Easy Reader

It seems sure now, we’ve got a full-on reader.  #1 behaved badly in Sunday School.  So this week without TV, on Monday he started reading My Father’s Dragon.  By the end of Tuesday, he had finished it, and was four chapters into the second book, Elmer and the Dragon.  I don’t know how much he’s getting out of it, but I don’t think he would plow through the whole book if he wasn’t getting the drift of the story.

I had the first book when I was a kid, and it was an incredible flashback to read it again as an adult (this is a step up from my kid flashback picture books, like (and I don’t have time to link them all) Hats for Sale, The Story of Ferdinand, Tikki-Tikki-Tembo, Howard Huge, Seuss’ Sleep Book and If I Ran the Zoo, etc.).  I highly recommend this book to any parents who are starting to read novels to their pre-readers, or who want young readers to tackle something more meaty than the pamphlet-like #1 or #2 readers.  The books are under 100 pages each, and maybe 4-5 pages per chapter.  And apparently, the vocabulary is not too tough!  I can’t wait for him to be ready for Where the Red Fern grows!

Would any readers like to share special kids books from their past, which you might or might not have rediscovered through your kids yet?

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12 Responses

  1. Is Howard Huge a distant cousin to Huge Harold?

  2. Oopx! Huge Harold is what I meant. I think Howard Huge might have been Jimmy Stewart’s 6-foot imaginary rabbit friend.

  3. Did you mean Caps for Sale? tzz tzz tzz…. you monkeys you, you must give me back my cap! I think we still have that one in a box somewhere.

  4. I’m getting them all wrong! And I thought you ditched all your children’s books years ago. I did save a number of my favorite kids novels (Where the Red Fern Grows, Tower of Geburah, etc., Over Sea, Under Stone, etc.) when you moved

  5. I think I’ll weigh in on “The Box Car Children” at the risk of inspiring the young ones to run away from home. Is that where you got the idea?

    I must confess that that book lies at the root of my escapist theology.

  6. Ours are skewed to the feminine side, but the Carolyn Hayward books are great early readers as are the Maud Hart Lovelace (Betsy Tacy, B,T and Tib, etc., getting older as the characters age). I think there’s a more little-boy oriented set with a Nate as a detective character. Jenny and Ellen should weigh in here. Also, dig out your Honey for a Child’s Heart because it has many great suggestions for the early reader and Gladys has always been aware of the special needs of boy readers as the mother and grandmother of (only) boys. I just cleared out about 60% of Karen’s books, giving them to two young homeschooling moms I know and love. However, the books for older kids are still on two full shelves in J and E’s bedroom waiting for God to give us grandchildren or, short of that, for the girls to take them for their own pleasure.

  7. Two more suggestions: Lloyd Alexander has a series of fantasy that are meant for younger readers than those of the Over Sea, Under Stone set. L might still be a little young for them, but it won’t be long until he enjoys them. For read-alouds in the next few years, I insist (that’s a strong “recommend”) the Swallows and Amazon series by Arthur Ransome about the children in the Lake District–innocent Edwardian times, great freedom to explore on their boats and pretend, etc. Not to be missed. Worth owning. Still pulled off shelves here in Wooster and lovingly re-read. And finally, soon (and very soon) a book will be coming your way that is no longer in print, but is my most treasured based on WWII Holland. Too old for them now, but eventually…and I wanted to get it (amazon.com used) while I still could. Journey Through the Night by Annie deVries. Love you!

  8. Do you mean Tower of Geburah et al? I know and love those, but they are certainly (?) a year or two before he’s ready for those.

    I think I remember Journey Through the Night, wasn’t it a 3 or 4 book series, I seem to remember slimmish hardbacks with lots of navy blue art on the cover.

  9. No, not the Tower of Geburah. Do you have all of those, btw? I know we do. Lloyd Alexander has the Chronicles of Prydian (Black Cauldron, Book of Three, etc. (five in the series). Really wonderful but I’d say 2nd grade would be the youngest. Not as hard reading as Narnia. May be good read-alouds before that?? Journey Through the Night is four books but the version I have is the four of them in one nice (not hefty) volume.

  10. Hmmm, I remember all of those Lloyd Alexander titles, and I thought they were all in the same series. I do have some Alexander, but now I don’t remember what. I think Geburah. I’ll have to check that box in the cupboard in the garage.

  11. Have you checked out Mantle Ministries? They publish some good stuff for young boys. I bought books through them for my daughters a long time ago and, while researching, noticed even more titles for boys.

  12. OK Barb, I have checked, and I have all three Archives of Anthropos (Tower of Geburah, etc.), by John White. So I guess (as you say), Lloyd Alexander wrote different books entirely! I remember the titles you mention, but do not have them.

    Currently #1 is reading on his own through Treasure Island. Not sure how he’s managing that, since reading it to him a few months ago was an abortive attempt, due to the pirate language and old-fashioned writing. But he’s not giving up, and he’ll spend 30-60 minutes at a stretch silent on the couch, occasionally turning pages! For which behavior we are extremely grateful.

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