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Book ‘em, Danno

The other night, I finished reading a chapter from “Pippi Longstocking” to my girls, just before bedtime. I laid the book down and sat on the floor, propped up against Cailey’s bed, and enjoyed the fact that she was still decorating my hair.

Well. I use “enjoyed” loosely, because, as we’ve been reading “Pippi”, the style my girls have fashioned my hair into, closely resembles that of Pippi. You know what I’m talking about. Tight braids. Sticking straight out.

It’s a good look for a woman of my advanced years.

I will be taking extra care when selecting the next book. I would make a totally awesome Cinderella. A little long in the tooth, maybe. But still.

As I was sitting there, trying to hold back tears of pain, I watched my Emme, propped up on the opposite bed, while she began reading her own book of choice.

I studied her face, as she was deeply engrossed in an American Girl mystery. Her brow furrowed, as her eyes darted back and forth across the page. With urgency, she turned each page.

And I don’t know if I was more amazed that she has become such a voracious reader, or that I’m the one who actually taught her how to read.

At the beginning of this year, she told me in no uncertain terms, that CHAPTER books, the ones with NO PICTURES, were too hard for her. The end.

I made it a point to leave a few laying around. No pressure. She’d pick one up from time to time, just to scan a page or five. Before I knew it, she was a full fledged book worm.

And that thrills me to no end.

We lived for a time in an old Victorian house in Ohio when I was a girl. The house had a small library, with a miniature marble fireplace, and dark cherry wood bookcases from floor to ceiling. The only piece of furniture, located in the center of the room, was a comfy old velvet burgundy couch. The kind that would swallow you whole when you sat down.

To fill that library, my mother bought boxes and boxes of old books at auctions and tag sales. Included were sets of Nancy Drew and Bobsey Twin books. I had hit a rather shy and awkward age, and since I knew very few people in town, I spent many many hours sunk into that couch, devouring those old dusty books. I became a voracious reader.

A couple of weeks or so ago, I wrote a post asking you all to give me your favorite read aloud selections. And boy, oh boy, y’all stepped up to the plate.

I’ve compiled the list, in no particular order, of the books that I thought would fit my family well. And I wanted to share them back with you.

  • The Wheel on the School (I LOVED this one)
  • The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye
  • The Narnia series by C.S. Lewis (A must in every library)
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein
  • The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper
  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
  • Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler
  • Boxcar Children series
  • Four Story Mistake
  • Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate Dicamillo
  • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate Decamillo
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard & Florence Atwater
  • Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls
  • Kildee House by Rutherford G. Montgomery and Barbara Cooney
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • Amelia Bedilia books
  • Owls in the Family
  • The Dragonling
  • The Sign of the Beaver
  • The Little House Series (we read these, and loved them)
  • Magic Tree House
  • Wishbone Series
  • Nancy Drew Mysteries (classic)
  • Anything by Beverly Cleary
  • Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series
  • American Girl series
  • Freddy the Pig series by Walter R. Brooks
  • Betsy series by Carolyn Haywood (I read these as a girl)
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  • Sarah Plain and Tall
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins (this one is next on our list to read)
  • The Phantom Tollbooth

I tried to include books that you all mentioned more than once. There are so many more. I’m sure I missed some. Thank you again!

Happy reading!

9 Responses to Book ‘em, Danno

  • what a great list. sigh. i want to go back and read several again! basil e. frankweiler! anne! penguines! aaaah! so good!

  • Thank you so much for printing that list! I had forgotten Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Amelia Bedlia, and even the Betsy Books! One of my favorite Beverly Cleary books, that wasn’t as popular as the Henry and Beezus and Ramona books, was Mitch and Amy, about twins, and also Emily’s Runaway Imagination, about a little girl who lived around the turn of the century. Don’t forget those.

  • What a great list. This will be great as I am looking for new books to read with my kids.

  • Don’t forget Caddie Woodlawn–it’s so fantastic!!

    You’ll love Ordinary Princess!

  • This is fantastic. I’ve not heard of lots of these books. I’ll have to see what I can find at the library ! We love reading out loud !

  • Thanks, DeeDee – I just copied and pasted that list, and sent it to my MIL who was just asking for ideas on what to get the girls for Christmas. And look at that – you made their list for me! 😉

  • I didn’t realize until this past week, while I was reading “Cinderella” to my kids, that Cinderella got her name from, ummmm, the “cinders.”


    And I TEACH my kids.

    I think I might have been a little too focused on leg warmers when I should have been learning these things in school.

  • Sounds like the library in the Ohio home was something right out of a novel. That must have been wonderful. Thanks for reminding me of the joy of watching the wheels turn in my kids’ heads when they were little as they learned to read. It always amazed me like it was one of the 7 Wonders of the World.

  • I love your list!

    Mr. Popper’s Penguins is great. It’s one of the first chapter books my youngest read on her own.

    And Miss Piggle Wiggle is indispensable! As is Amelia Bedelia.

    It’s funny how the friends you make in childhood never leave you. I still cry everytime I think of Matthew from Anne of Green Gables!

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