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Reading with a Second Grader 11.14.06

Here are some recent read-alouds that my son the 2nd grader has been enjoying. We mix it up with the books. He reads a page; I read the next. He reads some of them on his own. I read a quite a few out loud. A very visually oriented kid, he prefers books with illustrations right now.

Cookie's Week, written by Cindy Ward and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. In just seven days, Cookie the cat has lots of misadventures around the house. A picture book even the very littles would enjoy.

Spooky America, by Lori Haskins. Four ghost stories courtesy of a Stepping Stones chapter book with pictures; one story involves pirates and mooncussing. Yep, mooncussing.

Anatole, written by Eve Titus and illustrated by Paul Galdone. Knopf's 50th-anniversary edition of a classic picture book. A French mouse finds gainful employment at a cheese factory. Charming and funny.

Selvakumar Knew Better, written by Virginia Kroll and illustrated by Xiaojun Li. A heroic dog helps his human family during the 2004 tsunami. Non-fiction picture book.

Little Lost Bat, written by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Alan Marks. We've read so many books about bats that I could midwife a bat birth, should the need ever arise. Actually Markle's non-fiction picture book is pretty neat, illustrated in lovely watercolors; an orphaned bat finds a new mother. Junior wants to see these Texas bats after reading this book.

Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin, by Gene Barretta. Political cartoons, bifocals, lightning rods, the Franklin stove: we owe it all to Ben. Barretta's colorful illustrations highlight the humor he uses to tell about Franklin's creations.  Ben himself is adorable.

Tour America: A Journey Through Poems and Art, written by Diane Siebert and illustrated by Stephen T. Johnson. With some initial sighs of reluctance, Junior consented to hear me read "Gargoyles: New York City," "Old Faithful: Wyoming," and "Cadillac Ranch: Texas." His favorite poem was "Mount Saint Helens: Washington," which ends in the word "KA-BOOM!!!" Johnson's richly colored art work, ranging from collage to oil painting to watercolor,  evokes the geography of each place beautifully. To be  honest,  a 7-year-old does not have enough context for this book, unless he is really well-travelled; he will like yelling "ka-boom," however.

Once Upon a Tomb: Gravely Humorous Verses, written by J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Simon Bartram. Funny poetry + graveyard + spookiness =  Score!


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I really like the 'you read a page, I'll read a page' method. It worked so well with my reluctant reader a few years back, and now I can't stop her from reading. My 1st grade age boy is now just interested in print but not yet ready for anything beyond phonics sounding out. Sometimes he surprises us though.Keep those recomendations coming please!

Kim, that is good news about a reclutant reader turning into a bookworm! I really do like the alternating pages method. I was reading with some first graders today, and I like their reading anthology. The kids were just getting into the sounding-out of words, and doing a great job at it. I'll write down the name of the book when I'm next at their school.

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