Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dear Santa, please bring me Early Chapter Books!

I hate to break it to you, but there are only three more wednesdays until Christmas.  And that's including today.  Where does the time go?  (You know, when you came up with this idea I thought you were a genius-- but now I see your whole plan was just to stress me out, reminding me each week how far behind I am...not cool.)Today we have suggestions for those cute elementary age kids of yours who are just starting out into the world of Chapter Books!  It's our Early Chapter Book list!

I became an instant fan of the Judy Moody Books by Megan McDonald when Lilac started reading them. Judy's high energy and super duper 'stick to it no matter how crazy you look' attitude make for fanstastic plots with great outcomes (that my child could not put down!!) They are so so so great!! And Judy's brother even gets in on the action with  the companion Stink Books.

I've suggested My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett before, and I'll certainly suggest it again.  It's just a really cool book!  It's been around for a long time for good reason.  It's the perfect gateway fantasy/adventure book for your little reader.  This book is great both read-aloud or read-independantly.

Frankly Frannie by AJ Stern is another fun early series!  Frannie wants to work in an office and in each book she tries a different job-- which usually results in antics and silliness, it's great!! Lilac enjoyed these so much that one year for 'favorite character' day at school, she dressed as Frannie (she had a briefcase and carried business cards, it was so fun!)

The Spiderwick Chronicles by DiTerlizzi and Black, oh how I adore this set of stories!  And they are the perfect size books for kids new to chapter books.  Not overwhelmingly long.  That's so important!!!  Really fantastic stories with the most wonderful illustrations.

The Mercy Watson books by Kate DeCamillo are the perfect reading confidence builder! They've got large print, pictures, and super short chapters. Plus, they're funny and silly and talk about a lot of buttered toast! Yummm!

I read The Fairy Rebel by Lynne Reid Banks over and over as a kid.  As I recall it was first read aloud to me by my school librarian when I was in 2nd grade.  Soon after I got my own copy, it's a great book!

I don't think a childhood is complete without E. B. White. If you know a kid who hasn't been read classics like Charlotte's Web or Stuart Little, then you must put these books under their tree immediately, Surely we can all agree there!!

Check it out!  It's Bad Kitty Boxed Set #1.  I realize we just talked about Bad Kitty, the thing is... I love  the way Nick Bruel combines text, illustration and humor in these simple chapter books.  They are just what early or reluctant readers need to get hooked on reading!

I feel like maybe this list would be incomplete if I didn't mention The BFG or some other work of Roald Dahl. He's definitely another author that children must meet. His rambunctious and sometimes cheeky writing style sits well with little listeners (while not always so much with big people reader-alouders...which is probably why kids like it so much!)

And then there's The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald (that's just the first in a series) .  Honest to goodness some of my very favorite (in the world) books.  They are so funny and wonderful.  Historical fiction with enough real life connections to really get you wondering what's real and what isn't.  Crazy adventures.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard/read these books.  The best.

It's hard to narrow down what should go on these lists!  What did we miss that you think we should have certainly added?  I know there are more than a few.  Have you bought any books that will find themselves under the tree yet?  If so, please do tell!  I promise we're great at keeping secrets.  :)

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