My kids have been so eager to listen to chapter books over the last few months. They are currently 6.5 and 4.75 years old and both equally enjoy this read aloud time. I read aloud from our current chapter book every day at lunch and I bring it with us if we are out and about and have any waiting time. Thanks to NYC parking regulations from time to time we have to sit in our parked car and wait for the street sweeper to come by which is another opportunity to read aloud. They have loved these books so much that they also ask me to read at other points of the day when we are home.
Here are the books we have read between January and May:
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater
The Mouse in the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary
Ralph S. Mouse by Beverly Cleary
James and The Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Now, some of these books were written in the 1930s and ’40s. Obviously parenting practices have evolved since then. I was concerned about some topics in these books such as spanking in Mrs. Piggle Wiggle or the physical and verbal abuse endured by young James in James and The Giant Peach.
I even considered skipping over these parts or changing the words. And, in full disclosure I did skip over a few words here and there (words like stupid, for example). We also talked about the words Indians and Native Americans and how in the past people used words we don’t use today.
However, the books have opened up some interesting conversations and they have handled these topics beautifully. They were not scared or traumatized.
With that said, the kids and I highly recommend the books on this list!
Here is a sneak peak at the next few classic children’s chapter books we plan to read:
The Littles by John Peterson
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
Catwings by Ursula K. Le Guin
Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White