Lucy has finally reached an age where reading to her has become a total pleasure. She can now read quite well herself, so the short storybooks of bedtimes past have been replaced with easy chapter books. This is the stuff I LOVE. I do voices and get animated and imagine and Lu seems to have a blast. One of my favorite things to do is read outloud to kids (yes, I am a class A nerd), and watch their little faces as they get lost in your story. So far we’ve tackled a few different novels, and I’ll be honest, they haven’t all been big hits. We still haven’t finished the first Harry Potter (I know, blasphemy!) because it was just a bit over Lulu’s head when we started, and she quickly lost interest. Our plan is to try again in a few months. In the meantime, I’ve rediscovered some classic books I loved when I was young, and lucky for me, Lu seems to love them too.
Ozma of Oz is the third book in the “Land of Oz” series written by Frank L. Baum. The story takes place after the story we all know from the famous film “The Wizard of Oz,” and begins with Dorothy and her Uncle Henry on a ship, which is taking them to Australia. There is turbulence and Dorothy is knocked overboard, and again she finds herself in the wonderful Land of Oz. The story follows Dorothy as she meets the new, young queen, Ozma of Oz and they end up on a quest to save the queen and children of a fellow kingdom from the horrible Gnome King. This took Lu and I a while to get through, but once we got going, she didn’t want to stop at a chapter per night.
The Phantom Tollbooth is an adventure novel written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer. The story follows a little boy named Milo (one of my long lost baby boy names…) who is always bored. One day, Milo receives a tollbooth in the mail, and after he drives through it in a toy car, he finds himself lost in a place called The Kingdom of Wisdom. The book is full of action and fun, but the best part is that the whole thing is basically a lesson on how education is an adventure. I wore out my copy of this one as a kid, so when I saw it at Target in paperback, I had to snatch it up. Lucy and I are about six chapters in, and today while I was reading, she paced around the room the entire time. When I told her she needed to sit still and listen, she said, “Mom, I’m just really worried about Milo. I have to know what happens next!” I can’t give you a better endorsement than that.
We’ve also read Junie B., First Grader: Toothless Wonder and Ramona Quimby, Age 8. Lu was so-so on the first, but loved Ramona! We can’t wait to read more in that series (Beverly Cleary is a genius). Are there any books you’d recommend for us to try? Any that you remember from your childhood? Do you want me to film myself doing the voices of the Doldrums from The Phantom Tollbooth? (The answer to that is no, but trust me, it is pretty amazing…)
Editors Note: For some reason, comments weren’t working when I posted this, but there are a ton of great recommendations from readers over at the Crazybananas Facebook page. Hooray!