2011 Projects – A Book a Week with David

One of the new projects I’m adding this year is to read a book a week with David. Since I love reading so much and since he’s just learning to read I thought it would be a wonderful way for us to spend time together. The idea is to pick books that would take 2-4 hours to read out loud. And I will likely read all of the book to him. I might ask him to read sections. I haven’t decided yet if it will be two-three days a week or a little each day. At the end of the book, we will create a little book log with his favorite quote from the book and some of his thoughts.

To capture all of our books, I’ve created a simple template to fill each week:

Just in case any of you are interested in doing something similar or using the template for yourself, here it is: download me.

My plan is to print these 4×6 cards regularly and put them in an album similar to what I used for my Weekly Gratitude project. I love these colorful albums from Target and they are less than four bucks.

The idea is to make sure we don’t just read but that David spends time reflecting on the book and tells me a little about what he took away from it.

Since I didn’t grow up in the United States and didn’t learn English until my teenage years, I haven’t read most of these books either, so it will be extra-fun for me. I’ve asked my awesome friend Kathy to send me a list (she’s a teacher) of books she’d recommend.

Here’s what I have so far:

  1. Alvin’s Swap Shop series – Clifford B Hicks
  2. Because of winn-dixie
  3. Black Beauty
  4. Bridge to Terabithia
  5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  6. Charlotte’s Web
  7. Chasing Vermeer – Blue Balliet
  8. Cricket in Times Square – George Selden
  9. Danny Champion of the World
  10. Everything on a Waffle – Polly Horvath
  11. Fantastic Mr. Fox
  12. Freckle Juice – Judy Blume
  13. Frindle – Andrew Clements
  14. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler – E.L. Konigsburg
  15. Hank the Cowdog series – John Erickson
  16. Harriet the Spy – Louise Fitzhugh
  17. Holes
  18. Homer Price – Robert McCloskey
  19. How to Eat Fried Worms – Thomas Rockwell
  20. James and the Giant Peach
  21. Last of the Really Great Wangdoodles – Julie Edwards
  22. Lemony Snicket series
  23. Lion witch wardrobe – CS Lewis
  24. Little House in the Big Woods
  25. Mad Scientists’ Club series – Bertrand Brinley
  26. Magic Treehouse series – Mary Pope Osborne
  27. Maniac Magee – Jerry Spinelli
  28. Mouse and the Motorcycle (or most of Beverly Cleary – some are girl-oriented, but i think that’s fine)
  29. Mr. Popper’s Penguins – Richard Atwater
  30. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH – Robert O’Brien
  31. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series – Betty Macdonald
  32. Pippi Longstocking series – Astrid Lindgren
  33. Silverwings series- Kenneth Oppel
  34. Stuart Little
  35. the BFG
  36. The Borrowers series – Mary Norton
  37. the cricket in times square
  38. The Golden Compass
  39. The Secret Garden
  40. The Tale of Despeatoux
  41. The Twenty-one Balloons – William DuBois
  42. The Westing Game – Ellen Raskin
  43. Top Secret – John Gardiner
  44. Tornado – (or most of Betsy Byars)
  45. Trumpet of Swan
  46. Tuck Everlasting
  47. Wimpy Kid series – Jeff Kinney
  48. Winnie the Pooh

It will be a great way us to spend time together.

As you can tell, I don’t have 52 books here so if you have any suggestions, books you loved as a child, I would love to know about them (pretty please?) and I will add them to this list so everyone else can benefit too. Just remember that my son is six years old and while I will read it, it still needs to be relatively age-appropriate.

Yey, can’t wait to start reading!

40 comments to 2011 Projects – A Book a Week with David

  • Ronnie Crowley

    The Owl who was afraid of the dark – Jill Tomlinson (“The dark is scary,” Plop tells Mommy Barn Owl, who wisely instructs him to learn a bit more about it before passing judgment. Soon, Plop is off seeking new acquaintances, both human and animal, who tell him their favorite things about the evening, from fireworks and campfire singalongs to viewing the constellations (“The dark is wondrous. Look through the telescope,” says one gentleman he meets). ) My mother read me this one and I still remember loving the story to this day – 35 years later!
    Teddy Robinson – Joan Robinson Teddy Robinson was a nice, big, comfortable teddy bear who belonged to a little girl called Deborah. Sometimes a little shy – and sometimes a bit of a show-off – but always ready to make the best of things, Teddy Robinson has captured the hearts of generations of children. Whether he finds himself spending a night in hospital, proudly starring in his very own show, or playing pirates at the seaside, Teddy Robinson’s cheerful, endearing personality shines through in this appealing children’s classic. This is a collection of stories so you could read one per sitting.

  • Rachel

    What a wonderful idea! And, great minds think alike because I decided to buy my boys the Harry Potter boxed set and read them a chapter a day! Even though the holiday season is over I would suggest the worst christmas pagent ever. It’s so funny! And, my kids have enjoyed the flat stanley books. Maybe the Hardy Boys series too. Also, my boys (8 and 5) have loved the Ramona series from Beverly Cleary. It is so funny and not so much “girly” even though it is about girls. I selfishly decided that I wanted to reread the series that I loved so much when the movie came out this summer and found that they love it too!

    • karenika

      yes! ramona is on my list, i’ve meant to put it here! my son already saw the HP movies, otherwise I’d totally read those to him. The little house on the prarie is girly to me too but he loves it. still a bit too young to have strong gender differentiation thankfully 🙂

  • Diane

    This is a wonderful idea Karen and I would very much like to do the same with my daughter, who is also 6. Many of the books you’ve listed are thought provoking. If you want to lighten up after reading a ‘heavy’ book, I highly recommend the Geronimo Stilton series. They are laugh out loud funny, and usually have a lesson to be learned. My son (now 12) loved them when he was younger. Depending on his reading level, he may even be able to read most of it to you. Also, you may want to pre-read Tuck Everlasting. I found it to be extremely sad and it may be too much for a six year old.

    • karenika

      Thank you so much. yes i’ve heard about tuck from a few people now so i will make sure to pre-read it and possibly skip it this time around. thank you so much for the warning. i really appreciate it.

  • I concur with Diane’s suggestion of Geronimo Stilton books. The pages are fun as they have some differently sized, shaped and colored fonts all within. It really gets kids interested.

    My students loved the Humpty Dumpty Jr, Hardboiled Detective book I read to them once. I even have an extra copy that I could send you.

    • karenika

      thank you so much! we read most of them on the ipad so far. i will go to the library for some. I will see if I can find the Humpty-Dumpty-Detective book and I might end up having to take you up on your offer!!

  • Miranda

    I don’t know if David is to old for it. But my boy loves The Gruffalo. I love it to. But you can read it in one take, LOL. I love this idea. My boy loves to read and won’t it be fun to do this for him so he can see which books he have read.

    I have downloaded your file and am sure gonna use it. Thanks for this idea and your file!!

  • Karen

    Oh, I’m going to print this list out! It’s a great list for any pre-teen reader. A few others to add: the Moomin books by Tove Jansson, My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Gannett, and My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George.

  • Cheryl

    You have most of the books on your list that my David read when younger. You may want to research R. L. Stine. It`s something lighter. Cleary`s Ramona series is also good. Stupendous idea.

  • Nikki

    ooooo and paddington bear

  • Theresa

    Great list! I have a 8 year old boy and 6 year old girl. I would add my favorite book as a child, “The Phantom Tollbooth,” by Justin Norton. Anything by Roald Dahl or Beverly Clearly is great, but I see you have most of their books.

  • Becky D

    I love this idea! We used to get all the kids on my bed and read outloud. We did the whole Harry Potter series, Eragon series, and others that way. Now my son is 19 and 6’4″ and my girls are 13 and 16 and are both taller than my 5’5″ inches so we don’t fit on the bed and they read on their own. I love the Boxcar Children when I was young – didn’t know there was a series until I was an adult but there are a lot of them, mysteries involving a family of children with the youngest about 5 or 6. I think Gertrude Warner is the author. Also, the Wrinkle in Time series (another one that I read the original as a child and the rest as an adult) by Madeleine L’Engle. We also love the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan, the Pendragon series by D. J. MacHale, and the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. All of these are middle school age though so they might be a little old for your David, but my kids are all above age level readers so they were reading them early. Probably the fact that we read to them early was a big factor. Anway, I have written a book of my own here so I will sign off. Good luck and have fun!

  • I think this is an amazing idea! My 9yo boy is just starting to catch the reading bug, so I might borrow some books from your list and gently guide him towards them. I just bought him the kitchy digitals woodland booklovers set from jessica sprague so he can keep a log of the books he’s ready, but I like your idea of thinking about what is being read, not just moving from one book to the next as sometimes happens when reading at school.

  • Melissa Martinez

    I love this idea 🙂 I am a teacher and I would have made a very similar list. My daughter is only 2 1/2 years old so the books have to be really short but it would be fun to try in about a year so she can interact like you are doing with your son. But in the mean time I plan to use your template to highlight some of her current favorites. Thanks for sharing.

  • Oh wow, I love this! I’ve been writing my goals for 2011 and one of them is to read more with my son and this will be perfect for that! Hope you and your son have fun reading together! Thanks so much 🙂

  • Shana

    What a wonderful idea! I would add the Wizard of Oz. It is a wonderful classic. I would also recommend a series that my son loved, The Secrets of Droon.

  • Miranda

    Dear Karen,

    I have downloaded your templates and wanted to change your text to Dutch. But I am working with PSE and in my layers it shows a map for text and all that, but I can only hide it. Can you tell me how I can change this. I love your templates but have a bit of a hard time using them, LOL.

    Hope you can help me.

    Love Miranda

    • karenika

      Hmm i am so sorry for the delay miranda. i just saw this somehow. i will open them all ip save them and send them your way again and see if that works.

  • Just found your blog and LOVE it! Am taking Ali’s classes (One Little Word, and Yesterday and Today).
    Just a book suggestion – my favorite when I was a child: The Phantom Tollbooth!
    It might need a little explanation/discussion when they talk about whether/weather, and other learningn concepts that might be a little over your son’s head at this age, but you can explain that words sound the same, are spelled differently, and mean different things…
    It’s a fun story!

    • karenika

      thank you so much!! that’s my all time favorite and so we already read it last year 🙂 :)!! thank you so much for the recommendation, we obviously share the same taste!

  • Your book list looks fabulous. I am not a mom yet, but I teach English to ninth graders. I wish more parents did this HUGE, INCREDIBLE favor for their kids. I can tell inside the first couple weeks of school which students were read to and which students were not. So from a teacher, THANKS!

  • Tanya

    My kid loves Secrets of Droon by Tony Abbott; she also loves Ron Roy’s books for the A-Z mysteries and the new series Calendar Mysteries; Beverly Cleary books are nice too, especially, Socks, Ribsy or those with Henry as the main character to appeal to your son.

    I’d wait on Because of Winn-Dixie to be a bit older, but it’s a good read. Also…probably you mean Tale of Despereaux. Kate DiCamillo is a wonderful writer for a variety of ages of kids’ books.

  • Tanya

    Just thought of another – The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling; maybe also Alice in Wonderland (I don’t think it’s too girly, but I don’t know, I have girls).

  • Kara

    Hi, I just found your blog and it’s wonderful. I started a similar project with my daughter last year, but with a regular notebook, and then our one year old got a hold of it, and well there went that idea 🙂 So I am excited to try your template-thanks so much. I read the Tales from the Odyssey by Mary Pope Osborne to my six year old daughter last fall and she just loved them. There are 6 books broken up into two (real) books, Part One and Two, and they retell the story of the Odysseus wonderfully and she loved all of the creatures and gods and adventures. Your son might enjoy them and they are a really nice intro to greek mythology. Again, thanks so much!

    • karenika

      wow that sounds absolutely wonderful, thank you! I will get them and see if David likes them. I love mythology so I have no doubt I will love them.

  • What a fantastic idea! I’m so going to do this!

  • I’ve downloaded the template and we’re about to embark on this project!! I thought for a bit that the template was a jpg but finally realized it’s a psd. I opened it just now in Photoshop and it has blue lines running through it, vertically. ??? Am I doing something wrong?

    • karen

      ah those are likely guidelines. go to your view menu and click on “extras” that should turn them off.

    • karenika

      heather did you get it working?

      • I did, Karen, thanks!! We are now PAINSTAKINGLY working our way through our first book (Pipi Longstocking) and I’d love to hear how you get through a book in a week with David. I’m doing this with both my kids together, a six year old and a 3.5 year old, so that could be part of the problem. Oy, the questions.

  • Damiane Lucas

    Hello Karen,

    Thank you for such a beautiful blog! I also viewed your article on Julie Balzer’s blog, and it is very inspiring. I still haven’t made an art journal yet, but your work is inspiring me to start one. Please tell me, what kind of watercolor paper do you use? Also, can you do a blog post on the paints and pastels that you use?

    Thanks so much. I’m really lost and would love to start buying the materials for my journal. Your work is BEAUTIFUL! Thanks for your step-by-step insight on Julie’s blog. I will definitely use a white background so that the quotes and paint will pop! God bless and I wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving.

  • Renee Mongillo

    Hello Karen,
    Firstly, thank you for your example of doing. I love your thoughts on the BigPictureClasses.com blog. I was really moved to tears when I read of your accomplishments in the past year and explained them to my husband: your drawing, exercising and reading to your son. So simple and yet such a great accomplishment. I love your reading list as well. I would include Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Boys love this and six is a great age in which to read it. Thank you again and I’m looking forward to your class starting Dec. 1st at Big Picture Classes. Happy Holidays! Renee

  • Nancy

    Thank you for your generousity!

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