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Read Aloud Thursday


I’m starting off this week’s Read Aloud Thursday with what I consider a real dark horse candidate:  Rikki Tikki Tavi.  I never expected my girls to like this book, perhaps because I’ve never been a particular fan of Rudyard Kipling myself, excepting a successful recitation of “If” way back in the ninth grade.  I checked it out simply because I knew that Jerry Pinkney’s illustrations never disappoint.   My girls obviously agree since we have read this rather lengthy (for a picture book) adaptation no fewer than three or four times since we’ve had it from the library.  It turns out that not only does Pinkney paint a pretty picture with watercolors, he also communicates this old tale convincingly to a young audience.  (I also think it has something to do with my girls’  intensely human, albeit morbid, fascination with snakes.)  This story of the brave little mongoose that saves the lives of his human family is just exciting enough for my girls.  My hope is that exposure to these adaptations will leave them open to hearing or reading more when they’re a little older, which has happened before

This week’s Read Aloud Thursday finds me going from one extreme to the other; Kipling’s Rikki Tikki Tavi is best suited for children at least old enough to handle some intense scenes courtesy of Mother Nature; the next two books are gentle enough for the youngest of listenersRabbit Ears by Amber Stewart is the sweet story of a bunny named Hopscotch who knows what he likes:  his lovey, Rabbity; building towers; chocolate cake.  He also knows what he doesn’t like:  lumpy pudding and losing Rabbity just before bedtime.  The thing at the top of his list, though, even above having cold wet paws,  is this:  having his ears washed.  This lovingly didactic tale is all about how important a role model can be in the life of a young child.  Laura Rankin‘s bright illustrations are the perfect complement to this absolutely charming (and potentially helpful–if only we’d read it back then) story.

I think Diana Hendry‘s The Very Noisy Night was the most fun of all of this week’s selections.  In this story, Little Mouse can’t sleep because he hears all manner of strange and creepy noises.  It follows that Big Mouse can’t sleep because Little Mouse won’t let him.  (Can I get an amen from any of the parents out there?)  Big Mouse patiently endures Little Mouse’s questions and investigates each and every unidentified noise.  When Big Mouse has finally adequately assuaged Little Mouse’s fear, Little Mouse can’t sleep because of Big Mouse’s snoring!  (Are there any more amens?)  In the end Big Mouse gives up and finally lets Little Mouse join him in bed.  My girls giggle every time we turn the last page to see two cute, exhausted mice sprawled out asleep (with the covers thrown off) after the alarm clock rings.  Jane Chapman‘s illustrations are what make this book so charming to me.  The bedroom of the little mice is full of fun details:  a spool for a nightstand; a birthday candle for a lamp; a playing card for a bed headboard; etc.  The colors are bright and vibrant and the flyleaves are illustrated with a cheery patchwork quilt design.   This one is a not-to-be missed bedtime story!

What read-alouds have captured you family’s attention?  Leave me a comment or a blog link! 

Have a happy Read Aloud Thursday!


6 Responses

  1. I’m not a huge Kipling fan either. However, I do like SAYING the words: Rikki Tikki Tavi. =D It’s just fun!

    The Very Noisy Night sounds like a cute little book. I think I shall remember this for when brother arrives.=) haha!

  2. P.S. Oh yes! Here’s my link for the week:


    Books based on silly songs.

  3. I’ve tried the ‘Just So Stories’ several times now, and I share your lukewarm estimation of Kipling! Maybe this book would be worth a try.

    Between swimming lessons and VBS this week, we’re not doing very well in the read-aloud category around here…..

    • Ah, so that would explain your absence from bloggy world, huh? Real life intrudes. . . 🙂

      My girls truly were fascinated by Rikki Tikki Tavi. Who knew?

  4. […] that we have no idea that they’ll actually like? (Actually, one would think I’d be used to that by now.)  I picked up Below by Nina Crews because I thought it looked like a fun concept book.  Despite […]

  5. […] any gaps.  Third, well, it’s by Jerry Pinkney–need I say more?  (We’ve enjoyed his work before.)  Fourth, it isn’t truly, completely wordless–there are lots of onomatopoeic animal […]

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