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 Post subject: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:28 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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So I want to start reading longer books to Iz - he is four. I'm thinking like chapter books, but I'm having trouble deciding. He doesn't get scared too easily, and he likes reading "big kid" books with me. I've been reading him poetry by Shel Silverstein, which is printed as a standard book, rather than a little kid book. Bonus points if it's something my partner hasn't read yet, because he'll be reading with us too. So far my ideas are:

-The Harry Potter series
-The Hobbit (and potentially LOTR if he likes the Hobbit, though they're a much tougher story to follow along with..)
-Chronicles of Narnia

Any other suggestions? I'm sort of leaning towards the Harry Potter books, but I don't know if that's a bit too old for him..

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:51 pm 
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One of my favorite books growing up was the Great Brain. It's a whole series of books that are maybe 3rd-5th grade level chapter books and they're about two brothers, one of whom is the "the great brain" who gets into a variety of mischief and sometimes takes his brother along for the ride. Lots of good 25 cent words in there, too.

There's also the Encyclopedia Brown series and Nancy Drew, although Nancy Drew might be scary.

I loved the Ramona Quimby books, also. And anything Judy Blume.

I've re-read a bunch of these as an adult and still enjoyed them (especially the Great Brain, which I brought to read on the beach on my honeymoon and it was perfect for that level of slightly tipsy all day concentration).

Harry Potter seems pretty high level for a 4-year-old, but who knows. Also, seems kind of violent (the hobbit, too).


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:08 pm 
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How about Nate the Great, Henry and Mudge, or Beverly Cleary's Ralph the Mouse or Henry Huggins books? Maybe the Boxcar Children, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:11 pm 
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What about some Roald Dahl? Matilda, or The BFG?

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:12 pm 
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Naked Under Apron
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Also, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM, and Stuart Little, and maybe some Roald Dahl like James and the Giant Peach.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:11 pm 
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We just finished reading the Hobbit with the Emperor (3, but he is verrrrrrry verbal, so he got most of it). It's so weird, it has more violence than I remembered in it. He wasn't scared by it but it did lead to us having to talk about things like what it means to "kill" someone etc. The part where Thorin died was really hard because with "bad guys" he's just like oh yay the goblin king is dead. With Thorin he wanted to know, what do you mean he's not coming back? Why does Bilbo feel so sad about this? Etc. kinda heavy! But overall he really enjoyed it and we did too.

We tried Harry Potter a few months ago, when his attention span was a bit shorter, and it didn't go as well. Just a word to the wise, thr first chapter of the first book is VERY slow and I'm planning to skip it next time we try the series with him. Oh, and there's a lot of talk about people dying/being dead etc in the book so I would just be prepared to talk about that.

We are either going to read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe or The Mouse and the Motorcycle next.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:13 pm 
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Also, I am dying to read the Boxcar Children with him but the first book has been checked out of our library for freaking ever!

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:31 pm 
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A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L'Engle. (I have that one lined up for the boy.)

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:59 pm 
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Larisa wrote:
Also, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM, and Stuart Little, and maybe some Roald Dahl like James and the Giant Peach.


Oh, looove Stuart Little, and everything Beverly Cleary! Roald Dahl is really good - trippy, so a little kid is unlikely to get all of it, but it's perfect for kid + adult reading.

I came back to say Charlotte's Web. And Trumpet of the Swan (although I think there might be death in there that's difficult, so use your judgment!)


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:17 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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coldandsleepy wrote:
Also, I am dying to read the Boxcar Children with him but the first book has been checked out of our library for freaking ever!

You beat me to it, C&S -- The Boxcar Children for sure!!

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:13 am 
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Ditto on Beverly Cleary. The Ramona series is great. There's also Judy Blume, but I never liked her stuff much.

On the easier end: "The Littles" series?
Mode medium: "The Westing Game"? "The Mysterious Benedict Society"?
A little more advanced: The "Bartemaeus" Trilogy? Original Nancy Drews?


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:59 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Oh, duh -- the Little House series. I re-read those a few years ago and they were still good.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:17 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Awesome! I was trying to think of Roald Dahl - we will definitely try those. I've never heard of the Great Brain, but I will look it up. I'm keeping all these titles on a list to work through. I read a lot of those as a kid, but now I can't remember which ones I liked best. I read ALL THE TIME, so I went through tons and tons of books. I know I read all the Boxcar children books and Nancy Drew books. Next time I get a chance to browse at the library, I will see what they've got. Thanks, guys!

coldandsleepy wrote:
We just finished reading the Hobbit with the Emperor (3, but he is verrrrrrry verbal, so he got most of it). It's so weird, it has more violence than I remembered in it. He wasn't scared by it but it did lead to us having to talk about things like what it means to "kill" someone etc. The part where Thorin died was really hard because with "bad guys" he's just like oh yay the goblin king is dead. With Thorin he wanted to know, what do you mean he's not coming back? Why does Bilbo feel so sad about this? Etc. kinda heavy! But overall he really enjoyed it and we did too.

Good to know! We've talked about killing/death before, so it might be a good opportunity for him to ask some more questions. Plus, if it's too heavy for him, it's not a big deal if we stop and move on to another book! Anyway, like the Emperor, he is also super verbal, and I think he would be able to follow the story pretty well.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:16 pm 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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Paula Danziger's Matthew Martin books are great:
Everyone Else's Parents Said Yes, Make Like A Tree and Leave, Earth to Matthew

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:48 pm 
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Nooch of Earl
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Ooh, just thought of: Little Women, Little Men, and Jo's Boys. Tom Sawyer, maybe?


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:34 pm 
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I have nothing against Harry Potter or your other thoughts, but i was going to suggest more kid-oriented series. You have plenty of time to read the "older kid" series.
Sorry if some if these have already been mentioned: Bailey School Kids, Magic School Bus, Geranimo Stilton, Magic Tree House, Nate the Great, Flat Stanley, Henry and Mudge, Horrible Harry, Cam Jansen, or Judy Moody.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:21 pm 
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We used to read books to our preschool kids at "rest" time and it is still one of my most favorite memories of those days. The already mentioned Mrs. Frisby was a favorite. Others included the Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe, Charlotte's Web, Winnie the Pooh, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Borrowers (far and away the kids' favorite), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This 15 minutes or so each day often extended into the munchkins play and inspired lively conversations at snack (which was the next activity after some of the kids slept). The depths of their character analysis and hypotheses about what was going to happen next in the tales was astounding to me. I also remember some particularly funny conversation when we reached the climax of some of the books, particularly Charlotte's Web, about sadness, as my co-teacher and I sometimes read passages with lumps in our throats. Ooh, and they also liked From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler.

Oh, I can't wait to share Charlotte and Huckleberry Finn and the Murrys and Harry Potter and a hundred other characters with Freya.

With Baby G, my nanny gal, I read lots and lots of fairy tales.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:29 pm 
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My mom was telling me that she read the Wizard of Oz to me when I was 2, and she wasn't sure I really knew what was going on until she stopped sometime towards the end and I started crying because I needed to know if Dorothy was going to get home. I also have really good memories of my mom reading me Danny the Champion of the World. I think any Roald Dahl book would be good, maybe the BFG in particular.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:33 pm 
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Winnie the Pooh definitely!

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:07 pm 
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Oh, I forgot about the Borrowers! We will have to get that one.

Ijustdiedinside - that is a super cute story!

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:18 pm 
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Hearts James Cromwell
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My five-year-old loves pretty much all of the books people have recommended, especially anything by Beverly Cleary or Roald Dahl. He also adores the Pippi Longstocking books (he wants to be Pippi for Halloween) and Louis Sachar (Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Someday Angeline, Dogs Don't Tell Jokes) who is a criminally underappreciated children's author.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:53 am 
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The Moomintroll books by Tove Jansson are also excellent!

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:22 am 
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We're reading Stuart Little now (we're about halfway through! surprisingly fast read!) and guys, it is hilarious. I'm not sure if I read it as a kid and just didn't get the jokes or if I didn't read it as a kid, but it is giving me seriously lols as an adult.

ETA: The Emperor is digging it too. One of his favorite toys right now is a tiny mouse who lives in his dollhouse, so when we were like do you want to hear a book about a little mouse he was like OH DEAR ME YES.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:32 pm 
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We finished Stuart Little. E liked it and we thought it was hilarious. It didn't raise any fewer questions for him than the Hobbit though. He had no idea prior to hearing it, for instance, that cats eat birds and mice. So he had a lot to ask about that.

We've started The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe now and he's really enjoying it two chapters in. I had forgotten, though, that the wardrobe in question is full of fur coats. Ick. He didn't ask about that so we didn't stop to talk about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Book Suggestions!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:19 pm 
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Thanks for the update! I think we'll do Stuart Little soon. I wonder if Iz knows cats eat mice... I'm not sure now!

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