365 Days of Reading Aloud

Tonight, I gave each of my kids a gift certificate to get a book of their choice at Barnes & Noble this weekend.

A year ago, Zoe and I made a reading promise after I read Alice Ozma’s The Reading Promise which I had picked up at the Scholastic book fair on Zoe’s curriculum night for kindergarten. Zoe and I agreed that I would read aloud to her every night for one-hundred nights. Like Alice and her father, we couldn’t stop. We’ve read aloud every day, most mornings and most nights, sometimes only one or the other but more often both for the past 365 days and there is no plan to stop. We’ve read forty-seven chapter books this year and countless picture books. I love reading high quality literature to my children and love that they seem to have an almost insatiable appetite for listening. It’s usually the first thing we do together in the morning and the last thing we do together before they go to bed. Occasionally, busy schedules mean we skip one or the other on any particular day, but never both. We have made sure of that!

For our full reading list over the past year (and even the year before that before our reading streak was official), check out our Reading Streak page.

Their reading endurance has increased tremendously so I get frequent requests for “one more chapter” which I only am able to honor sometimes.

This summer, we listened to several chapter books either on CD in the car or on my iPhone via Overdrive (digital audio loaned through public library).

  • Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
  • Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
  • All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
  • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgsen Burnett
  • The Boxcar Children Collection (all 3 books)

Here are some others we also enjoyed on the car rides that were more accessible to Echo and still enjoyable for Zoe:

  • The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss
  • Horton Hears a Who! and Other Sounds by Dr. Seuss
  • Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel
  • Tikki Tikki Tembo retold by Arlene Mosel
  • The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

Echo has joined in the reading streak, requesting Charlotte’s Web repeatedly and snuggling with us to enjoy part of whatever we are reading.

Our mainstay continues to be the Little House books and we have now covered all five generations of Little House women (Martha, Charlotte, Caroline, Laura, Rose). Just tonight, we finished reading, Little Clearing in the Woods by Maria D. Wilkes, which is the third of seven Caroline books. Once we finish the final four books of the Caroline series, Zoe says she wants to read the Laura and Rose books for the third time.

Despite this devotion to the Little House books, we have gradually introduced other books.

We borrow extensively from our local library which conveniently has a branch across the street from Echo’s daycare. And, since many of the titles are out of print or less readily available, I have developed a routine of making requests through interlibrary loan. We also used interlibrary loan and weekly library visits over the summer to read more than fifty of the picture books on the list of suggested reading options for kids entering first grade.

I get inspiration from friends and family who make suggestions and from some lists of books including those from A Mighty Girl and this list of Teachers’ Top 100. We are even using these lists and our emerging favorites to choose books as gifts for the many birthday parties the kids get invited to attend.

We welcome new reading suggestions and look forward to many more days and years of reading aloud together.



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2 Replies to “365 Days of Reading Aloud”

  1. Congratulations! Inspirational as always. I always liked Trumpet of the Swan better than Charlotte’s Web, although they are both wonderful.

    1. Diana – We’ll try “Trumpet of the Swan” soon. We’ve tried “Stuart Little” a couple of different times with little interest from either girl.

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