Thursday, March 6, 2014

Reading to a 3-Year-Old

One of the downsides of having older kids is that I don't get to read as many picture books.  I still read plenty, but the selections on our coffee table and book baskets skew more towards chapter books, Lego encyclopedias, and history books for school.   

Alaine is my saving grace and I'm entirely immersing myself in her selections these days.  (Confession: I'll take Library Mouseany day overEleanor of Aquitaine and the High Middle Ages!)

Owen, my 7-year-old, was straightening his bedroom book shelves and told me he had outgrown his beloved Little Bear book. ~sniff~  I, however, don't plan to outgrow Little Bear so I brought the book out to the living room to read with AlaineOur copy is a compilation of 3 books (Little Bear, Father Bear Comes Home, and A Kiss For Little Bear) called Adventures of Little Bear.  We approached it like a chapter book, reading one short story at at time. Our winter weather wants to hold on a few extra weeks this year so we cuddled on the couch with a blanket and read about Little Bear and his friends Duck, Hen, and Cat. 

When we finished Little Bear, Alaine went to her own shelf and asked if we could read Sleepytime Tales next.  It is also a compilation of stories so we're reading one at a time, though Alaine often asks to read "just one more" so sometimes we end up reading two stories.   I won't mention any names, but a certain 7-year-old (the same one who has outgrown Little Bear) was all ears as I read last night's selection, The Color Kittens.

We are huge Cynthia Rylant fans in our house so Alaine and I can't get enough of her new series for toddlers and preschoolers, the Brownie and Pearl series.  Brownie is a little girl and Pearl is her cat.   The two have everyday experiences doing ordinary things and yet the books are perfect. They are short but never annoying.

Even when my voice has hit the reading limit for the day, the goodness continues.  Alaine is enjoying The Mercy Watson Collection(on audio book) by Kate DiCamillo every night at bedtime.

Mercy Watson is a pig living with an elderly couple who treats her like their baby.  They feed her hot buttered toast and let her sleep with them in bed when she gets scared. The books are a silly combination of humor and adventure.  Mercy is always finding herself in the middle of some catastrophe that needs attending.  Her arch nemesis comes in the form of a grouchy neighbor who does not approve of house-dwelling pigs. 

Kate DiCamillo is the author of books for older children, too, like Because of Winn Dixie and The Tale of Desperaux, but this series is geared toward a preschool and early elementary audience.

Do you still read picture books to your kids? Do you have a favorite? Any new discoveries?


  1. Our kids all love Little Bear and Mercy Watson, although we haven't listened to the audio book (just requested it). I hadn't heard of the Brownie and Pearl series but we'll be sure to check it out soon. Thanks for the recommendations.

    1. You probably saw this when you put it on hold, but our library has 2 different Mercy Watson audio book sets. :-)


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