Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Chapter Books

6 months ago we introduced chapter books into Maisie's bed time routine and I am proud to say that it's still going strong- I don't think we have missed a night so far (knocks on wood). I have had a few people interested in how it works. So many parents thinking that it would be a waste because their kid wouldn't pay any attention. I felt this way too, but I thought of two things that might convince any parents out there to give it a try:

1) So what she's not paying any attention to the actual story, hearing the vocabulary alone even if it's just background noise is still good for her. Kids are listening, they always are... even if they're not... make sense? Here is something to prove it... It was Austin's turn to read a chapter from Stuart Little and Maisie was in full on la la land singing to her stuffed animals and not paying the littlest attention to the story. Austin was growing frustrated so he hurried the chapter along and happily said goodnight to the slap happy child. The next day Maisie started talking about what had happened in the very chapter she was singing throughout. It proved to us that even on the hardest nights where my eardrums ache from her belting a song so loudly and I just want to close the book up early and turn in, I know that it is doing her so much good. It's worth it. Her vocabulary is insane for only being three- she can talk about pretty much anything and does on a daily basis. Today she was telling me about space storms. Oh, and that if you sweat too much to will get dehydrated...yup that's my child. 

2) My child rarely falls asleep any where other than her bed. I rarely get to see her eyelids grow heavy and surrender to sleep. So reading to her until she falls asleep is magical (this is still a rare event, but cherished nonetheless). I love when I am caught up in the story and I glance up and I see her chest rise and fall with deep and steady breaths and knowing she feels so safe listening to my voice until the moment she starts to dream. It really is incredible and it makes this mama very happy.

Since we've started we have completed 7 books and are more than half way through our 8th. Since we realized that this new routine was a keeper I have been on the look out for chapter books that a 3 year old could semi-follow. We have some favorites already and a lot more on our "to-read list". But in case you are looking for some ideas I thought I would share a few...

Our Favorites:
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E.B White is notorious for crazy long sentences sometimes I would get winded reading Charlotte's Web, but it's such a sweet story other than all the talk of being killed and turned into bacon... remember this conversation? haha

Mr Popper's Penguins- I really liked the story and how it was told, I just wished it would have ended better. But Captain Cook and Gretta and all their babies made the story for Maisie and me.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz- This is the book we are currently reading- Maisie has listened to this story better than any other. She loves it and I like all the back story on the characters that you don't get in the film.

Winnie the Pooh- such a classic and I like how the narrator tells the story. It has such a sweet voice to it- but I could see how others could find it different- It's a story in a story.

The Classics:
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Of these we have only read Stewart Little, but I look forward to reading all of these down the road.

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We don't own any of these but I think Maisie would like all of them- I remember reading the Trumpet of the Swan in third grade and I remember liking it a lot... all I remember now is something about watercress sandwiches. haha

Roald Dahl:
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We have read all of these except The Fantastic Mr Fox- we own it and it's most likely our next read after we finish The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
I would'nt recommend the BFG to kids under 8- the Big friendly giant has very poor grammar and I was so worried Maisie was going to start saying "I is going to the store". It was a rough read for me, but Austin loved it.

Fun Picks:
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We don't own any of these, but we are going to need to get our hands on them. I think Maisie would love Freddy the Detective- I think she would like solving mysteries and this sounds like a good starter.

Oh and Wildwood was written by Colin Meloy front man of the Decembrists (one of me and Austin's favorite bands) and the story takes place in Portland... awesome right? The only thing is it's huge... like 500 pages huge.

Speaking of huge, this post is massive. I could go on, but I will stop here. The End.