In the last year, Ella and I have started reading chapter books together, and it’s been ridiculously delightful.
In the last six months, particularly, her attention span has gotten much longer, and she is legitimately THRILLED to be reading together. She’s the one begging for one more chapter, and . . . basically all my wildest dreams have come true.
Here are the ones we’ve liked the most:
- Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Paul Zelinsky. The first one is the best, but we read all three and they are all very fun, about three beloved toys who live with a little girl.
- Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald. Holy cow, these are long chapters. But Ella loved every single one. We read three of the books in a row.
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake. We’re not quite finished with this one, but we’ve plowed through it in about five days. It seriously is so fun. I got teary when Charlie found the ticket (and Ella shot out of her chair, shrieking with excitement).
- B is for Betsy by Carolyn Haywood. This was the first book where Ella was actively asking me to read one more chapter. They’re just so sweet and old-fashioned.
- Babe the Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith. I love all his books, but this is the best. Ella fell asleep during the last chapter on a road trip, and Bart asked me to finish reading it. I can’t wait to show her the movie.
- The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary. Oh, this book was just so fun to read again. I love Beverly Cleary, and Ella was delighted by the mouse riding a tiny toy motorcycle.
- Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace and Lois Lenski. I love it, but was a bit too complicated for Ella at 3.5 years old.
- Socks by Beverly Cleary. A book from a cat’s point of view was too advanced for her at just over three. And . . . I don’t even like cats.
- My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett and Ruth Chrisman Gannett. I know this is a huge classic and everyone loves it so so so much, but I’d never read it before, and now I don’t feel like I was missing out. Ella seemed to like it fine (not tons, but she didn’t complain about it), but I was couldn’t WAIT for it to be over. Snooze-fest.