Old School Chapter Books

June 18, 2012










Hi Peeps! Feeling cozy? Settled in? Because I've got some chatting to do today. There's change in the air...I can feel it....it's scary...and fun...and wow...because my baby girl is on that line. That line between picture books and chapter books. I've been talking a lot about this with some friends who are in the same boat with their kiddos.

So here's where we're at. Julia is able to handle various levels of the Early Reader books and many picture books on her own. Don't get me wrong, she's still waaaay into picture books, and if we read a book that is light on picture-pretty, she's like, 'where's the art action, yo?' (I haven't really taught her to say yo yet, but give me time.)

But at night time story reading, she's ready for more. MORE STORY. Stuff that's got a bit more meat on it. So we've been reading a variety of things, which I'll touch on throughout the week. 

I love classic stuff. So we're reading some classic stuff. We've been reading 'The World of Pooh' off and on since early Spring. For those adults or kids who say 'pooh-pooh' to Pooh (did you catch that? I'M SO AWESOME), I say, have you really read it? It's not for babies. Half the time, Julia is all, 'What are they talking about mom?' These are books meant for older kiddo reading, like I wouldn't start until ages 6 or 7. Probably not until age 8 or 9 would a kiddo be able to read it on their own. So much funny! J just loooooooooves 'Pooh'. Ditto the 'Uncle Wiggly' book. Very sweet, very fun, smallish short stories that are chapter-length.

Julia loves funny. The more absurd and funny, the better. 'Lotta Says No' by Astrid Lindgren (we'll be onto 'Pippi' before the year is out, I'm sure.) is fun and funny and features a sassy, spunky, little girl who knows her own mind. Julia can relate. Go read this and then read the sequel.

I read the ENTIRE line, pretty much, of Steven Cosgrove's 'Serendipity' books when I was just about Julia's age. Not chapter books, but longer stories with plenty of amazing illustration along with the text. We have 'Leo the Lop', which J ADORED, and 'Zippity Zoom', and I'm about to do a massive order of these out-of-print gems. (I don't mind getting used books, you shouldn't either! Sometimes it's the only way to get hold of something amazing.)

The last thing I want to leave you with today is a book I've already posted about, but I think I should talk about at least 2x a year really, AT LEAST. Gyo Fujikawa's 'Fairy Tale and Fables' is not a chapter book per se, but all fairy tale books kind of are in a way -- a bunch of short stories lumped in together. Julia can handle the longer-in-length story action and the art is more incredible than most fairy tale books you'll see around. Plus, Y'ALL SHOULD BE READING FAIRY TALES. (Here's a great essay on why.) So, there's that.






16 comments:

  1. Hey Melissa, it's good to see you! I'm easily seduced by books - I spent an amazing time with my two eldest kiddos in our city's best bookshop supposedly buying books for Father's Day but really buying books for EVERYBODY - and I will be getting my hands on that Fairy Tales book for sure.

    My little Angélique is only two and a half and a book monster. I am surprised how easily she takes to books with few pictures and lots of text these days although, of course, she is equally happy with picture books. It's kinda fun seeing her flit between different types. The books for older children are hand-me-downs from my two eldest kids.

    Have you seen the 'sort-of-gypsy-caravan' on my post thumbnail?

    See you soon.

    Stephanie

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    1. You will LOVE that book Stephanie!!! I know just what you mean about shopping and books -- me + bookstores = Not Pretty.

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  2. I remember Leo the Lop from my own girlhood! Old books are the best. MIss C. still loves her picture books too, but I'm guessing that it won't be too much longer before we're walking that line too. I must get my hands on that Pooh book - we are serious about Pooh 'round these parts.

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    1. Pooh is serious....seriously AWESOME!! (ha ha , I am so corny and lame)

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  3. I love me some Serendipity books! I can't find my entire collection, but I've managed to dig out quite a few.

    When you're ready for Pippi, try the Lauren Child edition. The translation is a bit more PC (the king of the cannibals is now "king of the natives"), but it's chock-full of Charlie and Lola-like illustrations. I read it to my oldest when was she was 4, and she loved it enough to ask for it for Christmas. We read it again since, and she even went as Pippi for Halloween last year!

    We're still in that in-between stage, too. G loves reading on her own, and has multiple chapter books started right now, but still adores picture books. Little sis provides her a great excuse to still read them.

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    1. Lauren Child is one of my imaginary BFF's (along with Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver :) -- and I have had her version of 'Pippi' on my radar for quite some time!! LOVE PIPPI!

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    2. I figured as much. ;o) It really is that good.

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  4. We just finished reading Summer of the Monkeys- Dax was begging every night for ANOTHER chapter. And this chapter book has NO illustrations!!! I can hardly believe he's ready to just listen. And bibs usually falls asleep mid chapter- which is cool with me.

    You should see my Serendipity Book collection :) Its big. Don't forget to order Kartusch. The VERY BEST serendipity book according to me.

    I haven't heard of Lotta... I'll have to check it out.

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    1. 'Summer of Monkeys' ?? This sounds like something that needs to be in our life. You have a huge Serendipity collection? LUCKY! My parents didn't keep mine, boo.

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    2. The 'Lotta' book is HILARIOUS!

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    3. My older sister took all of our childhood Serendipity books :( So I've been re-collecting over the past ten years. I find them all the time at the thrift store. ALL THE TIME.

      Summer of the Monkeys written by Wilson Rawls (1976) set in the late 1800's in the Ozark mountains... it's such a fantastic book, lots of adventure and really funny situations (monkeys). Also tender and sweet.

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    4. We've got a chain of used bookstores around here that are really good! I just found a bunch of the Serendipity books in hardcover for less $ than it would have been to buy a used paperback from Amazon (although I had the Serendipity paperbacks and loved them)

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  5. Good stuff to remember for us next year! We picked up a copy of uncle wiggly and have loved it! I have never heard anyone else talk about it, so I am glad you are. I like some of the illustrated classics (found at goodwill) we read the swiss family robinson and really loved it.

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    1. You know, if my dad hadn't introduced me to Uncle Wiggily when I was young, I don't know that I EVER would have heard about it -- I don't see these books mentioned anywhere online or ever see them in stores or used book shops -- I really feel like they are a Forgotten Secret -- we also have an audio CD Uncle Wiggily storytape, which is very fun!

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  6. Yay for Gyo Fujikawa! And I am going to start reading Pippi to my 5-year-old soon, can't wait. Check out my post about Gyo and others at www.vintagebooksfortheveryyoung.blogspot.com.

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    1. I definitely will Miss Leanne, thank you!!!

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