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09 April 2013


So glad you loved Matilda. When I was young I tried to practice telekinesis so I could be like her.

The Witches is my other favorite Dahl book. It scared me when I was young, and the ending is unexpected and wonderful.

I think CRjr is at the right age to enjoy The Monster at the End of This Book. It's a picture book, so he'd be reading alongside you, rather than listening while you read to him.

Roald Dahl is great! My particular childhood favourite was The Twits (although I am 100% pro-beard).

I love children's books, I reread favourites from time to time and continue to try new books which I either missed as a child, or books that have come out more recently. One of my favourite books which I read in adulthood (when it originally came out I had progressed to adult books already)is Gary Paulsen's Hatchet.

As for classics: Wind in the Willows is marvellous, if you haven't already read it. And, I often reread Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge - I like my young male characters to be noble, self-sacrificing and entirely honourable, which Hans is in bucket loads.

Mainly I just want to read and read and read like Matilda. I'm sure trying to lift stuff with my will would just tire me out even more than trying to lift stuff with my arms. I'm going to get "The Witches" next--shelved it a million times at the library and always loved the cover.

And thanks for the suggestion for CRjr as well. He's a big picture book man, but someday when he's got the attention I'll look forward to moving him on to the Roald Dahl chapter books of the world.

SOLD on The Wind in the Willows, and I don't even have to pre-read that one because it's been recommended by my sister as well. Am also going to get The Twits; clearly I have not been reading enough Roald Dahl.

Good to know you're re-reading classics too. I love the process of re-reading anything I've loved, it's always very satisfying. Interesting to know about "Hatchet" too--I think that is one I'm going to want to read to see what goes on in it. Kind of a survivalist story, am I right?

I'm not one who likes to reread books, but when I was a kid I read "Harriet the Spy" at least ten times. I still have the copy I had as a child with my scrawled name in it. Alas, I tried to read it as an adult, and it didn't work. Maybe it's because I read so much children's and YA lit that I'm back in the "no re-read" mode.

One of the biggest gifts that my mom ever gave me was taking me and my brother and sister to the library every Sunday.

I loved the "Great Brain" books by John Fitzgerald growing up, I don't know if they're classics, but ones I remember loving to get from the bookmobile. I must admit I haven't revisited them but hopefully they still stand up. Will 'Lil CR stay still for a chapter in a book? Hope all is good in CR world.

When you're done reading Roald Dahl books, read a book about Roald Dahl. Very interesting.

Hatchet is a story of a thirteen year old boy's survival in the Canadian wilderness. like all 'castaway' stories it develops the themes of desperation, frustration, acceptance and the will to live. The book is very fast moving and I think I first read it in one long sitting as it was so exciting.

Hope you enjoy it too.

Umm, I've lost track. CRjr is ... not quite four?

I think Winnie the Pooh, Peter Cottontail, and that sort of thing might be more his level than Hatchet right now. I didn't read either as a child, but I do remember HALF MAGIC and sequels (by Edward Eager), MRS. PIGGLE-WIGGLE series (Betty MacDonald), and especially the Thornton W. Burgess stories featuring animals of the forest and field.

The illustrations are well worth finding print copies of the books, but here's http://www.boop.org/jan/omww/ a look at the text of OLD MOTHER WEST WIND to give you an idea of the story lines Burgess offers.

And a free coloring book you can download for CRjr with some of the most popular characters, here http://flyingchipmunkpublishing.com/Free_Peter_Rabbit_Coloring_Book.htm

Enjoy ~

LOVED Harriet the Spy, and actually have the good fortune to love it still. Love her dad's swear words--I'll be FINKED if I do that, etc.

Weekly visit to the library=very nice. My parents gave me lots of gifts in the reading department, including a bunch of older siblings, whose bookshelves I always raided and enjoyed.

Never read those!! Read and loved Encyclopedia Brown, of course, but I'll have to give these a try too. All is just fine in CR World--hope that is so in Katharine World as well.

CR Fan,
Weirdly enough, I read ABOUT Dahl in an autobiography by Patricia Neal (the great actress in the Paul Newman classic movie Hud)--although at one point he took charge of her recovery from cerebral aneurysms, he was not very nice to her in the end, was he? I forget. He may be one of those authors that I prefer to know less about personally.

It's embarrassing to ask what Hatchet was about because as a librarian I must have suggested it to millions of other parents and kids themselves, because I had heard it was such a fast read, it was always popping up in the literature for "reluctant readers." I have no excuse--except that you can't read everything. I've got to get to it one of these days!

You're lovely. Great suggestions, all. CRjr's a little younger than that, so not quite ready himself for all these great reads, but I'm going to knock a few of them off myself (particularly when I'm tired at night and need a pleasant, fast read). Thank you!

Encyclopedia Brown!!!! Thank you for reminding me of the fond memories of spending many hours with him. Of course, the Nancy Drews, too. I could never get into the Hardy Boys, but I did, embarrassingly, watch the t.v. shows!

My children are quite a bit older than CRjr, but here are some books they LOVED as read-alouds (a chapter a night), and didn't bore me to tears:

THE FAIRLY SCARY ADVENTURE BOOK by William Atwood (unfortunately out of print, but available through ILL; it isn't at all "scary" but great silly fun, with inventive cliffhangers (some literal!) at the end of every chapter)

THE WIZARD OF OZ (and sequels) by L. Frank Baum (much more inventive and less sentimental than the movie; we didn't try the ones by other authors)

HALF MAGIC and everything else by Edward Eager (they were dated when *I* was a kid, but never stopped being fun)

REDWALL and sequels by Brian Jacques (the entrance of Cluny the rat in chapter 2 (I think?) is a riveting hook)

THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE and sequels by C. S. Lewis (the religious allusion sail over the heads of most young kids, but you'll want to skip THE LAST BATTLE for just that reason; it's baffling if you don't "get it" and infuriating if you do)

DAVID AND THE PHOENIX by Edward Ormondroyd(back in print AT LAST, but be prepared for some tears at the end)

So glad to remind anyone about EB! I may have to read a few again--and I'm sure I still won't be smart enough to know the solutions without reading them!

LOVELY suggestions, all, thank you. (Never heard of several of them, and am looking forward to trying them out.) Although when I tried the Oz books in my pre-teen years they seriously freaked me out. I can't even remember why. Maybe I'll revisit them to see what the deal was.

Re: the C.S. Lewis, I have a fairly literal mind, so I must say the allusions pretty much still fly right by me. I may have to re-read The Last Battle now to see if I am either baffled or infuriated...although I am so bad at concentrating lately I may not have the energy to be either!

Another EB is E.B. White and TRUMPET OF THE SWAN, STUART LITTLE and CHARLOTTE'S WEB were among my children's favorites.

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