Lately I have been struggling to come up with a chapter book to read aloud to my daughters at bedtime. My oldest daughter reads chapter books to herself now, and seems to prefer that to my reading to her (this makes me a little bit sad, but I remember feeling the same way when I was her age). Often if we do start a book that we all seem to be enjoying, she will pick it up again before bedtime, reading far past where we last left off. Then she no longer has a need to listen and finds other things to do during our nightly reading ritual. Part of me would like to restrict her from reading in-between our nightly reading time, yet I also know what it is like to want to keep reading and would have hated anyone restricting me!
I ended up picking All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor to try as our next read aloud, not sure if I had read it while growing up. It was an instant hit with my middle daughter who begged for me to read more each night. And, while I don't remember the entire book, I do remember snippets of it - like when Mother hides the buttons in an effort to get her daughters to do a better job dusting. Each chapter provides another new adventure for the five sisters, and also gave us a lot to talk about - because of the time period this book takes place there are things to discuss and describe to help them understand. Because my children don't have any exposure to the Jewish culture many of these things also needed to be explained. My oldest daughter did manage to listen to the entire story and today when we make our library visit we will be looking for the next book, All of a Kind Family Uptown.