Books That Your Children Want to Hear over and...
As a parent, I couldn't imagine depriving my kids of a hobby that will last a lifetime. That's why I give them books. Not only is it fun, but it helps them learn and their imaginations grow. The difficult part is finding the right book.
It is sometimes difficult to find books that have characters with positive qualities. There have been numerous times when I have bought a book, just to throw it in the trash because of a bratty child or obnoxious words. In choosing my children's books, I keep the following in mind: what goes into your mind is like super glue; it will stick there forever. Unless you want a snotty Junie B. Jones walking around your house back talking you, I encourage you to find books that have characters that you would like your child to repeat.
I realize it is especially difficult for early independent readers, but I have found a few authors that I would like to recommend that are fun, imaginative, and are sure to have your children asking for more: Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Tree House series (historical fiction with positive role models). C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia series (most children have seen the movies, but how about expanding their imagination by having them read the books). G.E. Stanley's The Katie Lynn Cookie Company series (not just for the girls; for an additional treat, try the recipe at the end of the book). and Tomie dePaola books (well illustrated and written moral stories).
Never forget that you are your child's best teacher. Teach them the joy of reading by giving them good books, and "choose wisely" because not all books are created equally!
Cynthia, Yes, I do agree that Shel Silverstein is a great author that I have loved since I was a kid. We listen to a book on cd in the car of Shel Silverstein. Awhile back, Wendy's had a book on cd of The Magic Tree House that I saw as we drove by, I pulled up through the drive through and asked if we could just by the cd, which they ended up selling it for about a quarter. The kids love to listen to books on cd's in the car.
My children are 4 and 5.5-yrs-old. I agree with the selections chosen in the article and believe that it is very important to read EVERYDAY to our children. We have read the Narnia series twice. We also enjoy reading the Harry Potter series. J.K. Rowling is a great descriptive writer. I only have read one Junie B book and found it hard to read the bad grammar Junie B would spout. I really don't like to recite a sentence or word the wrong way to have my impressionable young children to think that is the correct way to speak and then use their words the wrong way. My daughter found it entertaining and I noticed that she picked up some of the "ways" Junie B spoke. It is very entertaining as a parent reading Junie B as she is very true to most of the first graders that I have experienced. If you choose to read Junie B, maybe it could be an English lesson, find all the errors and correct the sentence. **Please read the Shel Silverstein books to your children. My kids LOVE the humor in the poems and find it easy to recite the silly rhymes. They are great to read while on a trip or outing.
So, are you saying Junie B is not a brat or that your child just looks at her bratty attitude as entertainment? Yes, children can still choose to behave appropriately, but why give them bad examples of behavior when there are so many other good ones out there? Everyone can do as they wish when it comes to raising their own child, but in my own opinion, I want my children to see as many positive qualities in positive role models as they can. Entertainment can be fun, exciting, and super creative without the extra disrespect and brattiness that I saw in the Junie B. books. This may be because I only read the one Junie B. book, but it left a sour distaste for any more of that girl.
Junie B Jones and that Grace are two of my favorite book characters. My children are routinely complimented whereever we go on how polite they are. My kids and I can enjoy all types of characters in all types of books, but still choose to behave appropriately.
I completly agree on choosing good books your kids will learn from, a couple of things we do similarly is we find books that have movies. We have our 8 year old read the book, then we make it a big deal to watch the movie after we've read the book. Often times our son has said, "what happened to....." and "they forgot..." I love that he remembers, and he really loves reading the books before watching the movies. We also read the same books over and over again to our kids, letting them finish the sentences, and understand the ends of the sentence. A good one we've done with all 3 is, "Good night___" and then "and a bowl of ____" they love remembering and being able to identify what comes next. I also have my kids "read" the book to me, looking at the pictures describing what they think happened next, and then reading it to them, and finding out how accurate they were with their depictions of each page. We LOVE picture books. We haven't read Junie B Jones yet, but our 8 year old loved the Captain Underpants books. And the books about body parts. My 8 year old is VERY interested in my Human Anatomy and Physiology book. I am a little leery of certain pages, but its all about the body, and I feel once he's seen photos of naked people, and askes questions, it will desensitize him for later in his life. Maybe he's too young, but each child is different. We took him to Bodies Exhibit about 10 times. He loved seeing all the creepy parts of the body, and was especially intrigued by the person who was made up of only veins and capillaries.