One problem with having a high reading level is that the interest level often does not match that reading level. Jokes that are hilarious to an elementary schooler just aren’t funny to a preschooler. Without getting the jokes, a lot of these top elementary school-level books are just boring. So no Stink, no Horrible Harry, etc.
The local children’s librarian was a bit hostile when I asked her for recommendations (for the small child to my right who I claimed was reading and loving Magic Treehouse books) and kept recommending books at a much lower reading level. We do love Mo Willems, but we’ve been loving all the Pigeon books (and Knuffle Bunny, and Piggie and Elephant) for many years now. We are aware of Mo Willems and many other books at that level. When pushed, she went to the internet and did a “If you like the Magic Treehouse, maybe you will also like…” but the Boxcar Kids didn’t work for us, nor the other suggestions.
I thought we would fix the problem with Bill Peet books, but apparently not. Still too high of an interest level. BUT, we did rediscover Arnold Lobel! DC was willing to spend hir own pocket money to get more of Frog and Toad, which is always a good thing. And DC’s favorite Mouse Tale was also my favorite (the one where the mouse wears out his feet)! We’ve also gotten some mixed reactions to Maurice Sendek. I always felt mixed towards Maurice Sendek too. I need to remember to pick up some Danny and the Dinosaur type books next time we’re at the library… that’s another avenue to try, though (s)he seems to have lost interest in Go Dog Go and earlier Seuss. I suppose we should try for Bartholomew Cubbins and other story-driven Seuss. (S)He does like Horton quite a bit.
I also thought mystery novels would work out well– so we have all 26 A-Z mysteries, Cam Jansens, Encyclopedia Brown… no dice. I’m hoping in a few years (s)he’ll gain interest in the above. In the mean time they’ve just fueled my Scholastic addiction.
So what’s been working for us are what I called “magic books” growing up. We cannot get enough of these.
The Magic Treehouse (we’re well into the Merlin Misisons now!)
Everything we can find by Ruth Chew (I wish they were still in print!!!)
The Oz books. I was much older when I first read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and had seen the movie many times. It’s amazing watching DC discover it in the original L. Frank Baum version for the first time. What a wonderful book and I’m so glad it’s only part of a long series!
For us doing nighttime reading, I wonder if ze would be interested in Anne of Green Gables. At about this age, my mom read me Peter Pan and Pinocchio and Bambi and all sorts of children’s classics, but I don’t think I could handle going through such sad and horrible books again… once in preschool was enough. I suppose DH could do the reading. They’re reading a lot of E.B. White at school so we don’t really need to introduce those. We could also try Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle again. Or Pippi Longstocking!
This forum thread has more suggestions for early readers.
I ILL’d this book on books for gifted kids. It gets a big meh. Lots and lots of what we call in technical parlance, “touchy-feely” books. There are some good books in there, but they’re all Newberry and Caldecott winners that are on most lists. In any case, DC has not been impressed thus far with their picks for age 0-5, give or take. Ze takes after hir mommy, I guess. And how can you have suggestions for older kids without having Ender’s Game on the list (or Matilda)? Really other than the usual suspects (Wrinkle in Time, The Dark is Rising, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh), there really weren’t a whole lot of fantasy choices. Of course, the newest edition may have caught onto the Harry Potter craze, as this edition predated it… but not so far back that there are no options!
Do you have any good book recommendations?