A Playroom Bookworm

Last fall, I mentioned that as part of the psuedo-preschool I was doing with Ella, I had started reading aloud chapter books to her. 
We started with Socks and then moved onto Charlotte’s Web (which is why Ella was asking for blood for lunch).
After we finished those two, I finally got to put up something I’ve been looking forward to for some two decades now. 
In the Wisconsin house we lived in until I was almost seven, my mom made a big bookworm that circled the top of our playroom walls, listing all the books she’d read aloud to us. 
I remember Stuart Little on there, along with Charlotte’s Web and the entire Laura Ingalls Wilder series(I still own that full set, which my mom bought from the library when they were replacing it). 
Now, I finally got to hang my own in our playroom (I just traced circles with a salad plate, wrote the title and author in the center(ish) and cut them out).
We lost steam a bit after Charlotte’s Web, because Ramona the Pest just didn’t really hold her attention and we got sidetracked with the holidays.
Then, for Christmas, my mom sent Ella B is for Betsy and in mid-January, she requested we read it together. She loved it so much we read it in about a week (we’re currently waiting for the next in the series, Betsy and Billy, to come up at the library). 
After that, we had the momentum to get finally through Ramona (Ella now marches around saying, “I’m the baddest witch in the world. Even badder than Ramona”), and currently we’re zipping through Mr. Potter’s Pet
I’m loving reading longer books with her, and I have high hopes that by the time we leave this house in a year or so, I’ll have to remove dozens of circles from our bookworm. (I don’t want to talk about all the blue putty I’ll be painstakingly removing from the walls). 
If you have suggestions for early chapter books, I’d love to hear them! This is a whole new world for me. 

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  • Reply Miss Sarah in Georgia March 6, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Mr.Popper's Penguins
    Mrs. Piggle Wiggle


  • Reply Michelle March 6, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    We just got "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass". They came together in one book and my daughter begged me to read them every night (she's 4). We just finished those and I'm not sure what to do next so we are reading short stories out of her "Pinkalicious" book (she has a big book that has several stories in it).

  • Reply Yetti Treasures March 6, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Betsy's Little Star, another Carolyn Haywood book.

  • Reply Ashley March 6, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    I loved that on your wall, but didn't even put it together what it was. Loveeee this idea. So I actually just started doing this with Charlie (but with Harry Potter) haha. A little advanced, probably, but I couldn't resist.

  • Reply Kayris March 6, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    My daughter likes the Frog and Toad books because she can read them on her own, but the stories are funny enough that she stays interested if someone reads aloud to her. We also like Ivy and Bean, Bad Kitty and a fairy series that I'm blanking on, but it's not the rainbow fairies. We have a crap ton of the rainbow fairies too, but while she loves them, I burn out on reading them aloud.

  • Reply april March 6, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    I so wish I enjoyed reading aloud to the kids. It's one of my Lent resolutions (which is more how I do things) and I want to find a book that both boys will enjoy listening to. I was thinking Roald Dahl, maybe the BFG?

  • Reply Abby March 6, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins is really cute! There are a couple of sequels. Also, the Mercy Watson books by Kate DiCamillo.

  • Reply Katie March 6, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    I love this idea! My 4 yr old (boy) is devouring the Little House series right now. We've also started The Chronicles of Narnia with him. Loved Magician's Nephew and the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the Voyage of the Dawn Treader is harder read and probably a little mature for him right now. We also loved Charlotte's Web and Mr. Popper's Penguins. Reading aloud is probably my favorite thing we do together.

  • Reply Moira C March 6, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    My boys (4 and 5 years old) love Mercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo and Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman. We've had some good luck with Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and some busts (The BFG) because the story just didn't hold their interest. While I love reading picture books with them, this transition to chapter books has become one of my favorite motherhood moments. I love watching them discover the same worlds I did as a child and now I'm catching my 5 year old reading under his covers after bedtime. I love your idea for the bookworm too!

  • Reply Stephanie • My Orange Chair March 6, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Charlotte's Web is next on the list for my 4 and 2 year old girls…we're just finishing up A. A. Milne's The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh. Love all the ideas here.

  • Reply Meg March 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    I am curious what Ella had to say (or actually what you had to say to her) about Wilbur having to be "saved" in the beginning. Did she pick up on that or did you all discuss it at all? My daughter knows we eat meat but I'm pretty sure she thinks we don't eat chickens from a farm, etc. It hasn't been an issue I have dived into or anything.

    As far as books go, we have started reading the Mercy Watson books by Kate DeCamillo. They are so great! Plus, they are short enough to finish in one sitting (although we normally read 3 chapters at a time and then stop). They are obviously shorter books than you have been reading, but they are hilarious, vastly entertaining, and have wonderful illustrations!

  • Reply Paige Flamm March 6, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    We've started reading chapter books with Kyle, this would be a fun addition to his extremely bare and boring bedroom!


  • Reply Kimberly March 6, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    I second Mr. Popper's Penguins and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. Those were huge hits around here. Others that he's loved (granted, Jonah is a bit older) either as read aloud or audio book for car rides are the Magic Treehouse series, some Roald Dahl books (The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory [but not the sequel], and the BFG..but not so much Matilda or the Witches or James and the Giant Peach at this point), and the Magic Wishing Chair. I'm loving these ideas from everyone else, too!

  • Reply Lexilooo March 6, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    It's not a chapter book, but have you read Barbara Cooney's Miss Rumphius? The story is lovely, and her illustrations are beyond beautiful. I have a signed copy from when I was a little girl, and I'm giving serious thought to buying a second copy to pull apart and frame some of the pages in baby's room (though I don't know if I can bring myself to destroy a book!)

  • Reply the Olsens March 6, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    Winnie-the-pooh is so charming, my boys looked forward to it every night. In fact, it's what made my 4 year old boy finally fall in love with books. We also loved The Wind in the Willows, Stuart Little, The Jungle Book, and the audio version of The BFG.

  • Reply Jodi March 6, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    I was going to ask YOU for suggestions. And I also have no idea when he will be ready for it, definitely not just yet.

  • Reply Anna @ IHOD March 6, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Oh I love it! And my heart skipped a beat over B is for Betsy. I found some of the old hard back ones at a used book store and they are prized posessions:) Favorite childhood read!

  • Reply Lynn B March 6, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Amelia Bedelia, The Tale of Despereaux, Because of WinnDixie, Magic Tree House. Those are all ones that I liked when I was a little kid 🙂

  • Reply Mrs Gray March 6, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    My kinder kids always loved Freckle Juice, Junie B, and the Ramona books. I've been on the fence about starting chapter books with my three year old; he loves reading and books, I'm not sure why I'm hesitant.

  • Reply Carter Higgins March 7, 2014 at 1:37 am

    I love this!

  • Reply Iris March 7, 2014 at 2:20 am

    Be still my heart…I LOVE the Betsy books and can't wait to read them w my daughter (almost 3) and son (almost 6). I was thinking I'd read the Betsy books w her and just let my son enjoy it w us but then realized I could read the Eddie books w him! So fun! I picked up some of the old hardback ones at a friends of the library sale. I also picked up some of the ones that came out about 12 years ago w new covers but same story.

  • Reply Iris March 7, 2014 at 2:25 am

    My husband suggests Pippi Longstocking. He and his sister grew up w those and they both love it to this day. They love the movies too.

  • Reply Kristin March 7, 2014 at 2:46 am

    I LOVED B is for Betsy when I was a kid, but our local library doesn't have a copy. ~sniff~ Have your read Betsy-Tacy? I didn't read it as a child, but I've read it to my daughter more than once and I love it every time!

  • Reply Theresa March 7, 2014 at 3:54 am

    We love the Magic Tree House books! They are great beginner chapter books. The chapters are short, there is a lot of action and adventure. My son LOVES them!

  • Reply Jileen March 7, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    We have enjoyed "The Mouse and the Motorcycle" series, as well as Magic Tree House, The Boxcar Children, and anything by Roald Dahl. My favorite of all time is Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. Great idea with the caterpillar!

  • Reply Alicia March 8, 2014 at 3:22 am

    I second Pippi Longstocking and Winnie the Pooh. My Father's Dragon is great for the littler listeners. We just read The Tales Julian Tells and I loved it. The Iron Giant.

  • Reply Kendra March 8, 2014 at 11:56 am

    I would say Junie B Jones and The Little Princess as well as The Little House books and almost anything by Beverly Cleary. My girls (16 and 13 now) loved Henry and Ribsy stories best.

  • Reply Elaine March 8, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    I thought I had commented a couple of days ago, but I guess it didn't go through. I agree with Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and Mr. Popper's Penguins. Winnie the Pooh and Wind in the Willows are other great choices. For a little later, Half Magic and Once and Future King, and of course, Anne of Green Gables and The Secret Garden.

  • Reply Anna {dear friend} March 9, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Janssen! What an awesome idea for a classroom, too! I'm going to have to do this– either now, or definitely for next year– I LOVE IT!

    Also, an idea for putting them up/easy take down. I use painters tape in my classroom when I want to hang things on the walls. It's so easy to take down!

    Love that you are reading chapter books already to your daughter. THE BEST.

    • Reply Anna {dear friend} March 9, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      Oh! And as for book suggestions–

      Frog and Toad
      Pippi Longstocking
      Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
      My Father's Dragon
      The Velveteen Rabbit…

      to name a few! 🙂

  • Reply Emily March 10, 2014 at 3:36 am

    I am totally going to make a bookworm of our own! I love it! We have really enjoyed Pippi Longstocking, Henry Huggins, Homer Price, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Mine are still little, but those have been their favorites! Thanks for sharing the bookworm!

  • Reply Emily Kate March 11, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    I've been wanting to start reading chapter books out loud to Addie but I didn't know where to start so these suggestions are great! My only read aloud experience is with 2nd graders so I just couldn't figure out what would be good for an almost 4 year old. I heard My Father's Dragon suggested the other day as a great first read aloud.

  • Reply Merrick March 11, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    I just asked the librarian at our library for suggestions and she recommended Junie B. We only got one and Benson loves it so far…I wish we'd gotten 5 since we're flying through it!

  • Reply Meredith Shatzer March 17, 2014 at 12:48 am

    My Father's Dragon (and two sequels) are delightful. Will was quite obsessed. We read all 3 in a week or two

  • Reply Collette Meador March 18, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    My daughter and I started reading right before she turned 4 with Charlotte's Web. She's now five and a half. Some of her favorites have been.
    Mercy Watson,
    Amelia Bedelia (the newer versions by H.Parish)
    Nancy Clancy
    Clementine series (our very favorite!) By S. Pennypacker
    Rainbow Magic Fairy books by D. Meadows
    Flat Stanley
    The Never Girls series by K. Thorpe

  • Reply Collette Meador March 18, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    My daughter and I started reading right before she turned 4 with Charlotte's Web. She's now five and a half. Some of her favorites have been.
    Mercy Watson,
    Amelia Bedelia (the newer versions by H.Parish)
    Nancy Clancy
    Clementine series (our very favorite!) By S. Pennypacker
    Rainbow Magic Fairy books by D. Meadows
    Flat Stanley
    The Never Girls series by K. Thorpe

    • Reply Collette Meador March 18, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      I don't know how I forgot these other two favorites…

      Jenny and the cat club series

      Catwings series

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