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lights out

Reading a book or two at bedtime is part of our nighttime ritual. I love cuddling up with my little ones and reading with them. It's the perfect way to end the sometimes not so calm day. But there is something new I've been wanting to try.. a chapter book. (I attempted this last year with Charlotte's Web, but the kids grew tired of it after about a week. It's nice to see how much their patience has grown in a year.) 

We gave the kids a copy of Stuart Little for Christmas, so we've been trying to read a chapter a night. And we've made a few changes to our nighttime ritual. We're gathering in mom and dad's bed, where we all get to sit under great grandma's big quilt. And the best part.. we've been reading by flashlight. (Thanks to Jennifer and her lovely blog for the great idea) After we finish the chapter, we play a game of flashlight tag on the ceiling before shuffling the kids off to their beds. 

Stuart Little is a wonderful little book, I may have liked it as much as the kids. Each chapter is a complete little story, so it's perfect to read in little chunks. We would talk about Stuart's adventures throughout the next day, and I would try to help the kids remember what had happened the night before.  When we finished the last chapter a few days ago, both Bee and C were sad to see Stuart's adventures end. And so am I.

We'll go back to picture books for a bit before starting our next chapter book.. any suggestions? (My kids are 2 and 4, so it needs to be short and not too involved.. and a few illustrations along the way really helps my littlest one stay interested.) What should we read next?

Want to know more about Stuart Little and how the book was written? I almost forgot to mention this article I read last summer in The New Yorker. 

UPDATE: Guys! Wow, thank you all for taking the time to let me know your favorite books. I just finished reading through all of your recommendations and I think we will have plenty of great books to read for the next few months.. maybe years! Thank you!

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Reader Comments (45)

I just discovered your blog- I love it! One of my favorites, that is now one of my girls favorites is "Gyo Fujikawa's Oh, What a Busy Day!" It has adorable illustrations and fun kids poems. Also, Big Sister and Little Sister by Charlotte Zolotow is the best sisters book- my girls love it and once we read it, I had to buy it for all of my sisters, and my friends with little girls!

02.7.2009 | Unregistered CommenterKatieJ

I'm with the first commenter, Pippi illustrated by Laure Child is the BEST. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory is awesome.

02.10.2009 | Unregistered CommenterIsabel Kallman

I'm so surprised no one has mentioned "Where the Wild Things Are" ! it's so sweet and also feisty and has fantastic illustrations. Roald Dahl and Shel Silversteen are also great options

02.12.2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Another by Kate DiCamillo is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane - wonderful story with great illustrations. I agree with all the Lauren Child fans, esp Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton Trent. And the Virginia Lee Burton books can be divided up - they can be a little long. An old favorite is Homer Price by Robert McCloskey - that was our son's first readaloud chapter book.

02.13.2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

I have to thank the commenters who suggested The Mouse and the Motorcycle. My son and I have been sharing some warm and wonderful (dare I say magic?) evenings reading that book by flashlight and "moonlight" (he got Moon in my Room for Christmas -- best thing ever!). He is so thrilled by that book... and by books in general lately. I love the fact that we can take these little reading adventures together every night.

02.22.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

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