My four and five year old play outside all summer long. We’re talking non stop bathing suit bodies, bug bites, and scraggly hair. At the end of the day, I transfer them directly from their mud pit in the flower bed to the bathtub and then bed.
They do come in to escape the heat at the height of the day. They laze around on the ground and color while I read to them from a chapter book. Here are five tried-and-true chapter books that we love:
1. Winnie the Pooh – I started my children’s journey into chapter books with this book because it doesn’t get sweeter than the adventures of this little cubby and his friends in the Hundred Acre Woods. The language is rich, the illustrations charming, and the stories delightful. My children connect with the characters and I recognize my children in the characters.
2. The House at Pooh Corner – My son calls this book, “When Tigger came” because his favorite character finally enters the stories. I’ve read this book three times now and I still sob at the end when Christopher Robin goes to school.
3. James Harriot’s Treasury for Children – I stumbled across this collection of stories at the public library and brought it home. It was a hit. The paintings are sumptuous and keep little ones enthralled as Harriot unfolds these very real animal stories from his veterinarian career.
4. Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White created (in my humble opinion) one of the greatest pieces of children literature when he penned this novel about the unlikely friendship of a piglet and a spider. The characters in this book are complex and the themes appeal to adults as well as children: loyalty, sacrifice, suffering, stewardship, grace, growing up and even death.
5. Mr. Popper’s Penguins – My sister introduced us to this story of a man whose dream comes true when a penguin straight from Antarctica shows up on his middle-America door step! When we read this book, the globe came down for a quick geography lesson, penguin waddling was practiced (the over 30 crowd joined in) and a zoo trip was in order!