Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Read Alouds for Preschoolers: The Boxcar Children
Our 26-hour car ride back from the Midwest this weekend was made more pleasant by listening to The Boxcar Children on cassette tape (You may have noticed that the posts here have been a little sparse the past week or so; that should improve a bit now that we're back :-)
1. She found it really entertaining. We started the tapes a little late in the trip and so didn't make it all the way through. It was cute to find my daughter and husband sprawled out on the living room floor this morning listening to the rest of the story on the tape deck inside the house (they really wanted to find out what happened!)
2. The complexity of the language and story was just complex enough to be a little beyond her. It was not so difficult as to cause frustration, but not so easy that she caught everything the first time. That's exactly the balance I look for in a read-aloud.
3. Orphaned children setting up house in an old railroad car is the kind of story that sparks imaginative play.
4. The children model exemplary behavior in natural, child-like ways. The book is not at all moralistic or preachy, but one can't help being impressed with the importance of responsibility, care for one's brothers and sisters, hard work, and resourcefulness by the way the story unfolds.
I think I might have read some of the 18 books that follow in this series as a child, but I don't remember much about them. Does anyone have experience with books that follow the original Boxcar Children story? Are they good, or do they become mediocre in that way that is so typical for sequels? Any other good read-aloud recommendations for preschoolers?