My boys have always loved books. I remember my oldest son listening intently to every word as we opened a new book from the library. After one reading he would eagerly reach for the book and wriggle down from my lap to find a quiet spot to reread the book for himself. After two or three readings he would be able to quote the book practically word for word. Now that he is almost four he is no longer content to just sit and look at the pictures. He wants to know what the words say and realizes that he can't read them yet! Of course, he isn't so motivated that he's asking to learn how to read. He knows the alphabet and the sounds of the letters, but there's just something about hearing his favorite story read aloud that appeals to him (especially when we add in different voices and sound effects!).
As we travel the states I have searched many a thrift store's book rack for early readers and read-aloud choices that would appeal to my rambunctious crew. Having two boys has really thrown me for a loop though. I'm pretty sure that my fire truck lovin', train totin', race car drivin' turbo tots would not care to hear Nancy Drew, or some of the other series I loved reading as a youngster. So I've been on the lookout for books that would appeal to boys.
One such series that we have just discovered is the Nate the Great series. Nate is a boy version of that famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, who with his trusty dog as his sidekick solves mysteries around his neighborhood for his friends. These chapter books for early readers have short sentences and enough action to hold my three year old's interest. He loves them so much that we have to read the entire book in one sitting. The one we just finished was 56 pages long so prepare your throat before you begin!
You can visit the Random House website to see the entire list of Nate the Great books, read about the author, or download some additional super sleuthing activities for older kids! There are even a few books about his cousin, Olivia, who sometimes helps him solve a mystery. Here are a few of the selections we've enjoyed so far. (Click on the title to read the book summary).