Thank goodness for the homeschool moms in our group - they've really hooked us up with titles that both kids enjoy. I reopened my Goodreads account purely for keeping track of books the moms talk about.
In no particular order here were some of our favorites:
- The Lighthouse Family Series by Cynthia Rylant --- we love this series. They have simple, sweet stories about an unlikely family. I worried Guthrie would find them too simple or something, but they were perfect for before bed.
- The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Clearly --- total classic that John's coworker reminded me of. Laithe in particular LOVED it.
- Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink -- I don't think I read this as a child though I would have loved it. Guthrie, for weeks afterwards, asked if I thought she was more like Laura or Caddie.
- The Children of Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren --- same author as Pippi Longstocking (which we also read and really enjoyed). I didn't totally get the appeal of this, but that might be the translation? Or maybe no overarching plot? I'm not sure, but holy cow the kids loved it so much that I got them the second book for Christmas and we're already 5 chapters in. The book is pretty much an account of these 6 kids' daily lives in Sweden. They have kid-sized adventures and there are no tragedies and they all generally like each other. After writing that I can see the appeal and it is pleasant to read aloud.
- My Father's Dragon by Ruth Gannett --- we all liked this book and I might try to get the next books through interlibrary loan, if I ever get my overdue books back in. Worst librarian's wife ever.
- Betsy Tacy by Maude Hart Lovelace --- Guthrie loved this so much. Laithe says he did, but he mostly likes anything his sister does. While reading, though I remember him being kind of a pill. When Guthrie gets a little further along in her reading skills I would like to pick up Betsy Tacy and Tib and read it back and forth with her. I will say that this book has some "real life" themes that I wasn't quite able to catch before they happened which just meant that bedtime was more lengthy than usual as we sort of debriefed. Which is fine, it's just kind of nice when you know it's coming!
You'll notice that aside from the Cynthia Rylant series we prefer older books. I've found that much of the newer stuff geared toward Guthrie's age are not to my standards. I'm cool if she reads it later on, but I feel like I have precious little time to choose our reading material while both kids minds and hearts are open, you know?
I need to get some more recommendations for the winter. I am fending off Guthrie's repeated requests that we start Little House in the Big Woods again because I don't think my old copy will handle another read. Might be time for Guthrie to get her own copy, but I want to get her the ones illustrated by Garth Williams. Because he's great.
So, any old or new favorites you would recommend? I'd love to add to our list!