Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book Report (plus Hair)

Though Otto still loves picture books and will sit and read as many as we are willing to commit to, I recently made the decision (after reading somewhere on the internets that this was a good age) to begin reading some chapter books aloud at bedtime.  Typically, I lay in bed beside him and we whip through 3 or 4 story books before lights out/snuggle.  Starting chapter books was going to be an experiment to see if one story (with little or no pictures, no less) could hold his attention for about the same amount of time. 

And holy crow, I had NO IDEA how well this would go over.  The kid's attention span is EPIC.

So far, we've read three chapter books recommended for preschoolers that I was able to get for next to nothing used on Amazon:   Mercy Watson to the Rescue, Moongobble and Me: The Dragon of Doom, and Three Tales of My Father's Dragon.

Three Tales of My Father's Dragon is by far our favorite (even though the others are quite good).  Written in the 40's by Ruth Stiles Gannet, this little book is highly enjoyable and right at Otto's 3 year old level.  My Father's Dragon is about a little boy named Elmer Elevator (the narrator's father, natch) who hears of a baby dragon who's trapped on an island of ruthless, wild animals.  In the first story (about 13 chapters), he travels to the island and has a series of adventures while trying to rescue the dragon.  He meets all sorts of animals and comes up with all kinds of clever tricks to escape their clutches and eventually attempt a rescue of the dragon.  The writing is simple yet descriptive and its fun to imagine all of the creatures he encounters.

It does have some minimal, black and white pictures but for the most part we're getting to use our imaginations to picture the story and Otto LOVES it.  Every night its "one more chapter?  Pleeeeeeeeease??" 

Since these books have gone over so well, I can't wait to start on some others.  Anyone have more suggestions of good read-aloud chapter books for this age?  I think he's still a bit too young for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Hobbit which are two that I'm really looking forward to reading.

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 On the adult side of things, I've read several great books lately.  My favorites have been Shadow of the Wind  and the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  I also (finally) read The Book Thief.  So I've had a bit of a WWII (and aftermath) sort of month. 

 Now, for bookclub, we're reading Devil in the White City which, quite honestly, is proving difficult for me to get through.  In a nutshell, this book juxtaposes two semi-related storylines:  one of the designers and developers of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago and one of H. H. Holmes, a serial killer in the city at that time.   So far, I'm finding the stuff about the architects and developers exceedingly dull and for as much tolerance and even enjoyment I get out of some horror, I've never been able to read/watch stuff about serial killers.  I think its because while zombies, monsters, devils, etc. don't REALLY exist, serial killers are very real.  And just...ew.

But I'll give it my best effort or at least read enough of it so I can bullshit my way through bookclub in a couple weeks :)

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As an unrelated post-script of sorts, I  DID cut my hair BUT I only went for the shoulder length.  Figured I could always go shorter, but its hard to go back if you cut too much off.    Here is a shitty picture taken in my car, but you get the general idea.  I had her make the ends super choppy which helps with the bulkiness and I can either air dry (a la below) or straighten depending on the time and effort I'm willing to invest on any given morning.  Long story short (uhHAHAHA), I loves it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We have some large Chapter books (like 12x8 with more pictures)that we read with Mitchell when he was about Otto's age, never did it with Margot, she's the second kid and all. I take that back we found a big version of Ramona the Pest and read it.

Anyhoo, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Wind in the Willows went over well. I tried Alice in Wonderland but he didn't follow that one well.

They have them in the kids section of Borders or the Barn, but not sure about online.