Monday, July 29, 2013

Theodore's Reading List: Great Books for Three Year Olds

It's time for another edition of Theodore's reading list.

For the most part, our favorite stories for about the last six months can be summed up in two words.  Mercer Meyer.  Theodore LOVES these little books.  And so does mama.  I really like them because they give him the vocabulary and context for so many different real life experiences.  Whether it's moving, getting a little brother, a holiday, or just being able to do things on your own, there is a Little Critter book for that topic.  It helps his little mind process things before they happen, (like moving) or reinforce memories after (like Christmas).  I really believe these books have really helped his vocabulary expand and his imagination grow.  Mama also likes them because they are short and sweet, with great illustrations.

One of the first books we read was Just Grandpa and Me which was actually my copy from growing up.  In February Theodore had it completely memorized, and I loved hearing him recite it.

We started reading We are Moving in February as well, and by the time we finally did, he understood there would be a moving truck and a new room for him, and when we finally got to our new place, Theodore gave me a hug and said, "I love my new house!  See mama, moving is not so bad after all."  Almost the exact ending of the story.

In addition to the ones pictured above, we have checked out several other seasonal ones from the library.  And I have Just Going to the Dentist ordered and on its way. 

There have been a few other books as well that have been re-read for extended periods of time.
  • The Corduroy books which share many similarities with the Little Critter books are also still a favorite.  (not pictured)
  • As Theo ages, so does Trixie in Knuffle Bunny Too (when we learned we've been pronouncing it wrong all along, the K is NOT silent) and Knuffle Bunny Free keeping him interested in that series as well.  
  • I picked up Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site at the book fair at the elementary where I was working this spring, and it was a huge hit.  Apparently there are lacing cards and a matching game based on this book too.  It even has a facebook page and following.
  • The two books about the Little Blue Truck are also a big hit around here.  Can you tell that my son is all boy? 
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is another favorite, because it was first a favorite of mine.  It can take a while to grow on you, but it really is a neat book in our opinion. 
  • The Z was Zapped:  A Play in 26 Acts is a slightly dark, slightly warped (like the W) book, but is very cleverly done.  Each act includes an alphabet letter facing its demise.  Especially dark is the "Q gets quartered" which is Theo's favorite part, even though he has no idea what it means.  If I ever teach reading, this is a great book to use with older kids for alliteration.
  • Little Kids, by National Geographic, is the first magazine we subscribed to for Theodore.  It is ad-free, and beautifully done.  Information about animals and activities are blended into this great magazine.  And Theo getting some of his own mail is very exciting.
I'm so excited to see his literacy skills grow during this next year.  He is already able to summarize the stories we read, answer questions about them, and make his own text to self/world connections.  It won't be long now before he has mastered his letter sounds and is starting to read.  Perhaps next year he'll even be a little more tech savvy... we are really considering a kindle or a nook for him.  There is a Mercer Meyer app that would be amazing for him.


I am, apparently, not a good reader.  Ever since I moved up to the red group in first grade, I have considered myself to be an excellent reader, and many people and students have told me so throughout my life.  I use good diction, expression, and tempo.  I draw kids into a good book when I read aloud.  But recently Theo has taken to telling me that "You're not a good reader yet."  It's really just his way of getting dada to read instead of mama (because, "Daddy is a good reader!"), and it really cracks me up every time.  Now he says he's working on being a good reader whenever he is doing his literacy activities.  Such a funny kid.

1 comment:

Shannon E said...

Not sure if I have ever mentioned books-on-tape yet, but we love them! I should add those to the list. I got a couple of Dr. Seuss ones cheap on Zulily once, and recently the Monster's University book and CD kept us sane during a ten hour daytime drive. Theo does well listening to them, and gets excited to turn the page at the ding of the bell. I use them sometimes during nap time, with the instructions to go to sleep after the CD is over.