(As a sidenote, I am rarely sad that I have only boys, but I will miss having a girl to share my love of Madeline L'Engle. I read those on my own and loved every single one of them. They are just so female-centric, except perhaps A Wrinkle in Time, which is the best one, and which I will encourage my boys to read. But, I can't wait for them to be old enough to read Paulsen's Hatchet and Woodsong.)
I started a bookshelf on Goodreads for books I have read, am currently reading, or am planning to read to the boys. The ones we have finished are reviewed!
I mostly read books in the public domain, free downloads for the Kindle, and that's where I started with the boys. We worked it into our bedtime routine. We still read picture books (fewer than we used to) and a Bible story every night, then I read our chapter book.
We have read 6 and a half books so far this year and are planning to read 2 more by the end of the year. Here's our reading list:
- The Wind in the Willows. It was a bit too much for a 2 and a half year old, but ok for a just-turned 4 year old.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Great for the 4 year old, ok for the 2 year old (or maybe he was getting used to chapter books?). Perfect chapter length for us. Good action!
- Black Beauty. It was easy to read aloud, and a good reading (listening) level for their age.
- Rikki Tikki Tavi. Very short (it's one ~30 minute chapter from The Jungle Book). The 4 year old and almost 3 year old both loved it.
- Captain's Courageous. The boys seemed to like it (though the 3 year old kept asking if we could read Rikki Tikki Tavi again), but I don't know how much of the plot they got. This one would be better around age 8.
- Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. For Ben's birthday, his uncle sent him these on the Kindle! They are perfect for this age group (3 and 4 year olds). The chapters are short, interesting, funny, and there is even a picture every so often.
After The House at Pooh Corner, we will probably read The Jungle Book. Then, it should be time to try A Christmas Carol again. I love that one myself and want to start a family tradition of reading it every year. Charlotte's Web, The Borrowers, and Stuart Little are also on my list for the future, but none of them are public domain.