The dad left this morning for Boston for a conference so we are on our own for a few days. Today we went to the used bookstore. The boys enjoy this place as much as I do and, when we go on a weekday, it is not crowded and they can really wander around the kids area and have fun. They have bean bag chairs and kids tables and chairs and tons of books and some stuffed animals; lots to keep them busy for a while. I found several books from The Read Aloud Handbook. I trade in books there so we got a little over $30 worth of used books for around $2.75. That's my kind of shopping!
I am finding that we are at a challenging time for finding the right books for reading aloud. The boys love any book that anyone wants to sit down and read to them, for the most part, as long as it is not too old for them. And we still read lots and lots of picture books, Dr. Seuss type books, Beatrix Potter, the original Winnie the Pooh books and the original Thomas the Train. But I like to continue to find books that stretch their ability to sit and listen without having quite so many pictures to look at and also having a bit more plot (the Beatrix Potter, Winnie the Pooh and Thomas the Train books are great for this too, but we need more variety).
One of the best I have found so far is the My Father's Dragon series. I read the three book series to the boys quite a while back and they loved it. It was perfect because it had a lot more text vs the number of pictures and it was full of action and left them hanging at the end of chapters...so much so that they were frequently asking me to continue. We actually reread the first book in the series again a while back and this morning we started the second book again. It does seem though that they were much more into the suspense of these books the first time around. Now they know the story so the suspense is not quite there as much.
Generally I think there is a real need for more books in this area. They seem to skip from books with lots of pictures to books with very few or no pictures and there is not a good enough transition, in my opinion, or at least I have yet to find it. And it seems they assume that children who are reading the books with fewer pictures are older. Or the chapter books are those for children who are learning to read so the words and plots are much more simple. We found several today that might be good, although I am not sure if the topic/plot might be a bit to advanced because these are geared more towards K'ers or above. We'll see. I might need to look on Amazon to see if I can find some and order them for Christmas or something.