Even though our daughter is a very fluent reader and can’t get enough of books, we still read aloud to her daily. Nowadays my choice of books to read together is either tied to a special occasion we are celebrating or I am picking a read aloud book targeted to somewhat older children to challenge her listening comprehension skills. There are two read-alouds happening at once – one is papa reading Elliot and the Goblin War by Jennifer Nielsen and I am reading the first book from The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsalll. Very different choices, but she is loving both books and has no problems retaining the events and switching back and forth between them.
We are not Irish, but St Patrick’s Day is big in school, and it’s a perfect opportunity to celebrate all things green and gold. We read several new books for St Patrick’s Day – our favorite was A Fine St Patrick’s Day by Susan Wojciechowski illustrated by Tom Curry. I had some interesting discussions with Smarty about doing the right thing based on this tale of values and decision making.
March is Women’s History month. We read several wonderful books about women who left their mark in history – scientists, queens and explorers. I really enjoyed Amelia and Eleanor Go For a Ride with striking black-and-white illustrations by Brian Selznick. Smarty's favorite was Who Was Queen Elizabeth since she was very fascinated by Elizabeth’s story told in The Story of the World.
Passover was the only Jewish holiday celebrated by my ultra-Communist and totally atheistic Jewish grandparents. I still remember fondly a special meal with a treat that was happening only once a year – matzo bread. Now I continue Passover tradition with my own daughter – we had friends over for a meal of crockpot lamb and the kids had fun looking for the Afikomen. We also read A Picture Book of Passover by David A Adler that gives an overview of the Bible story and describes how this holiday is celebrated by millions of Jews around the world.
My husband is a big fan of Easter decorations. He was suggesting to decorate our house for Easter the week after a Valentine’s Day! We do a lot of blown eggs each year and, of course, there will be an Easter hunt on Easter Sunday even though our daughter doesn’t believe in Easter Bunny any longer. For Easter we read The Easter Egg by Jan Brett and The Easter Story by Brian Wildsmith.
Smarty is still very interested in chess and asked to be signed up for the next session of Chess afterschool for the spring season. I bought her a Chess Camp Volume 1 book – written by a Russian chess teacher and using a very Russian approach of chess problems to teach chess. This book is not an absolute beginners, since it has no text and no explanations, it’s really more for coaches of chess. Usually Smarty and I work through a couple of pages of problems and then play a game. She can’t win against me yet, but she is working hard at it
What good books did your kids read in March?