Books I Read Aloud to the Kids, December 2018

Once again, we did a lot of driving, so we smashed out a ton of great audiobooks!  I’ll be honest, I’m not really liking the education that the girls are getting from the online, public school, but I’m so happy that we’re supplementing with so many great books.  From June to December this year, the girls heard 57 books!

Books We Read

We finally finished our last book from October, and we were able to complete an Advent one this month:

The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

We listened to The Evolution on Calpurnia Tate this fall on audio and LOVED the story.  We also enjoyed The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate, which focuses more on her and her brother, Travis’, interest in caring for animals, though they definitely have two different skill sets.  However, this book made me realize how much better some books are on audio.  The reader for The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate was so wonderful, I think she made the book even better.  I wish we would have listened to this one on audio, too.

Tabitha’s Travels by Arnold Ytreeide


Each Advent, we read one of the four books by Arnold Ytreeide.  This year it was Tabitha’s Travels.  While we enjoyed the book, I think the author took a lot of liberties with the role a young female might have had back in Jesus’ day.

Audio Stories We Listened To

We listened to a number of really good audio stories this month, and one that wasn’t so great:

Tiger, Tiger by Lynne Reid Banks

 

I almost didn’t have us listen to the audio because I was afraid it would be dry.  Boy, was I wrong!  Tiger, Tiger is one of my favorite audios this month, and for the whole year.  Two tiger cubs are taken from their home and brought to the Roman Empire, where they face widely different fates.  Boots becomes a pampered tiger who is Caesar’s daughter’s (Aurelia) personal pet.  Boots’ brother, Brute, is destined for a much different fate–as an animal to be used in the Colosseum to kill Gladiators and Christians.

This story is so rich and intense.  We couldn’t wait to get back in the car and continue listening.  The story actually gets inside the mind of the tigers, so you know what they are thinking; combining that with the humans around them and their complex lives, and this is an excellent story.

This audio is 5 hours long

Poppy by Avi

In the novel, Poppy, Mr. Ocax, an owl, has ordained himself the guard of Dimwood Forest.  All mice must get permission from him to go to certain areas of the forest or Mr. Ocax will eat them.  The mice follow Mr. Ocax’s rules because he’s told them about the porcupine, which is waiting to eat them; in return for their submission, Mr. Ocax will protect them from the porcupine.

One daring mouse, Poppy, seeks to find what is beyond the forest, and she discovers Mr. Ocax does not have the mice’s best interests at heart after all.

This audio is 4 hours long.

Cripin: The Cross of Lead by Avi

Bookworm and I read Crispin: The Cross of Lead together a few years ago, and I remember we both couldn’t wait to read and see what happens next.  This audiobook, however, is a good reminder that narrators are so important to a great audio story.  The narrator of this book was not a good fit, in my opinion, which made the story less exciting.  Still, Cuddle Bug loved it, but PB & J Girl was lulled by the narrator’s voice and found it dull.

This audio is 6.25 hours long.

Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi

We listened to several books by Avi this month, but Catch You Later, Traitor, was my favorite.  Pete is in 7th grade in the 1950s when an FBI detective shows up at his family home and starts asking questions about his dad and the dad’s affiliation with the Communist party.  Pete, who loves detective stories, decides to find out for himself about his father and his father’s background, and he discovers many shocking family secrets.

This audio is  7 hours long.

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

The Cricket in Times Square a fun little story about a cricket, Chester Cricket, who jumped into a picnic basket in Connecticut and finds himself transported to New York City.  There he makes some animal friends and finds a singing career.  While he enjoys success and fame, Chester Cricket finds himself longing for the way things used to be.

This audio is 2.5 hours long

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Walk Two Moons is a sad story about Sal Hiddle, whose mother leaves the family after she suffers a miscarriage.  Sal and her grandparents are taking a trip to Idaho to “find” her mother, but along the way, the grandmother is bitten by a rattlesnake.  Sal passes the time by telling the story of her friend, Phoebe Winterbottom, whose mother also temporarily leaves her family for awhile.  This story is rich and complex and beautiful.

This audio is 6 hours long.

Books read aloud in June – December: 27

Audio stories listened to in June – December: 30

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