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Read Aloud Thursday

This week our library basket contained some interesting and very quirky books.  Among them was One Potato, Two Potato, written by Cynthia DeFelice and illustrated by Andrea U’Ren.  This is the story of Mr. and Mrs. O’Grady, who are poor both physically and materially.  The discovery of a magic pot, however, changes all of that.  The pot can multiply anything placed within it, and the O’Gradys take advantage of this with humorous results.  The illustrations in this book struck me as a little odd at first, but after I read the book the first time, I grew fond of their quirkiness.  This book ends with a delightful play on words.

Another book we enjoyed this week was The Real Story of Stone Soup, written by Ying Chang Compestine and illustrated by Stephane Forisch.  This is, of course, a retelling of the Stone Soup legend, this time from southeast China. In this story, the Chang brothers work as fishermen for a lazy man they respectfully call Uncle.  The Chang brothers, of course, trick Uncle into doing most of the work in making the stone soup.  There are subtleties in this story (for example, Uncle’s laziness) that make it a good story for reading between the lines and interpreting illustrations.

Our favorites of the week, however, are two history books written in the form of poetry.  Covered Wagons, Bumpy Trails, written by Verla Kay and illustrated by S. D. Schindler and Homespun Sarah, written by Verla Kay and illustrated by Ted Rand, are wonderful introductions to the westward movement and colonial life, respectively.  In Covered Wagons, Bumpy Trails, we follow Father, Mother, and Baby John as they trek along the California Trail from Independence, Missouri, to the Sacramento Valley.  The obstacles and triumphs of the pioneers wagon train are described in rhyming couplets and in warm and expressive illustrations.  It is especially fun to “watch” as Baby John grows into a toddler on the journey.  Homespun Sarah, on the other hand, details the daily life of  a girl in colonial Pennsylvania.  Sarah does many chores including fetching water, filling the wood box with branches, tending the garden, cooking, doing laundry, making candles, gathering berries, spinning wool, and finally, making her own dress since she has outgrown the one she wore throughout the whole story.  Again, rhyming couplets and warm illustrations make this book engaging for little ones, all the while giving a good sense of life in the 1700s.  My four year old daughter requested to have this book read as a bedtime story even as I had it in a stack to review here on my blog.  Of course, my girls do have a predilection for pioneer stories, but because of its fun rhymes and interesting subject matter, I think this book would make a great read aloud for almost any audience.

What have you and yours been enjoying together as read alouds?  Leave me a comment or a link to your blog where you tell about it!

Next week’s Read Aloud Thursday will be a special A.A. Milne edition.  If you have read Milne’s Pooh stories or his poetry (or even some of his lesser-known adult books and articles), please be sure to come back next Thursday and link your blog or leave a comment!

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16 Responses

  1. Just put up our Thursday Read Aloud. This is a great idea.

    • Closeacademy,

      For some reason, your username (?) didn’t come up as a link. Can you please add a link. I want to read your Read Aloud Thursday post, of course!

  2. Thank you for hosting this meme. I am always looking for new books to read to my youngest. Here is my link:

    http://bookpsmith.blogspot.com/2009/01/reading-aloud-thursday.html

  3. I don’t blog but I’ll play!

    Currently, we are reading aloud Mother West Wind’s Neighbors, by Thornton Burgess; The Trouble with Tink, by who knows/who cares (it’s our twaddle book which my Tinker Bell-loving daughter begged me to get from the library); and the Usborne Treasury of Animal Stories by Susanna Davidson.

    We are almost done with Mother West Wind, so tomorrow we will start Edward, Hoppy, and Joe, by Robert Lawson (of Rabbit Hill fame), and over the weekend I expect to start The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson.

  4. TaraThe Liberator,

    How old are your children? I ask because I’m always looking for longer read-alouds that are age appropriate. I have The Family Under the Bridge, but I didn’t know if it would be appropriate for my 4 1/2 year old and 3 year old because I’ve never read it.

    Thanks for playing!!

  5. This sounds like a great idea! Maybe I’ll play along on my blog next week. I have a three year old (and a 9 month old) and his bedtime routine involves me reading him four books of his choosing. He has his favourites, but I try to sneak a few of mine in as well. I THINK the four we had tonight were:

    The Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
    Kipper’s Monster (Monster?) by Mick Inkpen
    Dinosaurs Love Underpants by Claire Freedman
    and Titus’s Troublesome Tooth by Linda Jennings

  6. My kids are six and six! I found The Family Under the Bridge through the Charlotte Mason bookfinder at http://apps.simplycharlottemason.com/.

  7. Btw, one of my six year olds will be seven next month.

  8. Thanks, Tara! Your children ARE close in age! Mine are 18 months apart. I thought we were nuts when I first learned of DD#2’s existence, but God had greater plans. I would not change it now for ANYTHING. They fight and play well together all day long!

  9. Yes, they are very close in age, but we are an adoptive family, so they are not biologically related. In the adoption world they are known as artificial twins. Sometimes I wonder what made me think having two kids so close in age was a good idea 😉 but for the most part it’s great, and the kids are best friends. 🙂

  10. Howdy —
    This week we read “Jimmy Zangwow’s Out-of-this-World Moon Pie Adventure.” You can see the family’s thoughts at http://bookiewoogie.blogspot.com
    Thanks!

  11. […] here at Hope Is the Word for very long, you know if there’s one thing I like, it’s a good children’s book.  Berry’s new book is entitled Whitefoot.  Here is Amazon’s synopsis of the book: […]

  12. […] the various read-alouds that we do together at the House of Hope, but of course, those already have posts dedicated to them).  Instead, then, I am taking a stroll down memory lane to my own childhood and […]

  13. I love pioneer stories too and am trying to brainwash my girls 🙂

    I think I will check our library for covered wagons, bumpy trails and homespun sarah.

    I love A A Milne, so will definitely be looking out for read aloud Thursday tomorrow 🙂

    bigskydreams.typepad.com

  14. […] post.  It is The Real Story of Stone Soup by Ying Chang Compestine and you can read my review here.  It would make a delightful companion to the older Stone Soup version by Marcia Brown! Possibly […]

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