“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” ― C.S. Lewis
I mainly agree with that C.S. Lewis quote. If I’m going to read a book aloud to my kids
over and over and over, I want to enjoy it too.
However, as my kids have become independent readers, there are some books that my kids love (aka Captain Underpants) that I love less. However, I’m glad these books make my kids want to hide under the covers with a flashlight to read after light’s out.
Here are the books my kids and I have read recently that are worth sharing.
My son is almost 8 and in the 2nd grade. My daughter is almost 11 and in the 5th grade.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Yes! You read that right. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is back!
This book was PURE JOY to read. It was fun. It was funny. It had a bit of mystery. It had a whole lot of wonder. If you select one book out of this post – get this one!
Frank Cottrell Boyce, who wrote another of our favorite books, The Astounding Broccoli Boy, received permission from the Ian Fleming estate to revive the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang story. And, in my opinion, he did so in a marvelous way.
The book is written like it could be a movie – complete with a cliffhanger ending!
We loved the first book in this series so much that we also read the second book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Race Against Time.
Definitely read the books in order though so that you know how the car becomes Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I liked the first book better than the second, but my kids LOVED both of them.
And, no. We still have not read or watched the original book/movie! It’s on my list!
I, Coriander by Sally Gardner
If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you might remember me mentioning
once or a 100 times that my daughter’s teacher reads aloud to the class during lunch. I can’t even tell you how much I love that she does this.
The latest book she reading is reading to the 10 – 12 year olds in her class is I, Coriander by London-based author Sally Gardner. Gardner is dyslexic and her journey into writing children’s books is quite inspiring.
My daughter has been giving me the play-by-play of this tale, which is set in 17th century London. As you can imagine, life is quite a bit different than it is today. My daughter’s imagination has been captured by this time in history and it’s fun to see her exploring the world of historical fiction.
I Even Funnier by James Patterson
We finally finished up the I Funny Series by James Patterson. We read the books out of order, but they read just fine as stand-alones.
All the books in the series revolve around Jamie who competes in a series of comedy competitions. Along the way, he learns a lot about friendship, healing and family.
While my younger kid liked the jokes in this book, this series is definitely not geared for the younger crowd. It’s written for upper elementary and middle school grades. How do I know this?
Well, my kids both made gagging sounds when the girl kissed Jamie on the cheek.
I have to tell you, as a mom, I was a-okay with that response! Stay little, kids!
Here’s what I love about the Ripley’s Fun Facts & Silly Stories books: my son doesn’t realize how much he is reading. There isn’t a ton of text on each page, but it adds up over several pages!
These type of books are packed with info, so pretty much every time a child opens the book, they discover something new.
The creator of Captain Underpants has another series, Dog Man.
If you’re familiar with the potty humor of Captain Underpants and the love/hate relationship adults have with these books, you’ll understand that Dog Man Unleashed and Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties are in the same vain. I last about 8 or 9 pages and then I let my son read the rest on his own.
The good news is that my son loves reading these books. He actually spent his own money on one of them, so I have no problems with it.
Periodically, I will ask him what the story was about to check his reading comprehension, but usually I’m sorry I asked!
Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor and Loki by Kevin Crossley-Holland
My 7-year-old son is learning the difference between the Greek and Norse gods, but the Norse gods hold a particular fascination for him. We’ve been reading Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor and Loki by Carnegie Medal-winning author Kevin Crossley-Holland and artist Jeffrey Alan Love together.
The illustrations are super interesting and although the stories are LONG, my kid seems to really be interested in these larger-than-life characters. There’s also a handy chart that shows the different parts of their kingdom, where the giants live, etc.
I haven’t spent a ton of time reading up on Norse mythology, so it has been very eye opening to me to see all the parallels between the Norse gods and modern religions.
I will say, the Norse gods and the creatures in these stories aren’t particularly nice. They did some things that are definitely not G-rated. To that end, I did gloss over a few parts in this book mainly so my son wouldn’t ask me things like “why did Odin lay for 3 nights with the man and his wife?”
If your kiddo likes the Marvel Superheroes, he or she will love this book.
I’m indifferent to this genre, but my 7-year-old loves to read this type of book during his independent reading time.
Oliver and the Seawigs (A Not-So-Impossible Tale) by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre
The author of this book had a really fun, imaginative idea: islands that move. The islands can move because they aren’t islands, but rambling isles or rocky sea giants. The “sea wig” is whatever gets caught on the top of the rambling isle’s head when he/she is walking around the ocean.
This ‘ridiculous, but it’s a shame it’s not a real thing’ tale was right up my kids’ alley.
It’s a story that is definitely geared for 6 – 8 year olds, but my 10-year-old enjoyed it too. So did I!
I’ll never look at a small island the same!
That’s it for this round!
As always, I’m happy to learn about other books my kids might enjoy! Do share!
Here are past posts on children’s books we LOVE
- Books My Kids Are Reading Part 7
- Books My Kids Are Reading Part 6
- Books My Kids Are Reading Part 5
- Books My Kids Are Reading Part 4
- Books My Kids Are Reading Part 3
- Books My Kids Are Reading Part 2
- Books My Kids Are Reading Now (Part 1)
- Two Children’s Books That Made My Eyes Leak – Cried my eyes out. Still my favorite books.
- Star Wars Phonics Books – These worked miracles at encouraging my son to read.
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