Friday, July 01, 2011

Wonderful Books to Read-Aloud

 I love to read books to and with my kids. I really do. It usually ends up being much easier to read with them (the same book at different times) than to read to them, but no matter the age, you can't beat a read-aloud. Instead of talking about what parts I liked or my child liked, I can see it. I can hear them laugh, they see me grin.

We've done pretty well this summer.

Amanda and I read Nerd Camp, which was funny with heart (something Amanda and I enjoy in a read-aloud).

I was able to revisit my beloved Penderwicks, this time with Kyle. They were just as I remembered them! (actually mature responsible boy-struck Rosalind was a bit younger than I remembered her, but I digress).  Within the first couple of pages, I realized why this was going to be a perfect read-aloud. The language is beautiful, but the characters are so easily voiced and identified (Skye is impulsive and sort of brash, Jane is over-the-top dramatic, Rosalind the mature voice of reason, and Batty has the babyish voice). Hearing Kyle crack up at Birdsall's clever use of language showed me how good his reading comprehension in (and how well he's paying attention, which his distracted behavior belies). When I first reviewed it after Amanda and I read it, I said that it would be a great read-aloud for boys and girls ages 7 up through the teen years, and I'm glad that this proved true.

There are several read-alouds on my What's on Your Nightstand post for this month, and I'd really like to read them, but I forgot something very important.

We've watched the first 2 Narnia movies this year, and I figured that Kyle might enjoy the books (and might be able to read them independently). So I decided that this summer when Carrie at Reading to Know held her annual Narnia challenge, that I'd join in.  It officially starts today, July 1. I don't know if she'll kick me out if I admit that I picked it up at the library on Wednesday and we've already read quite a few chapters. We are both loving it. I've read to Kyle while he's eating lunch. He finishes eating, I finish the chapter and close the book, and he says, "You can read another one."

We got our copy of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: The Chronicles of Narnia from the library, but the Kindle version shows the delightful edition we are reading from. It's nicely old fashioned, but the pages are slick and bright and easy on my old eyes. There are also a few pen and ink drawings throughout.

It's such a wonderful story -- told as a story. Kyle and I keep chuckling over the fact that the children never shut the door of the wardrobe behind them because all sensible people know you never shut yourself inside a wardrobe.

I read this book once in college (with perhaps a chip on my shoulder), but didn't really "get" it. When I saw the movie this year, I finally started to understand it's appeal, but now that I'm reading it aloud, I see why this is such a wonderful story to share.

My goal for July is to finish this read-aloud with Kyle and either encourage him to read Prince Caspian on his own or read it aloud as well. We might try to watch the 3rd movie too (even though I know Carrie hated it).


Carrie said...

Awesome. =D

Of course I won't kick you out! We already read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in preparation for it. Now we're reading Prince Caspian. We're about half way through. Had to get ahead a bit. =)

SO GLAD you are reading along! =)

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

We read through Narnia w/ C. when he was about 8, and loved it. Looking forward to the day when L. will enjoy it with us...another year or two, I think. We're still finishing up Wind in the Willows here. VBS derailed us (in many areas), but we hope to get back on track soon!