It is a fun way to get some extra kisses.

“Llama Llama Misses Mama” by Anna Dewdney is a sweet, rhyming story about the first day at school for baby llama.

“One is a Feast for a Mouse” by Judy Cox is actually set at Thanksgiving-time but I think the message of being thankful for getting what one needs instead of being greedy is a good one to repeat anytime of year.

“Snowmen all Year” by Caralyn Buehner is also a seasonal sort of tale but it is magical to think of life with snowmen being around all year.  (Unless you live in Chicago, then enough already.)

“The Tale of Custard the Dragon” by Ogden Nash is perhaps my favorite of all time.  My son was on a knight kick, so I was looking for some books with knights, when I found this via Amazon.  The words are lyrical: “Belinda lived in a little white house, With a little black kitten and a little gray mouse, And a little yellow dog and a little red wagon, And a realio, trulio little pet dragon.”  And the illustrations by Lynn Munsinger are charming.  There are no knights but there is a pirate.  There is also a strong female character, so this really should appeal to both boys and girls.

“Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak is a classic from my childhood.  I still like the original book.  Every now and then I bring back something I enjoyed years ago.  It does not always meet with my son’s approval but this one did.