Sunday, February 27, 2011


Oh, Big Friendly Giant, I am so grateful to you forever.  You finally got my Lacy interested in reading chapter books with me.  This was not the first chapter book Lacy listened to.  But this is the first one that Lacy actually actively listened to, enjoyed, and begged for more.  If you haven't read The BFG by Roald Dahl, you must go read this book.  Today, if possible.  It's worth it.

How did I get Lacy interested in reading a book about giants?  I told her there was a queen in the book.  And she was immediately interested.  This is such a great book for all kids, boys and girls alike, and I really wanted Lacy to hear this one and love it, so I used whatever I could to get her to want to hear it.  I'm glad I did- she loved it!

The two main characters in the BFG are Sophie and The Big Friendly Giant, or BFG.  He is the only giant who doesn't eat human beans.  Instead, he collects dreams and gives them to the little childlers at night while they sleep.  One night Sophie awakens during the witching hour and observes The BFG blowing dreams to boys and girls.  In order to protect his identity, he kidnaps her and takes her to his cave, where they eventually come up with a plan (this is where the queen comes in!) to rid the world of the disgusting, flithsome giants forevermore.

This book is interesting and fast paced.  This is an excellent choice for a first read-aloud chapter book.  Even if you don't have a child at home to listen to you read this aloud, you should still read this book if you haven't already. It is one of my favorite children's novels of all-time.

I just realized that I need to read more Roald Dahl to Lacy.  I've got to figure out my angle in order to convince Lacy that it's worthwhile to listen to... if it's not about princesses or little girls, she's really not interested.  We've read Matilda and she loved it, but I tried to read The Witches and she was not having it.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Very Fairy Princess

Another picture book that we've recently checked out and read together as a family is The Very Fairy Princess by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton.

Honestly?  Not my favorite.  It was pretty cute, but a little boring, to me anyway.  BUT the kids really enjoyed it, and that's who I'm reading for, right?  Well, to be totally honest, when I read to the kids, I want something that I enjoy and my kids enjoy.  I'm glad this was a library book because I was looking forward to not having to read it anymore!

The book is all about being a fairy princess, and how you need to "let your sparkle out."  She goes over all the qualities of a fairy princess ("Fairy princesses are very supportive" for example, when she gives encouragement to her friend).  It's a good message.

But the fact of it is, I read books to be entertaining and not to teach my kids life lessons.  As the mom, I teach them life lessons while they're living their life, not while they're reading a book for entertainment.  If there are morals in the story, I want them to not be detrimental to the plot of the book. There really was not much of a plot, which was why this book was so boring.

But, because my own daughters want to be fairy princesses themselves, I ended up reading it over and over (and over and over...).

Interrupting Chicken

I decided I'll start posting picture books that I read to my kids as well.  Rose really loves picture books.  Here is a fun one that we found recently.  Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein.

Interrupting Chicken is a fun book for kids (I'd recommend ages 3 and older).  Both Lacy and Rose love when I read this aloud.  It won a Caldecott award and is fully deserving of it!  Such a fun read.  

Chicken enjoys getting a story every night from her papa.  Unfortunately, she gets a little too involved in the book and keeps interrupting Papa as she reads!  Finally, there are no more stories to read and Chicken creates her own bedtime story for her papa.  

Rose says:  "Funny.  Her father reads her a story.  The kid knows how to read."

Lacy says:  "I think the book is cute and funny and really silly.  The most thing I like about it is there's a chicken, and I like chickens.  They are so cute when they hatch!"

A Little Princess

Last night Lacy and I finished reading A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

It is written in really old-fashioned language and at times was tedious and hard to understand.  Especially on the day that I was so tired that I actually fell asleep while reading this to Lacy.  I said something about Sara having blond hair. Yeah, she's a brunette and I'm not sure where that came from.  Sleep deprivation is a scary thing.

To make the book more fun for Lacy, I had to emphasize my voice during certain parts.  She ate that up!  In the end, she really loved the book.  She likes the Little House books better, but she still really enjoyed reading A Little Princess with me.  She especially loved all the chapters about the magic, and she was so mad at Miss Minchen.  Well, she should be.  Miss Minchen is pure evil.

I'm glad I got to share my favorite childhood book with Lacy.  It was a difficult book for me to read aloud at times, and some of the chapters are really long.  Which is part of the reason I fell asleep that one day.  But she loved it, and that's what matters!  This book is a little hard for a 6 year old so when it's time to read chapter books with Rose, I'll probably wait until she's closer to 7 or 8 to read this book.  It's a lovely book, but it can be hard for the young kids to pay attention.

Lacy says- "It's cool and exciting.  I really wanted my mom to read all of it at the same day.  It was AWESOME!  It was awesome because I decided that I want to make another book of it- A Little Princess 2.  My dad said he would read any book I wrote."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Farmer Boy

I love reading to my children.  It is one of my biggest joys of being a mother- to read to my children and have them learn to love books.  

Last night, we finished one of my favorite books of all time-Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  It is one of the  books in the Little House series, written about her husband as a 10 year old farm boy in New York.  

Oh, we laughed at Almanzo's antics!  We enjoyed hearing all about farm life.  And how hard he worked, from sun up to sun down!  We were so excited when he won the blue ribbon at the fair, and then when he got $200 for returning a wallet- with some persuasion from a 3rd party- we were so happy for him!  The best part of all is when he found out he would finally be trusted to train a little colt!  What a wonderful ending to a wonderful book. 

Lacy and I adored the moments we had reading this book together. Every moment was entertaining and also educational.  

Yes, Lacy was thrilled when she got the box set of Little House books.  And she loves each book she's read. I do too.