April 15, 2012 § 1 Comment
We are a family of bookworms. When the girls were little, we loved going to bed and waking up by reading a fun stack of our favorite picture books – books that now I will never be able to part with. But as the girls have grown, we’ve moved into new and even more exciting territory: the chapter book read-alouds. It’s probably not a coincidence that this is something that has become part of our family life given that my dad reading aloud is definitely a favorite memory from my childhood. The first chapter book I read to our family was Charlotte’s Web, and by the time we got to the part when the lovely Charlotte comforts Wilbur as she is meeting her tragic end, Bella was fully engaged, weeping along with Wilbur. She was so affected, loved the story and wanted to hear it again immediately. And I’ll never forget reading The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane to both the girls, crying so hard myself by the end that I could barely get the last words out.
This Spring Break, it was fun to have my dad read a bit of The Hobbit, our current read-aloud. He’d read it when I was little, and once convinced, he dove in again – it was like stepping back in time. He used the voices I remember, and I was thrilled the girls got to hear a little of his version. We just laid back and took it in – it was a good night.
We also love listening to books on CD. The Harry Potter series, read by Jim Dale, is a particular favorite with my girls. In fact, anything read by Jim Dale can transport you to another world. We have recently discovered a new series: Peter and the Starcatchers, a new twist on the classic Peter Pan story. We started reading the first book ourselves but, once we discovered that Mr. Dale was reading the audio books, we made the switch. On our ski weekends this year, we were consumed with listening to the series in the car, sometimes coming home after our long drive to sit at the kitchen bar, huddling around the iPod, unable to break ourselves away from the story. I love that we are book nerds.
It’s definitely fun to read alone, and each of us loves the down-time provided by checking out and escaping into our own little book world. But, there’s something different and amazing about reading a book together as a family. Having our own little book club and sharing that imaginary world together is a wonderful way to spend our time.
Our Favorite Family Read-Alouds:
any Oz book
Little House on the Prairie
Peter and the Starcatchers