The age I've been waiting for since I got pregnant in 2004 has finally arrived. Mary Grace is old enough for Chapter Books!
Up until recently, she hasn't had the attention span to read books without pictures, where the story spanned several days of reading a chapter or two at bedtime, but her cousins gave her a stack of their old Junie B. Jones books, and she is hooked. Claire is a little less into them, but she'll get there.
Actually, we sort of screwed up with Claire and reading - we have always read at Mary Grace's level, which meant that the books were above Claire's head and she was completely uninterested. We didn't figure it out until she was about 2-1/2. As soon as we got out Mary Grace's old books and started reading at Claire's level, she got interested. It's really important, with multiple kids, to make sure you're reading to each child at their own level (or just a smidge above their level). Claire still loves books that teach the ABCs, with big pictures, and shorter books with lots of rhyming and meter, and that's fine. There's no better way to ruin a kid's love of reading than to push them too far too fast, IMHO. There's plenty of time for War and Peace later. (She'll listen to the chapter books, but she gets bored quickly and wanders away. I think she listens as long as she does because she wants to be like her big sister. If she were an only child, she wouldn't sit still as long as she does for them).
Anyway, back to chapter books... the first thing I did was order the Little House books (see convenient picture ad, above). These were my favorites when I was a kid. I must have read them a hundred times, and I was Laura for Halloween more than once. They shipped today, and I can't wait to start them. (Plus, Laura is a better role model than Junie B. Let's face it, that Junie B. is a brat. We've already had lots of discussions about how Junie B. is NOT someone we want to emulate.) I also want to read the Madeline L'Engle books to her. I remember that I loved A Wrinkle in Time even though I have no idea, now, what it was about.
I know a bunch of you are teachers, and a bunch of you are book lovers. Some of you are both! Help me build a good list. What are your favorite books for little girls just starting chapter books?
(The links above are Amazon Associates links, which means that if you click them and buy stuff I get a penny or two added to my own book fund, so thanks!)