Reading Fit for a Five Year Old

We read a lot of books. I think it is a combination of children’s librarian for mother, inquisitive kid, house full of picture book options. There are so many books I would love to own because I know how much I poured over books as a kid. Those books that are always in the house become favorites. The books from my childhood that immediately pop to mind are:

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats which I read a million times. I wanted to be Peter. I wanted that snazzy red snowsuit. I would read and then go play in the snow and do all of the things Peter did in this story.

snowy day

Round Trip by Ann Jonas which I saw on Reading Rainbow and begged my mom for afterwards. I remember the bus ride to the bookstore and the excitement of finding the book LeVar Burton thought I should read.

round trip

This collection of Russian Fairy Tales was technically my brother’s book but I was drawn to its large size and numerous stories. I read the stories over and over.

russian fairy tales

We will be starting our homeschool kindergarten adventure soon. This means I have been thinking a lot about what I want that to include beyond the basic school subjects. I want us surrounded in great books and I hope those books spark great conversations. I honestly don’t want kindergarten to look vastly different from our every day life thus far. I just want it to be more organized and with bits of learning slid in but not with a formal “school” feel. I want kindergarten to be full of reading lots of great books followed by conversations and not from a list of stiff questions. I want the conversation to be sparked because the literature is great and we actually want to discuss the story and dig a little deeper.  I found Torchlight which is so much of what I wanted. It is like it was made just for us. “Torchlight takes a distinctively secular approach with Humanist underpinnings. Torchlight supports the Golden Rule, kindness, exploration, questioning, and scientific thinking. A worldly approach full of logic, equality, and empathy.”


In addition to Torchlight(Kindergarten is out now with 1 and 2 coming out by fall.), we will continue to follow our interests.

So what did we read today?

I am Rosa Parks by Brad Meltzer

i am rosa parks

“I hope you’ll always stand up for yourself, and I hope you’ll remember that we’re all in this together.” This story is clear but by no means simple. Conversations on racism, boycotts and standing up for yourself and in turn, others will be sparked. What better way to start talking about the history of this country (and what is going on current day) than a story of someone who stood up and said NO!

Grace Hopper Queen of Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark

grace hopper

We borrowed this from the library and we enjoyed it enough to put it on our wish list. The artwork is really enjoyable. The story is well written. I can see us reading this one again and again. I can also see Ruby wanting to take apart a few clocks to see how they work just like Grace. LOL


Mr. Ferris and His Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis

mr ferris

Having ridden in a Ferris Wheel makes this story that much more appealing to young readers. This story is a wonderful combination of the history and engineering of the Ferris Wheel wrapped up with lovely illustrations. I will admit that any reading on the 1893 World’s Fair instantly makes me think of Devil in the White City which is definitely an adult read and fascinating at that. This has sparked Ruby’s desire to design her own Ferris Wheel and her own Eiffel Tower which is mentioned in the book.


OneGreen Apple by Eve Bunting

one green apple

This is the story of a girl who just started school in the United States. She does not speak English yet and is just getting the lay of the land. This is great for sparking conversations about being new to a group, about how it would feel to not know the language everyone is speaking around you, of how it would feel to be in a new place and miss your old friends or way of life and so much more.


I Am Enough by Grace Byers

i am enough

This is another one I would love to have in our collection. I. Am. Enough. I don’t think someone can hear that enough. The artwork is lovely. The message is spot on.

Counting on Community by Innosanto Nagara

counting on community

This is a fun board book that counts from one to ten. It also sparks a conversation about community. This evening we talked about who made up our community and what community means to us: friendship, laughter, support, hugs, counting on each other, playing together, encouraging each other, feeding each other. Ruby is currently working on some pieces of art for a few people she identified in our community. She wants to let them know that she loves them. This is what I love. Literature that sparks conversation and sparks action. We can spark the change in the world with stories, with conversations and with action.


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