The View from the Classroom Window

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Book Reviews from the McNabbs

Hey friends! I have been wanting to share a bunch of the books we have been reading for our Kindergarten Curriculum - all Read Alouds (books we read aloud together) for ages 5 and up. I am sure you could find them at the library!! Also, I would love to hear other recommendations you might have for great quality books too! My mom might come for a visit in September, so I can might begin looking now!!

My Father's Dragon - by Ruth Stiles Gannet (Newberry Honor Book)
An adventurous fantasy of Elmer Elevator and the wild island of Tangerina. We loved this story: such beautiful imagination and unpredictability for a young listener. Elmer packs some very unusual things in his backpack for the trip....which keeps you guessing how he will rescue the baby dragon! Our girls were very attentive for this sweet tale. I think there are 2 others that follow in the series, which I would love to check out. I also loved taking my time reading one chapter a day, and asking questions after each chapter to help them with comprehension.

The Boxcar Children - by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Four little kids make their home in an abandoned boxcar after they are orphaned, without knowing they have a grandfather nearby. Very easy vocabulary and with just enough suspense & mystery for youngsters. I love the simple interaction, the sense of wonder, the sweet character of the children and the outcomes of the stories. The girls now pretend to be the characters almost daily, which is wonderful for their imaginative play and manners too. I also love how the characters are so resourceful, independent, responsible, positive and grateful for everything. We have liked these books so much, that we have already read the first 4 in the series of 19. I am hoping that Asia will begin reading these on her own soon.

The Apple and the Arrow - by Mary & Conrad Buff (Newberry Honor Book)
Historical fiction - recounting the legend of William Tell of Switzerland. Told from the perspective of his son, 12-year-old Walter (who gets the apple shot off his head) during the time of revolt against the tyrannical leaders during that time (1291). This story was pretty intense with mature themes and kept us on the edge of our seats. There were parts that were somewhat violent (with some name-calling), action-packed & yet Asia was into the adventure. We actually learned a bunch too! Great themes of freedom, independence, faith and responsibility. We had great talks about standing up for what is right, non-violence, righteousness and courage. It gave us an opportunity to teach her some discernment.

I have a bunch more...but I will write again later. Hope you can find one of these treasures to enjoy soon!


Blessed said...

I have not heard of two of these titles, so thanks for sharing, Ali. I am actually a collector of children's books--but since we are short on space, we have only the best on our shelves. : ) Well, ok, there are those Veggie tales compilations that grandma keeps getting. . . Anyway, I have TONS of titles I could recommend, so you will have to narrow it down a bit. Anything in particular you are interested in exploring? Certain kinds of books that are your favorite, or that you want to avoid?

McNabb Clan said...

any of your faves really - we don't have a library out here, so we are starved for good literature! anything that teaches - rich in vocabulary, word-pictures, character building, historical, imaginative....but i guess that isn't narrowing anything down, huh? maybe you can write a few book reviews as you read stuff, and post them here -- so others can benefit from your collective heart! that would be awesome to hear what you have read & what you have enjoyed. love ya, have fun with the next Monday gathering! hugs, ali

laura said...

Landon loved the first two books, so if you live near me you are welcome to borrow them!

Thanks Ali for the recommendations!