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read to me challenge

Read more about our family’s undertaking of the Challenge here, and details of the challenge from the sponsor here.


1. Bugs and Slugs.

This is one of Isaac’s favourite books at the moment.  He loves to turn the pages and lift the flaps.  Usborne books have great illustrations, word choice and information available in them.  All of the non-fiction books we own are Usborne. 🙂 He likes to point out the differences between the two insects in comparison on each page (bees and wasps, milipedes and centipedes, etc).

2. Find the Piglet

Another Usborne favourite in our home.  Little Piglet hides around the farm and youngsters have to look carefully to spot him.  At the end of the book are counting activities as well as additional items to go back into the story and spot.

3. Moira’s Birthday

A classic by Robert Munsch that I remember reading myself when I was around Ava’s age.  Our copy is now dog-eared and stained, but despite it’s failing looks it’s still a favourite.  The kids love the silliness  of the story and the caricatures of the parents, pizza and cake bakers.  I remember dreaming about what it would be like to have all of those kids over for one birthday party (and how wonderful it would be to eat all that cake!)

4. Pirate Pat

Originally I purchased this set of Very First readers for Ava over the summer as she was having difficulty with reading.  She loved the ease of the story and the fact that these stories are interactive.  They’re designed to have parents read a page and then the child reads a page.  Initially, the child’s portion is just a few words, but as the levels of the books increase so do the child’s contributions to the story.  Both kids enjoy the time we spend with these books as well as the puzzles and games at the end.

5. Hen’s Pens

Another book from Usborne (are we noticing a trend yet? And I swear, I don’t work for them!) that both Isaac and Ava like to read and spend time with.  This book is part of their phonics readers collection.  Again, these were purchased to assist Ava in recognizing phonics rules and word family patterns in her reading.  We used to sit together and I would read the stories to her, but now she can take the readers out and share them with her brother.  Isaac loves to hear the story (although it isn’t the most creative word play, it is designed with a purpose ;)) and each page has a flap to lift and a duck to spot.

6. I Love You All Year Long

A board book given to the kids last Valentine’s Day by grandma, I Love You All Year Long sends the message that you’re always special.

7. We Like to Nurse

A great book about nursing (breastfeeding) in nature.  It shows many mother/child pairs of animals nursing together.  Isaac loves to exclaim at the end of each page “Milk! Milk for the baby!”

8. Love You Forever

Who doesn’t know this story?  I remember my mom reading it to us when we were little and her inability to make it through the book without being a sobbing mess.  And now I am just like my mother.  I’m sure the kids only request this story so that they can see me a crying, nose-running, snivelling mess by the last page.  The story seemed to hit me especially hard after watching my husband lose his mother a few years ago.  Until that point I never noticed the pain on the son’s face when he’s rocking his mother for the last time.  It makes my heart ache.

The children, on the other hand, love to sing the song along with me, rocking back and forth, and to trill along, “This kid is driving me CRAAAAAAAAZY!”.  Isaac especially likes that the two year old flushes his mother’s watch down the toilet.  Fortunately for us, he’s left that antic to the character in the book.

9. My Amazing Poo Plant

Technically, this is an easy chapter book, but the kids loved it so much I included it with picture books (there are illustrations!).  It’s four chapters long, but we read it in under 15 minutes.  The story begins with a girl who wants a pet and her mother offers her the exciting option of a potted plant.  As she holds out the dirt-filled pot to her daughter a bird flies by and poops in the pot!  Mystery ensues as to what seeds the bird ate and what type of plant will grow.

10. Ruby’s Tea Party

Isaac adores Max from Max and Ruby.  Something about a devilish little brother bunny that resonates with him, I suppose.  We checked this story out from the library before heading to the doctor’s office and I do believe that we read about Max’s quest to be a pirate and Ruby’s efforts to host a tea party, oh, 11 times in our hour and a half long wait?  Yes, I do believe it was 11 times.

11.Out on the Ice in the Middle of the Bay

We read this suspenseful story before bedtime one evening and the kids were enthralled by both the plot and the illustrations.  Ava recognized right away that the story was set in Canada, which piqued her interest considerably.  Both children related to the cold, cold winter weather (although not as cold as the Arctic weather in the story) and the worry for the little girl.  The climax was suspenseful and Ava’s jaw was literally open until a resolution was found.

12. L M N O P

This collection of poetry was a Christmas gift for little Violet.  It encompasses the Waldorf principles of alphabet instruction by telling a story about each letter and having it accompanied by an absolutely stunning illustration.  I read it to Isaac during afternoon quiet time and he was mesmerized by the drawings, tracing the letters with his finger.  The poems are a little silly, as children’s poems often are.

13. See Inside Planet Earth

A lift-the-flap book, who could have selected this? Isaac, of course!  This is another non-fiction selection that discusses the planet we live on and draws attention to our waning resources.  The content was too heavy for a 3 year old, but he was content to just lift the flaps.

14. There Was an Old Monster

As much as Isaac loves lift-the-flap, Ava adores all books based on the “There was an Old Woman’ pattern.  In this story there was an old monster who swallows a variety of critters.  There rhythm is harder to follow than the typical ‘old woman’ songs, but it’s worth plodding through for the surprise ending.  Isaac has stated that his favourite part of the story is singing the ‘scritchy-scratch’ chorus.

15. Water Hole Waiting

We loved this story so much we chose it for our weekly review book.  The story was captivating, the language was rich and the details in both illustration and plot were much appreciated.

16. Bedtime Rhymes

One of Isaac’s favourites, he’s been requesting this book for at least two years.  The poems take you through a bedtime routine from bath, story time, tucking in and finally, sleep.

17. The Golden Goose

A classic fable that Ava chose to read aloud to me.  The story was a little dry and the moral bypassed both children.  Not a favourite this week.

18. That’s Not My Monster

Surprisingly, it’s been Violet lugging this book all around the house this week., turning the pages and rubbing the furry monsters.  Isaac has been leading her through the words and helping her to pet the different touchy-feely portions.  Great for teaching different senses it delights 8 month old babies and rambunctious three year olds alike.

19. Bark, George

This is a cute story of a mother dog trying to get her puppy to bark.  George struggles with making barking noises, so Mama takes him to the vet to get to the root of the problem.  Both kids loved the vet’s solution and have asked to read this book over and over.  It’s also simple enough in structure that Ava reads it to Isaac and Isaac has been able to re-tell the story himself.

20. The Hungry Thing

A silly story about a creature with an insatiable appetite.  Great for promoting phonemic awareness as the Hungry Thing states rhyming words for what he is actually hungry for (example: schmancakes for pancakes).  It’s a great game to play with the kids after reading.  They thought it was hilarious to ask for silly foods and have me try to figure out what food it was that they were hungry for.

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