Thursday, July 1, 2010

Current Family Reading: The Wizard of Oz

Miss M, Boy Wonder, and I recently finished Sideways Stories from Wayside School and have started Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz.

Above is the vintage paperback edition we're reading, the one I read as a child, and its pages are so fragile I don't dare dog-ear them. In fact, some pages are falling out altogether, so I'm a wee bit concerned we may not have the entire book.

The Wizard of Oz is long--236 pages, assuming you actually have every page--and I'm not sure fidgety Boy Wonder can make it through the whole thing. He's becoming a pretty practiced listener, though, so I'm hopeful. Miss M loves The Wizard of Oz and has already read many of its companions--Ozma of Oz, Glinda of Oz, etc.--on her own, but there's something special about reading a book aloud. Although I'm sometimes half-dead with exhaustion when I start reading in the evening, reading aloud to my children never fails to perk me up. This recent NYT article also gives me a kick in the pants.

What are your favorite read-aloud childhood books? I would love to hear about them--leave me a comment!


AppyLove said...

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsberg (I think you may have written about that one before).

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, by Barbara Robinson.

Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen.

My all-time favorite, though, is Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White.

My little brother and I LOVED being read to as kids, and my middle schoolers actually loved it too. There's something about it that's magical. I'm looking forward to reading the NYT article you linked to; I just got excited to post some titles here. Happy Reading!

AppyLove said...

Never mind about L'Engle--I think you've already read that one!

500Jerk said...

I've loved many of those as well, but I hadn't yet heard of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. I'll have to look that one up. I remember my mother reading Charlotte's Web to me--that's a keeper and probably one I'll read to my kids soon. As for your middle-schoolers, have you heard of The Read-Aloud Handbook? You probably have, but if not, the author advocates reading to kids all the way through high school. Best of all, there is a treasury of books in the back with info on appropriate ages, storyline, etc. If you don't know about it and ever go back to teaching (will you?), that might be a good resource.

Funny thing about A Wrinkle in Time--Boy Wonder could not get into it. And Miss M did not love it the way I did. I really think it may be an older kid book--maybe 10 or 12--even though the writing is simple. I love Charles Wallace. And tesseracts.

I just found out about Gary Paulsen this year--Hatchet is a great book.

OK, I could go on about books all day. Thanks for commenting! Hope you, Allen, and Agee are doing well in the northern climes!

AppyLove said...

I think you're right. Thinking back, I don't know that I read A Wrinkle in Time until at least sixth grade, and I know a lot of the sixth graders I talked to at my old school read it in class and didn't like it. There is quite a bit of suspension of disbelief that has to happen for that book to be fun and that's pretty tough when your capacity for abstract thought is still developing. Did you go hear Gary Paulsen when he came to Knoxville? I really regretted not being able to go.

I will check out the Read-Aloud Handbook to pass along to teaching friends and for my own sake when we finally have kiddos of our own.

The northern climes are treating us well. I'm working on a blog post about it, actually. I was going to just turn ol' AppyLove loose, but since Madison lends itself so easily to "MaddyLove" I might keep writing there to document the transition. We found two pretty promising houses, so we're on our way to settling in. We also got a wonderful gift of cover art for the EP from one of my ridiculously talented and crazy friends in Knoxville. I can't wait for you to see it and I'm terrified that the album now won't live up to the cover illustration. Not a bad problem to have, though. Oh my gosh, I have to stop writing, this is turning into a master's thesis. Thanks for the well-wishes and the book talk!

Sarah said...

I am very glad to read these recommendations. We have been reading Peter and the Starcatchers and my boys are mesmerized. It is the story of how Peter Pan came to be. They have held with it through the crazy end of the school year and extended vacations and we are just about done. It is apparently a series that we will probably investigate further. ... My mother-in-law, the retired fourth grade teacher, gave us a copy of the Read-Aloud Handbook which I too highly recommend!

barbara said...

Among many others, I found that reading the BABAR books to you was a very entertaining experience for me. Babar and Celeste did amusing things in interesting places and the pictures I thought were perfect.
The Read-Aloud Handbook sounds great, especially with the index of age-level books. Frankly I never knew if the books I read (to you, with you, for you) were really appropriate for your age level.
Keep up the reading together! You can have a Streak too. Love, Mom

500Jerk said...

I did not go see Gary Paulsen, although I know folks who did. Keep writing on AppryLove--we need to know more about Madison!

500Jerk said...

I have never heard of that book and need to look it up--thanks for the recommendation!

500Jerk said...

Babar rocked. Especially the monkey village and the patisserie.