Before I became a parent myself, I’d have been surprised to know that I’d still be reading aloud to the kids as they enter the double-digit years. The big boys will turn 9 and 11 this winter, and they still insist on nightly reading time. Beloved and I take turns reading to two big or one little boy, and Tristan will often turn on his bedside lamp and read to himself for another half hour or more after that. (Simon, much like his mother, is usually snoring by then.)
I wasn’t quite as diligent in tracking the books we read together on Goodreads.com as I was in tracking my own reading material, but I thought I’d share a quick list of the best books we read in 2012. It’s been fun indoctrinating them with some of my favourites and taking the chance to read some books I managed to miss in my own youth, voracious reader that I was.
The year was definitely dominated by fantasy. Here’s what I read out loud to Tristan and Simon in 2012, in more-or-less chronological order:
The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien (*must* get to the movie!)
A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle
A Wind in the Door – Madeleine L’Engle (I liked Wrinkle better, but it was great to finally read these!)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – JK Rowling (we’ve been working our way through the HP series for a couple of years now. Not sure if I’m ready to move on to Order of the Phoenix just yet. The books at the end of the series are so long it takes us months to read!)
Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang – Mordechai Richler (the boys knew the cartoon but I thought they should get the original straight from the source. Also, I heart Mordechai Richler.)
When Santa Fell to Earth - Cornelia Funke (Beloved recommended this one and we really enjoyed it! Add it to your Goodreads wanted list for next Christmas.)
Jacob Two-Two Meets the Dinosaur – Mordechai Richler (still reading this – very different from Hooded Fang, with a lot more satire that goes over the boys’ heads, but I’ve been trying to point it out to them and discuss why he uses satire and how.)
When I look at the list it seems kind of short but I suppose it’s only half a year of reading since Beloved and I take turns. One of these days I’ll ask Beloved if he remembers what he read to them, because it was a completely separate list. I know they went through a lot of Rick Riordan.
I love that the boys clamour to go to the library for fresh books on a regular basis. On their own, they read a pretty good spectrum of material. Simon loves those Guiness Book of Records books (don’t all eight year old boys?) and chapter books like the Wimpy Kid and Bad Kitty series. Tristan still reads Pokemon and is much more in to graphic novels and comic books now, but surprised me by asking to read the Hunger Games trilogy. He’s on the second book of that series, but only picks it up now and then. I love that he’s also working his way through Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes collections!
Here’s my number-one kid book recommendation for you from 2012, but it’s for a much younger audience. It was Beloved who stumbled across a Mr Putter and Tabby book at the library, and we have been reading them to Lucas through the year. It is, without doubt, the sweetest kid book series we have come across, and I could (and did!) read each of them out loud night after night without having them lose their charm. Here’s a full list of all the titles in Cynthia Rylant’s Mr Putter and Tabby books from Amazon.
What were the best kid books consumed at your house last year? We need to populate our 2013 wish list!
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