Bookmark at Bedtime: Read-Aloud Chapter Book Favorites

I just enjoyed taking a look at Simple Mom's list of favorite read-aloud chapter books

I distinctly remember my mom reading the Urpo, Turpo, ja Ihanaa series by Hannele Huovi, illustrated by Jukka Lemmetty, aloud to me and my brothers and sister. Two bears and a horse have all sorts of playroom adventures with funny dialogue. We begged for one more page almost every night, because we loved the story, but also because everything felt especially calm and interesting during family reading time. I can't wait to do this with Baby A when she is a little older, (although I love our nighttime cuddles with board books of her own choosing).
I love Tsh's (Simple Mom's) picks, and I would add:

Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Ernest M. Shepard 
and The Frog and the Toad series by Arnold Lobel.

A hundred other chapter books came to mind, but I think I'd keep bedtime reading somewhat light--not in quality--but in the potential to cause nightmares. I'd start with The Frog and the Toad, and work up to Island of the Blue Dolphins, then to Chronicles of Narnia series, and later, Huckleberry Finn, and Harry Potter series...with thousands of pages, dozens of books, and years of maturity in between. Read-alouds might move from nightly to twice weekly, and from bedtime to after supper, but I hope they continue a long time. I secretly fantasize that someday my family will have our own little book club, hashing out discussions of our current read over quesadillas on Monday nights.

Do you think the content should follow the child's maturity curve, or that children will process what they can and not worry too much about the stuff that's scary or past their understanding? 
Would you read the same chapter book to a four-year-old as you would an eight-year-old?
What would you add to the list?


  1. My kids love to be read to as well, we read to them all the time! I use to read to them while I nursed them, I would just read out loud what I was reading at the time...but as they got older, and could move around I found books had to match their attention short and sweet with great pictures, touchy feely books are a favorite. As my son got older and I started reading more grown up books, I did find that they had to match his maturity for him to enjoy them, otherwise they went straight over his head. He is 5.5 now, and has enjoyed the first Harry Potter Book, Boxcar Children, Magic Tree House, Magic School Bus Chapter Series, etc... My 2yo has quite the attention span for books, and will sit through quite long ones, but still prefers picture books, my one year old loves any books, he brings us all sorts and then plops down in our laps, but we can only hold his full attention for an entire book if it's a short board book. My favorites at his age are Goodnight Moon, Noisy Animals (form Usborne Books, as well as some other Toucy Feely ones from Usborne). Anyhow, Reading is so important!! I think it's also good for your kids to see YOU reading...and to have books available to them....I recommend the book "The Read Aloud Handbook". On another note, I remember babysitting you guys (boy does that make me feel old) and you guys asking me to read some of your Finnish books to you. lol I tried, lol, but you guys had NO IDEA what I was saying. haha

  2. on the side note, if you aren't familiar with Usborne, you should check them out at :D Great blog you got here too btw!


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