18 chapter books in 28 days. I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised with how many books Zakari and I devoured this month. Because February is a short month I did not have high expectations.
What this month looked like:
This month we veered away from many of our go to series and focused on the theme of Valentine’s Day. We tried many new series, and found a few keepers. We also tried a few series that we were not so crazy about. But that is OK! I’d rather try a series and dislike it, then not try and series and miss out on some amazing books. Plus none were that terrible enough for us to stop reading them.
Shaking things up with picture books…
I decided this month to start adding in more picture books to our reading time. I have been so focused on reading all the chapter books physically possible, I feel like we are missing out on some great picture books.
I’ve always felt we shouldn’t rush pass the shorter chapter books, and we have been focusing on reading many of them. Eventually they will become too babyish for Zakari, so I don’t want to push him into books like Harry Potter just yet. We want to enjoy books like Dragon Masters, Magic Treehouse, The Puppy Place, etc.
But then I realize the same argument can apply to picture books too! So while I don’t want to start buying to many more picture books, we have started taking them out from the library. Plus we have a pretty solid collection of picture books we still need to read in our personal library.
I’m trilled to say we read 37 picture books together.
Trying to be a good library patron… Is it possible??
Last month I went to the library and cleared up the fines on my card. Just under $40… Oh guys, I’m a terrible library patron. In the past I get all gung ho, and put TONS of books on hold. Then I forget to pick them up. Then I’m charged $1.25 per books. Or I bring a bag of books in the car to return, and forget about them. Yep then they are past due and I’m charged again.
It gets worse…
I have even tainted my boys library cards. Yes they both have outstanding fines. I’m that terrible mom. But when I went to pay off their fines, I found out about a program that they offer that allows the kids to read of their fines. *cough* Or their mother’s fined on their card.*cough*.
So while they are doing time for their mother’s sake, how can kids reading be a bad thing? Right? For every 15 mins they read in the library they get $2 off their fines. So now we are heading the the library a few times a week to read! Good for their brains and also good for mom’s pocket book!
Check Out What We Read in February!
Without further ado, below you can watch which chapter books Zakari and I read. If you scroll further down you can see the full list of the books mentioned in the video, plus a list of the picture books we read too!
1)Sea Monster! (The Kingdom of Wrenly Book 3) As we work our way though the series, Zakari is loving the characters. The stories are short and simple. If your looking for a more complex story line these books are not for you. But for younger kids starting off listening to chapter books, or for new independent readers, these books are awesome.
2)What Is the Super Bowl?Who would have thought this book would have been such a big hit for Zakari. I am not a huge football person, so I found it about dull going through all the games of Super Bowl past, but my son was so interested.
3)February Friend (Calendar Mysteries #2) Like I have said time and time again, we are really enjoying both Ron Roy’s series, “A to Z Mysteries” & “Calendar Mysteries”.
4)Super-Secret Valentine (Ready, Freddy! #10) This series was recommended to us by a fellow homeschool mom. Honestly though I didn’t think I was going to care for it. I’m happy to say I was pleasantly surprised! Freddy was a really likable character and I’m excited for us to read more from this series.
5) The Case of the Secret Valentine (Jigsaw Jones Mystery #3) This was a new series this month for us. While we didn’t love it the same way we love Ron Roy Mystery series, we still enjoyed it. I have several of these books from the series so I’m sure we will be reading more of them. From what I can see they do not need to be read in order.
6)Cam Jansen and the Valentine Baby Mystery (Cam Jansen Mysteries #25) Cam Jansen was another series we had been collecting, but had not read yet. Zakari and I both really enjoyed this book. Cam is a very likable character and we both are looking forward to reading more in the series. This series does not need to be read in order.
7)Valentine’s Day from the Black Lagoon (Black Lagoon Adventures #8) Now before you run out and buy this book, be warned in my opinion its not the best. I found it painful to read aloud. However, my son seemed to enjoy it. Personally though I’d say take it out at the library and save your money.
8) Valentine’s Day Disaster (Geronimo Stilton #23) This is the first of the Geronimo Stilton books that Zakari and I have read together. Thanks to his awesome older cousin we have almost the whole collection. There are two in the series about Valentine’s, but this month we were only able to read one of them. If your child is transitioning from picture books to chapter books, this series is perfect. It is super colorful and has pictures on many pages.
9)Who Was Johnny Appleseed? As a Canadian we did not hear much about Johnny Appleseed in public school. We picked up this book after we finished a picture book on Johnny Appleseed for Bookshark. You can read more about what I think below in the Picture Book section of this book.
10) Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille This is a book that was part of our History/Geography curriculum. I’m not sure I would have picked this book out on my own. But boy am I glad that it was assigned to us! I never knew the life of the man who credit Braille was so interesting. We have even started digging in deeper and you will see another book about Louis Braille we read in March’s Raising Bookworm post.
11)Juliet The Valentine Fairy (Rainbow Magic) I reluctantly took this book out from the library. I’ve always thought these Rainbow Magic Fairy books would be too girly for my son. Like what seems to be the theme of this post, I was pleasantly surprised. While yes the main characters were all girls, the adventure and story itself was not overly girly. Jake Frost has ruined Valentine’s Day and everyone in the world is fighting. The main characters are working with the Fairy Juliet to restore the holiday.
This was another book I judged by its cover and was terribly wrong! So glad we picked it up from the library.
13)Beezus and Ramona (Ramona Quimby #1) This was another series, like the Boxcar Children, that I missed out on when I was a child. A few months ago I found the whole box set on Facebook Marketplace for $15, so I grabbed it. I’m glad I did because two of the books were assigned reading in Homeschooling Complete, and we read it as part of our Unit on Family. This book is also using the Bookshark. So when we get to this part of the curriculum I will likely pull out Ramona the Pest instead. While I found Ramona a royal pain in the butt, we did love this story. Hopefully in the next book Ramona will learn a few good lessons.
14)Nancy Clancy, Secret Admirer (Nancy Clancy Chapter Books #2) This book was a little on the girly side for Zakari, it even made me cringe a little. It was not a bad book, but not the best match for a little boy like Zakari and his total boyish Mom.
15) Balto and the Great Race I remember the movie Balto, but this is a situation where the book is so much better! What an awesome, unforgettable and inspiring book! In my opinion everyone should read this book with their kids. I have the movie on hold at the library and Zakari and I are going to watch it for movie night this weekend.
16) Waking the Rainbow Dragon: A Branches Book (Dragon Masters #10) I mention this every month, but this series is one of two series that really pulled Zakari into the world of reading chapter books. We have two more two more books in the series left before the 13th book is released at the end of April. We have it preordered, which is something I never do! But since Zakari’s birthday is 5 days after it is released I’m excited to give it to him for his birthday. If you haven’t read Dragon Masters, your missing out!
17)Cam Jansen and the Basketball Mystery (Cam Jansen Mysteries, #29) Like I mentioned above, his month we were new to Cam Jansen. This book was used as part of our Homeschool Complete Curriculum. Cam Jansen uses her photographic memory to help solve the mystery of the stolen basketball.
18) No Children, No Pets From what I can see, the only place you can purchase this book new is through Bookshark. But if your like me and don’t mind a used copy, you can find it in the Amazon Marketplace. Zakari and I really got into this book. It has the same kind of feel as the Boxcar Children. That might be because it was written in the early 70’s. I have to say it sucked us in and we were sad when we got to the end because we knew, unlike the Boxcar Children, there were no more books about these characters.
Picture books we read in February
Holiday FunHappy Valentine’s Day by Abbie Mercer
Johnny Appleseed: The Story of a Legend I feel like I have been under a rock. I never really knew who Johnny Appleseed was. Of course I have heard the name, but its not really a part of Canadian culture. But this was a book that was included in our History/Geography portion of Bookshark. I’m so grab it was! Johnny Appleseed seemed like an incredible man. We enjoyed this books so much we read the book about him in the Who Was Series. (Listed above)
Caterpillars to Butterflies by Bobbie Kalman We picked up this books at the library to compliment the unit in Bookshark Science on insects.
Amelia Bedelia’s First Valentine Growing up I loved the Amelia Bedelia book series. Now they have books about her when she was a kid. Zakari’s tutor and I were talking and we both have started to think that maybe Amelia was on the Autism Spectrum. Either way Zakari and I loved these new books even more then the originals.
What did you and your children read last month? I always love hearing about new books to check out.
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