Thursday 3 January 2013

A year in chapter books

Last year, I read 26 chapter books to Younger Daughter who is now 6. We didn't aim at a book a fortnight that is just what happened.

There were a few books that we started and didn't finish. I haven't included these. 

For 2013, I have a fairly short list of books to read aloud but will probably look out more books as time goes on to fit with her interests. 

This is last year's list with comments:

The otter who wanted to know- Jill Tomlinson
The hen who wanted to  know- Jill Tomlinson.

 These books are ideal early chapter books with gentle, amusing but non-threatening plots. They are in our local library.

Flat Stanley-Jeff Brown. 

This is another book that we found in the library and ended up hosting Flat Stanley.

Stone Fox-Reynolds Gardiner.

 I hadn't heard of this book until we read it with our home education group book club. We loved this book but be warned, it is sad.

The invention of Hugo Cabret-Selznick. 

This was another home ed book club choice and I was worried that it would be too long. The size is partly due to the large number of illustrations. Middle Son read the book himself and I read it to Younger Daughter but strangely it really appealed to our youngest aged 3. There were illustrations that he wanted to go back to again and again. Having read this, we watched the film Hugo also a success. We have a constant debate about whether film versions are better than the original book. You can guess which side I'm on!

Charlie and the great glass elevator-Roald Dahl. 
I'm not a great Dahl fan but we had read Charlie and the chocolate factory and this was a logical extension.
James and the giant peach-Roald Dahl. 
Again,this was a book club choice.

Titanic: the Ship of Dreams- Robert Plant.

 This was a book that has links to London so we set off to investigate. Eight months later the children still talk about this book.

The Partisans-Piet Prins.

 This was the only book that I read aloud to Middle Son, last year. I'm planning that we read a few books together this year.

Sophie in the Saddle- Dick King-Smith
Sophie is seven-Dick King-Smith
Sophie's Lucky- Dick King-Smith.

 This series was appreciated. Combination of a little girl and animals. Sophie's attitude does call for some discussion.

Ambulance!-Beckles Wilson.

 A quick read designed as an early reader.

More stories of Patsy-Anne-Ralph.

This was a book of mine from childhood and  now out of print.

How to be a Bible princess- Catherine Mackenzie.

A look at Bible princesses.

Susan and the Wendy house-Courtney. 

This is another book from my childhood.

Storytime with the Millers-Mildred Martin. 

Individual stories with a Scriptural application from a Mennonite background.

Milly Molly Mandy Stories-Lankester Brisley
More of Milly Molly Mandy-Lankester Brisley
Milly Molly Mandy again-Lankester Brisley
Further doings of Milly Molly Mandy-Lankester Brisley

Milly Molly Mandy and Co-Lankester Brisley-October 2012
Milly Molly Mandy and Billy Blunt- Lankester Brisley. 
The Milly Molly Mandy books have definitely been the most popular read alouds of the year. The first four books on the list are in print. Younger Daughter loved these books so much that she was delighted to receive second hand, old library copies of the latter two volumes as birthday and Christmas gifts. I'm not sure why the latter books are out of print. Probably the funniest story in the series is in Milly Molly Mandy and Co. 

Back in March we did some activities related to the books.

Squanto-friend of the Pilgrims-Bulla. 

This book wasn't such a success. It might have been better if we had done some background work first.

Ned-Barbara Coyle.

A book that I had been looking forward to reading aloud again and wrote about here.

Tom's sausage lion-Michael Morpurgo.

 I picked up this book at a second hand sale. Interesting rather anti-adult undertones.


  1. Thanks for the comment on my blog! I used to read the Milly Molly Mandy series when I was young. I remember being jealous because my oldest sister was called Amanda :) I wonder if I can find them in the States! If not I may need to get my niece to bring them when she visits in June!

  2. Thanks for the list, SarahElisabeth!

    ~ Danika

  3. Lisa, there seem to be some Milly Molly Mandy books on but some seem to be different volumes to the originals. I guess that the stories are moved around which is fine but if you had a mixture of new and old there might be overlap. There is a list of the books as published here

  4. As I was reading through your list I was thinking 'you should read the Millymollymandy series' and lo and behold there it was! Our girls still read these again and again four years on. They love them! They also enjoyed the earlier Elsie Dinsmore books, the Moody books (very homeschool Christian books) and Little house on the Prairie books. We love Tomlinson-my 4 year old listens to those on CD during her quiet time, and the Miller series! Great choices!!

  5. Looks like you read some great books. Thanks for linking up to The Children's Bookshelf.