Well, it’s a new year, and with that comes…well, really more of the same when it comes to reading with my kids! I don’t have any specific goals for their reading, just that they keep doing it. I saw a great idea from Mom of Wild Things, and I’m going to try it this year for myself. She keeps a notebook and writes down every book she and her kids read together. I love this idea because we read A LOT, and I’m interested to see, at the end of the year, just how much we really do read together. The list may be getting shorter since we’re reading longer chapter books now, but I’m certain the number was well into the hundreds when I would read them a bunch of picture book every day!
Since we are still on Christmas break, we’ve been doing a lot of reading together, so this week I’m sharing two books we read together and one book that my kids keep out all the time and constantly reference.
I can’t wait to see what you read with your kids in 2018 too!
What We’re Reading Together
Fallingwater: The Building of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Masterpiece
Thank you to the Kid Lit Exchange for the review copy of this book! I’ll start off by saying that we absolutely loved Fallingwater. It’s a picture book retelling of how Frank Lloyd Wright built one of his most famous houses, named Fallingwater. It’s simply written, but engaging enough that my 9-year-old was super interested and asked if we could buy our own copy to read again. I learned a lot too! Wright built this house on top of a waterfall, and the engineering that went into it is amazing. We watched a couple of short videos online about the house right after reading the book, and it made us all want to learn even more! Even if you think your kid wouldn’t be interested in architecture (I didn’t think mine would be), I highly recommend this book! They loved that it was about a real person and that the possibility of visiting that house is available. (Which also made me wonder why kids are so much more interested in non-fiction than adults…)
I learned about this book from Kate over at The Loud Library Lady, and it is a wonderful book. Most People is about how most people in the world are good, and even though there are some not so nice people out there, the good far outweighs the bad. It also briefly touches on how sometimes people who do bad things can change. (This is illustrated by showing a little boy stealing an apple on one page and apologizing on the next.) If your kids are asking a lot of questions about why some people do bad things, or they’ve seen something scary in the news, this is the perfect book to explain that a little bit, and to open discussions about people in the world and how you can do good things.
The Book My Kids Are Obsessed With
Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
My 9-year-old bought this at the school book fair before Christmas, and he and my 6-year-old read it every day. Every. Day. And this book is not playing around when it calls itself an encyclopedia. Whatever you want to know about Star Wars, down to the furniture used throughout, is pictured and described in detail. My kids are obsessed with it, and they both love to read it and then show me exactly which laser blaster thing each character uses and why. If you have a Star Wars fan in your house, this makes a wonderful gift! (If it’s an encyclopedia it’s educational, right??)
In honor of my son’s 9th birthday today, I thought I would post what his favorite books of 2017 were. (Don’t worry, I’ll have the adult version coming next week! This week has just been very kid-centric!) I asked him, and it took him less than 20 seconds to come up with these. When you know, you know!
Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
We are about 3/4 through this book, and it’s already his favorite of the series. (Followed closely by Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.) This kid is a die-hard Harry Potter fan, and one of my favorite things of 2017 has been to watch him become that fan. The fifth book is much darker than the previous four, but he’s been loving it, and lugging around my hardcover copy of it to school to read in any spare moments he has. If you have an 8-year-old who’s shown even the slightest interest in Harry Potter (or if you’re an adult who hasn’t read them yet), give them the first book and get started!
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway
This is the newest in the Wimpy Kid series, and my son knew the release dates months before and was counting down the days. He read it in a day or two and declared it the best one yet. These books are silly, and probably slightly inappropriate, but when it comes to books I’m a little more lenient! This one also takes place during the holidays, so if you’re looking for a book to get for a reluctant reader, or a reader who doesn’t have the newest one yet, go for the Wimpy Kid books. I haven’t met a kid yet who doesn’t like them!
This is another graphic novel, this time from the author of the Captain Underpants series, Dav Pilkey. It’s a comic, Dog Man, written by the two main characters, George and Harold, from Captain Underpants. As you might expect, this book (also a series) is silly, funny, and absolutely ridiculous. So of course my son (both of my sons, actually) love it. I’m glad that authors such as Dav Pilkey and Andy Griffiths are making reading fun for kids. It’s easy to get bogged down with all the books we think our kids “should” read, and sometimes that makes them think reading isn’t fun. Dog Man is definitely fun, and I’m sure we’ll be adding more of this series to our collection!
So that’s my older son’s list of favorite books this year! After his birthday and Christmas gifts, his TBR pile will get a little longer, and I’m interested to see what will be on his list of favorites next year.[Top]
Today I want to highlight another of our favorite Christmas books! My boys love the Fly Guy series, and Fly Guy’s Ninja Christmas is great. The Fly Guy series, written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold, is about a boy named Buzz and his pet fly, Fly Guy. Fly Guy and Buzz can understand each other and they go everywhere together. In this one, Fly Guy is frantically searching for a present for Buzz on Christmas Eve, and he runs into a strange man in a red suit in his house. He uses his ninja skills (which any kid will appreciate) to fend off the mysterious stranger, and still has to find a present for his best friend!
This book is super cute, and if your kid likes ninjas at all, they will love this book. It’s really great for beginning readers to read on their own as well, or for more advanced readers who are looking for a quick, fun book to read. If you give books as gifts for Christmas, this is a perfect one to gift. (I wrapped it up for my 6-year-old last Christmas!)
I had to include my vintage yarn Santa with my “vintage” copy of The Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear. This was one of my favorite books to read as a kid, and it’s one of my kids’ favorites now. When I pulled it out, my almost-9-year-old said, “Oh! We haven’t read that yet this year, and we need to!” (I don’t think anyone can ever be too old for the Berenstain Bears.) There’s just something about this book that makes our holiday book stack feel complete, and I have a feeling I’ll be forcing my kids to listen to me read it when they’re adults.
Brother and Sister Bear are getting ready for their annual visit to Santa, and they, as all of us do, are hypnotized and excited by all of the decorations, toys, and advertisements. When it comes time to make their Christmas wish lists for Santa, they realize that they might be asking for too much, and that the true meaning of Christmas isn’t the presents you receive, but what you choose to give to others.
The Berenstain Bears are a long-time favorite of mine and my kids, and the Christmas books are done so well. This book is sentimental and sweet and teaches a good lesson without getting preachy. The Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear would make a great addition to any holiday book collection, if you don’t already own it![Top]
Well, it’s definitely winter in Texas-we’ve had REAL snow, cold weather (in addition to 80-degree days), and we’ve started reading Christmas books at night! This week my kids have been reading some new-to-them chapter books, and we read one of my favorite Christmas books ever together. Tell me what you and your kids have been reading this week!
A New Class: Star Wars: Jedi Academy 4
Our elementary school had their book fair this week, and even though we own the entire Jedi Academy series, my 6-year-old wanted “his OWN copy” of this one. He’s finally starting to read chapter books on his own, so I’m just happy he found a series he loves. My kids love this series. They are part chapter books, part graphic novel, and full of adventure and plenty of elementary/middle school drama. This book is about a younger brother joining his embarrassed sister at Jedi school and the hijinks they get into while there. Yoda is in this one, so if you have Star Wars fans they’ll love this!
This series is new to me, and I don’t let my kids play Minecraft very much, but they still love it. There are a ton of books in the unofficial Minecraft book world, and The Creeper Diaries are about a Creeper (please don’t ask me to explain what that is, because I can’t) named Gerald who is a pacifist in a war-happy Minecraft school. It’s definitely in the graphic novel category, and full of adventure, magic, and good versus evil. Any kid who is a fan of Minecraft or wild adventure books will probably love this series.
What We’re Reading Together
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
I mentioned this in last week’s post, so I won’t go on and on about it, but we finished reading this book this week, and my kids loved it! The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is the story of the 6 Herdman kids and how they come to understand the Christmas story, and manage to touch the hearts of an entire congregation of people who previously despised them. There are funny moments, touching scenes, and plenty of Biblical history thrown in. This isn’t a religious book, but it does focus on a Christmas pageant, but even if you aren’t religious, I think there’s plenty to enjoy. My kids loved hearing the shocking things the Herdmans got up to, and I loved re-reading one of my childhood favorites to them. (And I even teared up at the end at Gladys’s last, “Hey! Unto you a child is born!”[Top]