Juvenile Pile: Lots of Read Alouds

Between the Olympics and other evening plans, Christopher stayed up late a bunch this week, so he didn’t do as much reading as usual. I still read a lot of books out loud though, so we’ll just talk about those.

Woodpecker Wants a Waffle is a weird, but fun story. It’s about a woodpecker who smells a waffle and really wants to taste one. The other animals in the forest don’t understand his obsession. They try to talk him out of it, but he won’t be deterred.

Christopher did start reading this one on his own, but he had a little trouble with it, so we switched halfway through. We enjoyed it, but not as much as I was hoping based on some of the things I read about it.

3 stars

Jim and Christopher actually read How to Eat an Airplane without me, but Christopher was willing to listen to me read it again, which says that he enjoyed it. Normally if I miss out on a story, and he didn’t like it, then I have to read it on my own.

This book is strange! But fun. It teaches children about airplanes and about table manners. And the characters in the book are described as eating an airplane. Apparently, the author got the idea for a true story! Some guy ate a whole airplane between 1979 and 1981 I think it was. Wild, right?

4 stars

Whoosh! is another book that’s based on a true story. It’s kind of a biography of Lonnie Johnson, a rocket scientist who invented the Super Soaker, among other things.

Jim has been bemoaning the poor quality of Super Soakers since they were bought by Nerf, so I knew we had to read this story. Sadly, it’s a bit too long for a 6-year old. It would probably be best for ages 7-9. It’s just too factual, not fun enough considering the title. I enjoyed it, but Christopher was definitely glazing over, so I sped through it as quickly as I could.

3 stars

Chicken Butt is another book that didn’t go over as well as I was hoping. I heard that it was really funny, and I thought it was. I think Christopher was just too tired to appreciate it. He read this one. The prose is very simple. It’s about a boy and his dad. The boy is constantly asking his dad questions like, “Guess what?” And then replying, “Chicken Butt!” or “Chicken Thigh!”

I think younger kids, ages 2-4 maybe, would really get into the nonsense in this book. Perhaps Christopher is just too mature? Ha. I wish. I’m sure it was just an off night.

4 stars

The characters in Nobody Likes a Goblin reminded me of the heroes in a dungeon crawling game, i.e. Dungeons & Dragons. We play Hero Quest, a kind of simplified, physical version of that game, with Christopher, so I enjoyed that aspect of this book. The story didn’t really hold our interest all that much though. Goblin goes on a quest to save his friend, Skeleton, and many people are out to kill him because they don’t like goblins. The ending is cute but nothing spectacular.

3 stars

Dirtball Pete is another book I reserved because I’d heard about it. I had to force Christopher to listen to this one. He wasn’t that attracted to the cover or the title or something.

I should have listened to him. We didn’t love this one. It’s about a little boy who can’t stay clean. His mother cleans him up for a performance at school about the 50 states, but once he gets there, he gets all dirty again before his time on stage.

I think the moral is supposed to be that he did well in the performance, better than anyone else really, despite his appearance. Kind of odd.

3 stars

We own There’s an Alligator under My Bed. My aunt and uncle bought it for Christopher at his (my?) baby shower. I’d never read it before then, but it’s become one of my favorite childrens’ books over the year.

It’s about a boy who’s scared of the alligator under his bed. His parents can’t see it, so they don’t offer any help. It’s up to him to take care of the problem! I love his solution. The words are simple, the illustrations are wonderful, and the resolution is great. We read this book over and over. It’s so much fun!

5 stars

I can’t remember where I heard about Are We There Yet?, but I think it was the road trip aspect that caught my eye. Who hasn’t been stuck in the car as a kid asking, “Are we there yet?” And now as a parent, I’ve experienced the other side of that question. Ugh.

The interaction of this book is cool. You have to rotate the book a couple of times. But the story is so strange. Honestly, I didn’t get it at all. And I know Christopher didn’t. It had some message about living in the moment, but it just didn’t work.

2 stars

Christopher had originally selected The William Hoy Story from the new non-fiction shelf at the library as his “Book about the Past” for bingo. Since he didn’t read, it doesn’t count, but we did enjoy this one together.

I’d never heard of William Hoy, but he was a deaf baseball player from the late 1800s who may have contributed to the addition of hand singles in baseball. Kind of cool! This book tells of his career in a very relatable way.

4 stars

Since Christopher attends Ronald Reagan Elementary School, we selected Ronald Reagan (Rookie Biography) as his “Book about a President.” It was a very simple biography. He read only the first half, but I still gave him credit for bingo. We might not make it by the end of the summer, so I’m getting lenient.

Christopher was actually really interested in this book, especially in the years and how old Reagan was at certain times. He also liked finding him in all of the pictures. Reagan was elected the year I was born, and he thought that was pretty cool. But he couldn’t wrap his head around how the U.S. has only had 44 presidents.

4 stars

The Reagan biography mentioned Reagan getting Alzheimers, so I thought it would be appropriate to read What a Beautiful Morning with Christopher to try to help explain the disease. I’d read it on my own when I reviewed it for last week’s Kid Lit.

What has your family been reading?

On the blog last year…

YA Book Club: August 2015

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