A year and a half ago Sammi and I took a brave step and read our first chapter book together. I was inspired by Jim Trelease‘s book The Read-Aloud Handbook. I selected Charlotte’s Web because I remembered loving it as a child and it was conveniently unpacked and sitting on our bookshelf. Sammi was 2 years and 3 months old when we started it. We read it every morning at breakfast and we actually finished it. She enjoyed it and so did I.
Since that first success with a chapter book, we haven’t really had much success with any of the other chapter books we already owned. We started a few, but we’d read them here and there and the story line got lost because of our inconsistent reading. Elli has also grown a bit and developed her own opinions about what we read and how long she’ll allow us to read books that are too big for her.
I’ve been feeling like we needed to find some chapter books that we in-between Charlotte’s Web and long picture books. One day at the library Sammi pulled a book off the shelf and brought it to me asking if we could take it home. It was Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in her Pocket. I flipped through it and loved the layout. There are illustrations about every other page, the font is nice and big and it’s divided into chapters. There were six chapters in this book.
It worked out perfectly that we were able to read it for a chapter at a time. Elli could handle that much of the book before interrupting us. It really didn’t take very long to read a chapter. In fact, we’ve read picture books longer than a chapter and some as long as the whole book. But it has a more grown up feel because of the chapters and the layout. The story moveds pretty quickly and Sammi was always interested in rading one more chapter. We picked it up a couple times each day and had it finished in three days.
Sammi enjoyed Junie B. so much that we got two more books in the series. We’re currently reading Junie B., First Grader: Boss of Lunch. Sammi is thrilled with this book, too. At the bookstore where we got it, they had a whole collection of them and I let her pick out two. She seems very pleased with her choice. These books are written in first person from Junie B.’s perspective. It includes typical grammar mistakes of an early elementary school child and a whole lot of spunk in her personality. I often skip over words like stupid and dumb if they are used in a context that Sammi doesn’t know yet (and I don’t want to give her any ideas!). Other than that, it’s a fun read for both of us and we’re excited to be reading chapter books.
We’re definitely hooked on Barbara Park and her Junie B. Jones collection.
Are there any beginning chapter books you’d recommend for us?
The links to the books are Amazon Affiliate links. I like to include links to Amazon because they have great prices and a good collection of reviews and additional info. If you happen to make a purchase after clicking on one of my links, I’ll receive a small percentage of that sale.
Don’t miss this week’s giveaway from Baby Cribs Plus (it’s my birthday present to you!) Come celebrate with me!