Tuesday, April 12, 2011

So many books...So little time...

I do not profess to be really great at many things.  Truly I am not, although my mother, I know, would disagree.  But the facts are, I am not a great cook or housekeeper. I am not crafty or super creative.  I am not very organized, I can't sew, drive a stick shift, fix anything that breaks unless duct tape counts, I do not like to bake.  Hmmm...I forget to send thank you cards.  How horrible is that??  I am hoping I am making you feel better about yourself.  Is it working? ; ) 

Really, I'm not the greatest at much of anything!  BUT...I do really, really, really love God and my family, and if they go through life and to the grave knowing that, then I will feel like I succeeded! 

However, in spite of the things I haven't done very well, there are a few that I am really happy I've done.  And one of those is, I read to the kids.  Just about every night.  Since the kids have been very little, I have chosen a book and read it to them, and for a long time now, we have been reading through children's novels.  It is one of my (and their) favorite times of the day.

I thought I would share some of our favorites with you, to give you some ideas about where to start in case you would like to start this tradition, or if you already read, to add to your list.  I am going to list them from memory, so in most cases I do not remember the author right off the top of my head.  I don't have time to go hunting on my shelves for the books right now, and some were from the library.

So, here you go for a start:

Mr Pudgins  This was one of my absolute favorites when I was a kid!  I highly recommend you find this, although it is difficult to find.  Full of zany adventures of a family of children and their eccentric babysitter, Mr. Pudgins.  I know you will be glad you got it.

Pinnochio  I do not mean the Disney version.  There really is a classic book with this title, and it is such a good story about making right choices.  We read it years ago, and I am going to check it out from the library again.

The Trumpet of the Swan  Some of the books I've picked, I've chosen because they stand out in my mind from when I was a kid.  I remember our librarian at school read this to us, and it was a fun story to read to my boys.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School  Some books we read are just plain  fun and silly.  This is the first book in a series like that.  I loved them when I was little, and I still do, and so do my kids. 

The Indian in the Cupboard  This was a great book, well written and interesting.  However, I was annoyed that there was a bad word in it!  So I was glad I was reading it TO the kids, and I could edit that out, and that I hadn't just handed it to them to read. 

The Boxcar Children Series  I loved the first one in the series.  After that, I could have taken or left these, but my boys liked them, and one of them really LOVED them.  So, give them a try.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn  I don't remember the exact titles, but these two books were excellent.  We read the real ones, and not any watered down kids' versions.  They use more difficult language, but the kids got used to the writing style, and I felt it was really good for them to stretch their brains a bit. 

The Littles  Cute series.  So far we have just read one of these

Lemony Snicket--a Series of Unfortunate Events  We love these books!  Enough said.

The Wizard of Oz  We just got finished reading this oldy but goody for the second time.  Much better than the movie!

Eric Liddell  I want to read more biographies to the kids, but so far I have had trouble finding ones that hold their interest that well.  Eric Liddell (and I might have that spelling wrong) is a great hero of the faith, and just happens to be the main character in "Chariots of Fire." 

The Chronicles of Narnia  Please read these books if you haven't already.  They are excellent literature for children (and I loved them too!) and they present truths of Scripture in such a compelling way. 

Stories of the Pilgrims  by Margaret B. Pumphrey I often try to read something that goes along with what we are studying.  When we were learning early American history, I pulled this out, and I thought it was just excellent.  It tells the Pilgrims' story in much more detail than is normally told, from their beginnings in England until their days in the new colony.

Scout  Forgive me if this is not the entire title, but I think this is it.  It's a riveting tale of a boy and his dog during the Nazi era in Europe.  A great book for boys!

I am sure there have been many more, but these are the ones that are coming to mind right now, so that's a good start for you!  I must confess that one of my favorite parts about being a mom is that I get to enjoy all these great children's books again without feeling silly.  It's a great excuse to read them!  : )   I will probably write another post someday as I think of more great books we have read, and by all means, if you have favorites you've read, please leave a comment and share! 


  1. Awwww, that totally makes you a ROCKIN' COOL MOM!! Who cares about all those other things (although I CAN drive a stick-shift, just so you know...LOL), the time you spend reading to your kids is PRICELESS and has oodles of benefits for them and YOU!

    Have you read to them the Jesus Storybook? It's a WONDERFUL version of Bible stories...and each story points to Christ. The wording is creative and rich.

    Anyway, Lucy loves to be read to...it's just that right now, it's more toddler-type books and sometimes they make me cringe. LOL Although there is a particular chicken book that I absolutely love and wish I could find again at the library but I can't remember what it's called.

    Ok, I'm rambling.

    Oh! Laura Ingles Wilder?? Have you read those? LOVE THEM!!

    Okay, have a great day, girl!

  2. Lori, in case you check this again, oh yes, I read ALL the Little House books when I was a kid, but I haven't started them with the boys since I thought they might be too girly. But now that I think about it, they probably aren't! I might start on those next! And I agree with you that all those things I mentioned are not terribly important...along with gardening, which I also have no talent at. ;)

  3. My friend reads the Little House books with his sons, who are outdoorsy boys that like to spend a lot of time in the woods and camping. They really relate well with them.

    We don't do novels with Jakob yet, just his Jesus Storybook Bible. I think we'll do Boxcar Children and I remember loving Maniac McGee when I was little. He'll probably read a lot by himself, though, because he already goes off to his room and looks through his books a lot.

  4. Jeff...have fun with Boxcar someday. But I'll be willing to bet you'll be ready to puke after the first couple, like I was. Maniac McGee? I never heard of that. I'll have to check it out!And that's two good reviews for the Jesus Storybook Bible. That's not the Arthur Maxwell one by any chance, is it?