When the Buddy was about 4 years old, we started reading some simple chapter books. I figured at this point she was old enough to follow the story, even if it took us several days to finish the book. We started with the Magic Treehouse Series (more about that in a future post) and have branched out from there. This is one of my favorite things to do with her--I get to introduce her to some non-picture books, including some of the books I loved best as a kid, but I'm still there to explain anything she might not understand. I'm going to attempt to blog our progress through chapter books in sections, so I can give an idea of our thoughts as we go.
I never really went through the "horse phase" as a little girl. My Buddy, however, has had an off-and-on relationship with the horse phase. Currently it's on, in a big way. She's particularly interested in Chincoteague ponies, since we visited Assateague Island last year and got to see the ponies in their natural environment. When her grandparents visited Chincoteague, they gave the Buddy an amazing close-up photo of a pony that now has a place of honor on her bedroom wall. So I figured Misty of Chincoteague would be right up her alley. So far we've read the first three chapters and her reaction has been mixed. It is by far the highest-level chapter book we've tackled, meaning that there are a lot of words that seem to be way beyond the Buddy's vocabulary. Heck, there were one or two words that were a bit beyond my vocabulary. But she seems to be following the gist of the story at least. I'm already seeing some themes that betray the age of the book and I think that's going to come out more as we go along. Girls aren't allowed to go on the pony roundup, etc. etc. This is something the Buddy and I are going to have to talk about as we move through the book.
It seems like maybe this book is a bit ambitious as a read-aloud to a 5-year-old, but we're going to keep going and see how we do. Right now I think the Buddy likes the idea of reading about a Chincoteague pony, but maybe isn't that into this book specifically. We'll keep you posted!