We all know the importance of reading aloud to our kids, well beyond the age when they are able to read on their own. One of the keys to read aloud success? Choosing books that are age appropriate for the kids. But what happens when, like me, you have kids that vary in ages quite significantly? Adding to my personal struggles with reading aloud to my 3 children at once is the fact that my daughter is only just really starting to speak English. Most blogs I read and follow give great suggestions for English read-alouds.
Because many of the stories that my daughter (age 5) enjoys bore my boys silly, a lot of the time, sadly, I tend to read aloud to her alone, and my boys (10 & 12) go off to read in their room. But how they’re missing out! As am I. And at their ages, research shows that read-alouds are still very important.
I had all but given up trying reading to them at the same time. But last week, my little miracle happened. After reading ReadAloudDad’s post about the Mad About Madeline Treasury, I immediately purchased it. All 3 of my kids were captivated! Why? Well, this is not your usual girly bedtime story! In Madeline’s Rescue, the boys giggled and were shocked to read that “Poor Madeline would now be dead” after falling into the River Seine. And in Madeline and the Bad Hat, they couldn’t believe that Pepito would build a guillotine, and found it hilarious when he’d use his slingshot on the poor girls’ bottoms. Not to mention all the clever rhymes. And I don’t need to talk about why my daughter loves Madeline. Madeline’s appeal is globally accepted.
This morning, my eldest son asked me if there were any Madeline stories in the Treasury that we had not yet read.
“Yes, hurray, we still have 3!
This is truly a Read Aloud victory!”
Ok, so I’m no rhyming genius, but I’m truly grateful for a read-aloud book for all 3 of my kids. Thank you again, Mr. Bemelmans!
Do you have any recommendations for read alouds for kids of varying ages? I would SO love to hear from you.