The Essential Seuss Book List

Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr Seuss wrote and illustrated over 40 books in his lifetime. That total does not include the books written by other authors and  published by his company Beginner Books.  I have read a lot of Dr Seuss books- I grew up reading them, my children cut their reading teeth on a Seuss library. We have a family tradition centered around one title. 

We love our Seuss! 
This book list contains the Dr Seuss books that we pull off the shelves every 2nd of March. 

Essential Seuss List

 

A Dr Seuss reading list could not be complete without this classic.  Written using only 225 words and simple 3 color illustrations. This story with its simple plot of rainy day boredom and mother being out, still engages children's imagination today.

 

One of my favorites!  Simple one word rhymes start out the story and gradually grow into four sentence blocks. A bit more colorful than the Cat in the Hat and a good book for beginner readers to recognize word families.

 

The Seuss book of opposites. This is title where beginner readers start picking up speed.  Single word opposites and simple sentences all about feet. This was a favorite with my son when he was learning to read- maybe because at one point it was memorized!

 

The book where we start seeing the number sight words. Counting words and longer sentences add enough challenge for the growing reader.  Full of rhyming fun and made up Seuss words, this book keeps the pages turning.

 

The book that encourages children to try new things, even food, because they may like it! With its easy repetitive sentences and rhyming endings this title delights over and over. Plus you can fix your own Green Eggs and Ham.

I was going to stop at five, but I can't leave out-

 

This was one of my childhood favorites.  It is an amusing book of tricky tongue twisters.  It is still considered a beginner book, but it can be painfully long if the child does not have a good grasp of reading. This book is a good choice for an older sibling to read or for you to read aloud. The perfect title to keep Seuss fun going strong.

Which Dr Seuss books are your favorites?

 

 

Celebrating Dr Seuss Day

I am drawn to the quirky and unusual, the things that bring newness to the ordinary.  Maybe that is why celebrating Dr Seuss day has been one of my favorite days for almost twenty years now.

The first person who celebrated this day with me was my to be husband.  We had been dating for just over a month and I invited him over for breakfast. It would be the first time I cooked for him. We can't remember if I told him what the menu was but we do know he was informed that it was Dr Seuss day. Placed along side the bowl of fruit was none other than a heaping serving of Green Eggs and Ham.

He did not jump up and say "I like Green Eggs and Ham," he may have even made a face like this:
Greeneggface
…but it made for a lasting impression for what would become a tradition in our home.
My children have never known a year when we did not pay homage to the man whose beginner books started them on the path of reading.

Celebrate copy 2

The festivities begin with dramatic readings from our favorite Seuss collection. I will be sharing an Essential Seuss List that I think should be in every childs library, tomorrow. The only book off limits is Green Eggs and Ham, which receives special attention come meal time.

What is served on Dr Seuss Day? 

Greeneggs&ham

Green Eggs and Ham!

This is one of the easiest and fun meals you will make all year! 

Whip up some green eggs.  I have prepared these two different ways:

Option 1- scramble your eggs, while in the pan add a couple drops of green food coloring. Stir and cook. Easy!

Option 2- crack eggs into a blender, add in a handful of spinach and blend it up.  Repeat spinach step until you get the green shade you are looking for. Pour into pan and cook.  Again, easy & it's a way to get spinach into a kid!

Then take sliced deli ham and roll it up and stick a toothpick in it.  Extra fun points if you print out a cute Dr Seuss inspired printable for the top.

Toppers

While the special meal is served or sometimes after the meal is finished; the reading of Green Eggs and Ham begins. The up and coming new reader would get the honor of reading aloud to everyone.  When the learning to read stage was over, it became a whose year is it to read kind of event.

Something we all still look forward to.

Dr Seuss Day is a tradition that brings together the love of books and fun food, both of which can be enjoyed by kids of all ages!

 

Dominic

The old hardback copy of Dominic that I brought into the house was met with unease.  It looked like one of those classics that you had to read in high school, that you knew would be awful.

But we decided to take a chance on the mustardy yellow color covered book and we found a heroic tale of a dog with a superb blend of action and deep meaning.

Dominic

Dominic is an on the go sort of dog. He sets off with his piccalo to see what lies down the road.  His keen sense of smell leads him to find friendships on his adventures and right into the clutches of the Doomsday gang.  The Doomsday gang is a group of villians who attack the innocent animals of the countryside. Being a kind and courageous dog, Dominic must find a way to defeat these ruffians.

The exceptional descriptive vocabulary in this book make it a wonderful read aloud.  The reading level in my opinion would have to be 7th grade or higher. The beauty of the wording may get overlooked and skipped over if a child had to sound out many of the words.
That is why reading aloud is an easy way to learn new words. The challenging words are heard in context and are made to come alive in the mind.

The illustrations in Dominic are simple stick and line sketches.  I found them charming, but my children seem to have a more refined opinion of what an illustration should be. But by the end of the book they were asking to see the pictures as well. Simplicity can grow on you.

Drawing

To wrap it all up in a bandana ( story reference ) Dominic is a fabulous boy read or read aloud for mulit-ages, I lean towards 8 and up.  Boys will enjoy the sword fighting and heroic deeds of this loveable dog. 
Moms will appreciate the outstanding vocabulary and life lessons taught in the story.

I dog eared several pages but this is a tidbit I am still mulling over- "Fighting the bad ones in the world was a necessary and gratifying experience. Being happy among the good ones was, of course, even more gratifying. But one could not be happy among the good ones unless one fought the bad ones."

 

 

 

 

 

The Penderwicks

I enjoy reading aloud with a book in my hand.

But lately we have been spending a lot of time driving to and fro, getting people to where they need to be.

So, I did the next best thing to reading a book, I popped in an audio book.

Is it still considered a read aloud if I am not doing the reading? 

We are reading aloud or listening together to The Penderwicks. 

The Penderwick family is off enjoy their summer at a rental cottage on a large estate.  The story centers around the four sisters- Rosalind, Skye, Jane and Batty. The girls enjoy many summer adventures at Arundel Hall where there are friends to be made, a snooty lady to be avoided and lost rabbits?!

This is a charming story that has kept us entertained for miles and looking forward to stop lights- so we can listen for just a few more minutes.

Do you listen to audio books?

Ivy and Bean Series

I check out piles and piles of books for the kids at the library and hope that one or two of them will become a “get lost in a book” kind of read.

I check out stacks more hoping to find read aloud books that will have even me saying one more chapter!

Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows, was a title I grabbed and thought it looked okay. 

Ivy&bean

Imagine my surprise as I sat down to skim a chapter but ended up reading the whole book, laughing at the antics of these characters!  This book was a delight.

I read it to the kids that night & they loved hearing all about Bean and the trick she plays on her older sister, & how a girl across the street turns into a friend, even when they think they have nothing in common.

That first Ivy & Bean (Book 1) (Bk. 1) led us to read the entire 10 book series. 

Girls ages 8-12 are sure to enjoy this dynamic duo & will love the mischief that occurs in these stories.

That being said, my son thought they were highly entertaining as a read aloud. But I doubt he would have pulled them off the shelf for himself.
So if you want a read aloud that can handle multiple ages and be fun for boys and girls- Ivy and Bean is a winner!

 

 

Reasons to Read Aloud

I will be sharing quite a bit about reading aloud with my kids and our favorite read alouds.  It is a subject near and dear to my heart.  

The kids and I began curling up with good books when they were in diapers. And the book adventures have not ended!

Readaloud

“Story-time with Mama” by Breezy Brookshire, 2011

 

Reading aloud is vital to children’s language development and in many other areas as well. 
And I am not the only one who thinks so!  ( It’s nice when others agree with you, isn’t it?! )

Here are three articles that discuss it further.

http://adc.bmj.com/content/93/7/554.short

http://edsource.org/2015/study-says-reading-aloud-to-children-more-than-talking-builds-literacy/82045

http://www.reachoutandread.org/why-we-work/importance-of-reading-aloud/

Reading a book to a child not only builds literacy, it bonds you together as you share stories and time together.

When attention spans were short, we would pull out a simple picture book and read it before bed.

Then as attention spans grew, chapter books captured our attention & had them begging for “one more chapter!”

Now with my trio all in double digits and able to read themselves, there is a lure that brings us all together at read aloud time.

All it takes is a great book. 

Do you read aloud to your children?