Here are our favorites from the past week. The list includes one book each that the boys read alone, one each that they read to me, one each that I (or their dad) read to them, and one that they read together.
Tintin, age 7
Magic Tree House #25: Stage Fright on a Summer Night
Author/illustrator: Mary Pope Osborne/Sal Murdocca
In Stage Fright on a Summer Night, Jack and Annie visit England and star in a play put on by William Shakespeare himself. Tintin sped through this one and learned that Shakespeare contributed more words and phrases to the English language than anyone else. He loved that there was a list of some of them at the end of the book.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Author/illustrator: Roald Dahl/Quentin Blake
I don't want to reveal any spoilers here, but let's just say there's this boy named Charlie and some golden tickets and a lot of chocolate. Tintin's biggest wish is to live near a river of chocolate, so I knew this would be a hit. And, did you know that it's Roald Dahl Month? This is the second of three books Tintin is reading for the Reading Dahlathon (the first was The Vicar of Nibbleswicke), which ends in December.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Author: J.K. Rowling
Wizards, secret entrances, and Wonka-like candy – what more could a 7-year-old boy want in a book? Note that this is the British edition, as are all of our other Harry Potter books (yes, we're Anglophiles), so not only is Tintin reading a great book, but he's also learning the difference between British and American English.
Johnny Boo, age 4
Mo and Jo: Fighting Together Forever
Author/illustrator: Jay Lynch/Dean Haspiel
Another great TOON book (see this review for more), Mo and Jo is about siblings who become superheroes and must learn to work together to conquer evil. This one's a little more advanced than the other TOON books Johnny Boo has read, but since he read it three times in a row the other morning and has been quoting it ever since, I guess that's not a problem for him.
I Spy Fly Guy!
Author/illustrator: Tedd Arnold
In I Spy Fly Guy! Buzz goes looking for his pet fly and thinks he's lost him forever. The Fly Guy books are easy, and funny, reads for Johnny Boo – if you're looking for good first chapter books that will get kids excited about reading, these are them.
The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh
Author/illustrator: A.A. Milne/Ernest H. Shepard
A silly old bear and his friends get stuck in silly situations. Once we can actually get him into bed, Johnny Boo loves hearing about what happens in the Hundred Acre Wood, plus it's one of my favorites.
We Both Read: The Frog Prince
Author/illustrator: Sindy McKay/George Ulrich
In this adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, the parent or, in this case, Tintin, reads the more difficult left side and the child (Johnny Boo) reads the easier right side. I try to have the boys share reading time at least once a week, and the We Both Read series is perfect for that (and helps a lot with that taking turns thing that siblings sometimes have trouble with).