It's We Recommend, in which we use our (alleged) superpowers to find readers the perfect book. Got a kid who needs a recommendation? Write us atthediamondinthewindow (at) gmail (dot) com with the age, reading tastes, favorite books, and any other relevant (or irrelevant) information, and we'll give it a shot. And really? All the good suggestions are in the comments.
This next one might sound a little crazy, but I actually think it's not, and am interested in hearing what you guys think. Besides, it mentions The Master (Roald Dahl), about whom I have been feeling especially reverential lately. Here's the email:
So I'm looking for chapter books that I can read to my 2 1/2 year old.
What happened is rather what happens at his age: the refusal to nap, and the parental scramble to find a new means to make a toddler get very-needed sleep. One day, I thought that reading something long and without pictures – in the most droning voice I could muster – might lull him to sleep. On the contrary; after I'd read the first couple chapters of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", he was enthralled. He was asking pertinent questions, and could tell me (fairly) accurately what had happened. So we continued. And now we're almost done.
The problem is that I'm not sure what to read next. I hesitate to read "The BFG", with the child-eating giants, and Charlotte's Web ends with Charlotte's death… Maybe "The Secret Garden", since he loves flowers, but there are a lot of rather tangential paragraphs that I remember as terribly boring, even at 10 or 11.
What would you read to a very imaginative, slightly sensitive, 2 1/2 year old?
One of the best ones we read was All of a Kind Family. I have no good, logical explanation for why these books are so compelling to kids. It seems to have something to do with the kid's-eye view of daily life—how much the minutiae means to them, which I think we as adults sometimes forget. But in my experience, many of them, boys and girls alike, absolutely love these books. So maybe this in time? But really, I'm just dancing around here, because I KNOW what I think this person should have read to him.
Oh how I love this book! Each strange story, each random moment. His homemade tin-foil dimes, his dandy outfits, his boat! The way he repairs his souvenir canoe, then cuts down a dandelion with an axe and has dandelion milk and deviled ham for supper. It is—magic.
But this will only get them through a few nap times. What great read-aloud chapter books for the sensitive and interested do you guys have to recommend? Put them in the comments, please!