Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wonderful Read Aloud for Children

Every once in a while you pick up a book and you think, "Wow!  This is a wonderful book!"  That is just how my family has felt about Young Fredle.  I remember reading Cynthia Voigt's books when I was growing up.  So, I wanted to read this book.  From the first page, her writing was extremely vivid and clever.  Young Fredle is the story of a young mouse who is kicked out of his den and finds himself outside.  The book is the story of his journey.  I don't want to say any more about the plot except to say that I enjoyed all of twists and turns (as did my children who are 2, 5, and 7).  My youngest two often didn't understand what was going on, so we would summarize at the end of each chapter and it gave them a chance to practice listening and paying attention to the store.  The verbal imagery was often also beyond their skill level so we would talk about it.  But, I felt it was still very good to read it to them because it stretches their little minds and helps them to grow in their ideas of how to describe things in their own writing.

It is often hard to find good, appropriate books for advanced readers.  My 2nd grade daughter has a 5th grade reading level.  When I was teaching in the public schools, I also faced this dilemma.  This is a book that would be very appropriate for advanced readers at younger ages as well as students in 3rd through 5th grade.

I would highly recommend this book to homeschool parents--it's a keeper and one that you will be able to talk through with your children--for example, why does Fredle think there are many moons?  I would also highly recommend it as a read aloud to classroom teachers.  The verbal imagery in this book is amazing.  Fredle, by the way, is pronounced "fredal" because it rhymes with "metal" which you learn on the first page.  Rather than leaving the reader in a lurch about how to pronounce the main character's name, Ms. Voigt gives a clue on the very first page.  How wise!

If this book doesn't become a Newberry Award winner this year, I will be very surprised!

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