Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Catching Up with Chapter Books

Z and I have been reading A LOT this month with our school read-a-thon commitments.  We are keeping up with the 40 minutes a day and sometimes exceeding that when something is especially good.  I didn't feel like doing full write-ups on every book so here is a brief rundown of which chapter books we have read in the past three weeks.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary (1965) -- This was a fun read from my own childhood that I was glad to share with Z.  I sort of wrote about this one in my post about children's books that don't stand the test of time.  This was the one that did.  We definitely want to read some of the other books that Cleary has written about Ralph S. Mouse.

The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss (1961) -- Okay, so these aren't really chapters but different stories.  Still, we love this book and like to revisit it every once in a while.  I love the name "Oliver Boliver Butt" in the story Too Many Daves.

Mokie and Bik by Wendy Orr (2007) -- This was an easy reader chapter book that was anything but easy for Z to understand.  Mokie and Bik are twins and have a sort of twin language where they change the names of things into gibberish.  It was very hard to follow and Z was not amused -- just annoyed.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1865) -- I did write up this one and it was certainly a challenge for us but also a fun adventure.  Z is a good sport when it comes to listening to language he doesn't fully understand.  We will probably read the second book next month.

Your Very Own Robot Goes Cuckoo-Bananas! by R.A. Montgomery (2009) -- This is the second Robot Choose Your Own Adventure in the Dragonlarks series -- CYOA for younger kids.  It's still pretty heavy on text but the choices are fun and we went through about eight of the story paths before Z got bored.  I loved CYOA as a kid and am glad to be able to share them with Z this early.

Paddington Treasury by Michael Bond (1958) - We read the first few chapters about Paddington Bear and I fell in love with him again!  Z seemed to really like him as well.  The Brown family is so very British and we learned a lot about train stations, cabs and tea.  Something I discovered this time through was the more mature humor in some parts.  I think this is a great read-aloud and Paddington is a very silly bear.

Sensible Hare and the Case of Carrots by Daren King (2009) -- An easy chapter book about a hare detective.  This book is also super British and might be a little out there for some kids but Z gets enough Brit exposure to be okay with it.  Plus he thought my accents were hilarious!  We're interested in his other book, Mouse Noses on Toast.

Flight of the Phoenix (Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist, Book I) by R.L. LaFevers (2009) -- This might be one of our favorite new young reader series!  It's a sort of Harry Potter for second graders.  Nathaniel has been raised by a nanny while his adventurer parents are off making maps around the world.  When they go missing and are presumed dead, he is shipped off to his Aunt Phil Fludd who informs him that she is a "beastologist", a family profession that has existed for generations.  She studies rare and mythical animals and wants to train Nate to carry on the family legacy of exploration.  Their first trip is to help a phoenix regenerate in Arabia.  This is a great slightly-above easy reader level chapter book.  The chapters are short and the action is pretty evenly spaced so it should keep the little ones interested.  The next book in the series will be out in June and the third book in October.

Loving our time in chapters,
K and Z

Support our site and buy these books on Amazon through the links above or find them at your local library.  We own some of these, won one from the publisher (the CYOA book) and borrowed the rest from the library.


  1. We LOVE the Sneetches book ... the Little One is obsessed with the "green pants with nobody inside."

    And I ordered "The Mouse and the Motorcycle" from Paperback Swap to try with him based on your post.

  2. Jenners - Z totally cracks up at the pants too. And I can't wait to see how The Mouse and the Motorcycle works for you guys!

  3. I totally need to check some of these titles out! I'm in desperate need to find something else to read with my 5 year old! He didn't like The Mouse and the Motorcycle!!! I'm sure hoping he will try it again later and like it as much as I do! Until then, I search to find something other than Magic Tree House!!

  4. Tif - We haven't read any Magic Tree House yet. Luckily there's like fifty of those! Let me know if you find any other early chapter books that work for you guys.

  5. I know!! I will keep you posted on what I find!!