Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Kids' Picks -- July

I love the third Tuesday of the month over at 5 Minutes for Books. That's when we have the chance to tell about the books that our kids have enjoyed in the last month.

We just returned from our long driving vacation, and reading is always a part of the plan. My husband likes to do the driving, so I'm free to read in the car. Amanda also enjoys the hours of daylight when she can read, read, read. Young Kyle has been learning to read and I wondered if this was the year for him to independently entertain himself with books on a trip.

I bought a selection of Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie books after checking one out at the library (and via Dawn's recommendations) in the hopes that new-reader Kyle (5) would also join in the family pursuit. That he would actually sit quietly and read a book ("Reading in his mind" is what he called it). He usually read out loud, but that was okay. He needed help on a few words, and we actually liked listening in on the first read-through anyway. Every day of the journey, I gave him a new book or two. He loved them all. What I especially like about these books (other than the fact that we all love them -- him, big sister, and parents), is that they are very re-readable, and as I said, very accessible to early readers. There are some big words, but they repeat, which I know helps build Kyle's reading vocabulary.

I would say that 10-year-old Amanda's favorite book was Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Yes, I let her read it right after I did (linked to my review), giving the hefty tome double value in the books-packed department. But the books I bought to surprise her on the trip were the rest of the Emily Windsnap books by Liz Kessler. We had bought the first one on clearance somewhere, and she's had a hard time finding the other books in the library. So she was really pleased to receive books two and three (and I just noticed that there's a fourth coming out in October).

When we were visiting my sister, she and I went to the library, and I helped her pick out some books for my nephew Ross (age 11). He loves to read when given a great book, and Karen said that he reads in gulps when he finds a book he likes. Browsing at their library I saw Code Orange by Caroline Cooney, which is one of our state's Nutmeg book award nominees for this year. Amanda loved it and many of her friends loved it too. We showed Ross the two books we had brought home, and he grabbed that one, sat on the stairs and started reading. He didn't move for a few hours until he had finished it! So Code Orange trumped the XBox!

The links of others' suggestions are in the comments at 5 Minutes for Books Kids' Picks, so check them out.


heather said...

The cover for the Emily book is beautiful. That would compel me to pick it up.

Heather J. said...

Yeah, you can't go wrong with Mo Willems!

Carrie said...

"Reading in his mind" -- haha! I love it!

I knew there was a second Emily Windsnap book but I didn't know that there was a third and will be a fourth!

I wish I could read in the car. I get carsick if I do. Sure would help to pass the time though!

mountainsofbooks said...

A fourth Windsnap? I better catch up and read the other two. Which reminds me I still haven't read the second Penderwick book.

How does your daughter like them?

foodieplus4 said...

Margot and I were just looking at Code Orange at the bookstore last night. We'll have to get it from the library.
Glad you are home - we missed you!

lifewithmyboys said...

We love Elephant and Piggie! My beginning reader loves that he can read most of the book without help and by the second or third read he's all on his own. Mo is awesome.

UnfinishedMom said...

We did an Elephant & Piggie book this month too! Mo Willims is awesome.

Elizabeth said...

My son loves everything by Mo Willems, and they are fun for me to read too.

My daughter adores Emily Windsnap, and is so excited to learn that there's a fourth one coming out. She (and I) can't wait!

Lauren@Baseballs&Bows said...

Even after Dawn's enthusiastic praise for Mo, I have been slacking. Perhaps after your endorsement, I need to head to the library!

morninglight mama said...

Sure, Lauren will check out Mo after you say he's cool... :) Just kidding, Lauren!!

So glad to hear that Amanda enjoyed HP 6-- I can't wait until JAM can continue on with the series!

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

I will have to put Elephant & Piggie on my books to think about for L.

C. is enjoying some books reviewed by Carrie a couple months ago...I might keep you in suspense and write about them in the next Kids' Picks carnival.