book

This is the book I’ve been reading to Riley before bedtime during the last couple weeks. It’s the first chapter book we’ve started, and it hasn’t been 100% easy going—at first, he complained a bit about the lack of pictures, and he doesn’t always pay attention the whole way through a reading. (Me: “What are you doing over there?” Riley, guiltily producing a LEGO mini-fig from beneath the covers: “Ummm . . . nothing.”)

Still, he asks for the story each night it’s my turn to put him to bed, and I enjoy making our way through something a bit more palatable than those surely-educational but horribly stilted I Can Read! books. (My god, MY KINGDOM FOR A CONTRACTION.)

Anyway, we’ll soon come to the end of Ralph and his adventures, and I’d like to ask you what books you most enjoy(ed) reading to your child—or that you remember from your own childhood. I’m looking specifically for more chapter books, things a six-year-old boy might like. Suggestions?

PS. Amusing object from The Mouse and the Motorcycle I had to spend about ten minutes explaining: a telephone cord.)

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Lesley
Lesley
10 years ago

I’ll put in a big vote for the Hank the Cowdog books! There’s enough humor in there to entertain the adult who is reading them, too.

My dad’s sister read them to her kindergarteners, and then to my kids, using voices of the characters in the books. Then my dad read them to my kids using voices. When we returned home from that particular vacation with our introduction to Hank the Cowdog, I walked by my older son’s room. He was reading one of the books out loud to himself – using all the voices!

Lesley

tanya
tanya
10 years ago

Dr. Doolittle
Uncle Wiggily
The Wind in the Willows
Anything by Roald Dahl
Abel’s Island

what wonderful memories

g~
g~
10 years ago

We’ve read some hefty ones (which required explanation but our son LOVED THEM and can still recall the story lines). We started with the heavy ones when he was around Riley’s age. Actually, I think it helped that my husband has been the chapter book reader while I have maintained the picture book reader status.
*Swiss Family Robinson (followed by movie)
*Call of the Wild
*Black Beauty
*Harry Potter (followed by movie(s))
*Watership Down
*Gregor the Overlander

My daughter (also 6) loves:
*Magic Tree House
*Junie B. Jones
*Mythical Books (various legends and myths)

Always glad to have some new book ideas. My son didn’t LOVE Mouse and the Motorcycle but I think it’s because of those odd things he didn’t understand (like telephone cord, aspirin, etc.)

Amy
Amy
10 years ago

Too funny!! We’re reading Runaway Ralph right now!! Must be a continuation of what you are reading now! You’ve already had so many good suggestions hard to add to it. There is a group of books kind of like magic treehouse but geared to younger readers called Dinosaur Cove. My boys liked those. One of my favorites was an old scholastic book I got when I was in school (yes they had school way back then my smart alec son) is called Rascal. it’s about a boy who raises a racoon. After this my oldest found Treasure Island in a box of my old books so we will be moving on to that (my boys are 6 and 9)

Shawna
Shawna
10 years ago

Our first was Stuart Little because the kids love the movies. Alas, he’s a stuffy, priggish, pompous little mouse in the original print. Bleah.

Charlotte’s Web is way better if memory serves.

Shawna
Shawna
10 years ago

BTW, now that I’ve done such a great job of talking it up to you, if you do decide you want to give Stuart a go, let me know. I’d be happy to mail you our copy.

Sharri
Sharri
10 years ago

Beverly Cleary – The Ramona books (although it’s about a girl, it’s funny for boys). Stuart Little, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle.

Rachel
Rachel
10 years ago

I have always valued reading aloud to the young students I teach. I find that it is the most calm part of the day and the kids really look forward to relaxing into the story and soon are chomping at the bit to catch up on what will happen next. Many of the books I have picked have had content that needed censored, but I can only imagine that you are an expert at thinking on your feet and ad libing some. Beyond that, I think the kids learn so much from the content, vocabulary, and quality time read aloud provide.
Some of my favorite reading experiences with young ones include:
Charlotte’s Web
Mary Poppins (LOVED this)
The Mouse and the Motorcycle (the sequel to this was requested by the students and they like it a lot too.)

Amy
Amy
10 years ago

Ooh ooh! Our faves have been “Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon” for Ruth Stiles Gannet. Kept my rugrats *spellbound*.

Sozie
10 years ago

How to Eat Fried Worms!

Shann
Shann
10 years ago

Magic Treehouse was very popular here but I agree they are awful to read as an adult! (give me Roald Dahl any day!) We got copies of the Magic Treehouse books and also copies of the stories on CD so our reluctant reader could follow along with the book (or just listen). This method also had our keen preschooler teach herself to read. Our son *hated* to read (has ADD so had alot of literacy issues) now can’t be dragged away from a book! The Magic Treehouse was a good start but the Zac Power series is what switched on the love of reading for him.

goingloopy
10 years ago

I love the idea of the Choose Your Own Adventure books…having an impact on the outcome is always fun. As a kid, I also loved the first few Narnia books, Boxcar Children, Shel Silverstein, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (bonus: you could watch both movies and ask him to compare both of them to each other and the books), the Great Brain, and, well, pretty much everything in print, I learned to read early and I read a LOT. I read the Gregor the Overlander and the Percy Jackson books recently, and they would probably be fun for a kid. Also, Charlotte’s Web, A Wrinkle in Time (and sequels)…I seem to remember my brother reading a lot of the same stuff, but I think he also read some Hardy Boys. Finally, I remember a couple of books we had in elementary school called “Bet You Can” and “Bet You Can’t”. They had a bunch of neat and mostly non-destructive tricks to try…things like licking your elbow and rhyming with orange. We had a lot of fun with them.

Jan Ross
10 years ago

I read “The Miraculous Adventures of Edward Tulane” to my kindergarten students and they loved it. Just noticed they are making a movie of it too. Also they would howl with laughter over “All about Sam”.

kim
kim
10 years ago

Wow; so many comments I had to stop reading, so I apologize if someone else suggested these.

I was going to say JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH (our teacher read it to us in first grade and the images are STILL vivid in my mind). A great favorite of mine were the Chronicles of Prydain, the first book of which is THE BOOK OF THREE. They were some of the first books I read . . . sooooo loved them. Here’s Wikipedia on them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chronicles_of_Prydain

Sarah Bell
Sarah Bell
10 years ago

We’ve read “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”, “Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle”, “The BFG”, and “The Phantom Tollbooth” to Elliott so far and he has loved them all. In fact, he loved “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” so much we read it twice (much smother going the second time through). Plus, it’s fun for us to be able to revisit books we remember reading when we were kids. :)

Megsie
10 years ago

http://thediamondinthewindow.typepad.com/ did posts on 6 year old boys a while ago, many are listed here though.

jules
jules
10 years ago

Found alot of books for my daughter at Kohl’s for Kids @ Kohl’s department stores. Click, Clack, Moo Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin was one of her faves. Short, funny, great illustrations and has a nice tempo. Dr. Suess and other famous authors hardcover books can be found for great prices sometimes with stuffed animals to go with them for like $5 each and some of the proceeds go to children’s non-profit organizations.

jules
jules
10 years ago

P.S. I know those aren’t chapter books, but she really didn’t get into those until she was around 7 yrs. old…so we just kept reading these types of books until then.

Sabrina
Sabrina
10 years ago

We are into the same kinds of books right now. Ralph S. Mouse was actually a little too much for my kids–we didn’t make it to the end, probably because not enough pictures. But I have mildly enjoyed the Geronimo Stilton books and I think a 6 year old boy would especially like them. (Yes, a bit annoying, but totally survivable and an acceptable exchange for getting them into the idea of reading on their own.) Otherwise, we read girls’ books. Think Riley would like the Rainbow Fairies? Ha.

I noticed Ronald Dahl mentioned–I’m a fan of his, but some of the stuff can be quite dark. My kids recently watched his book-turned-movie The Big Friendly Giant and really, really liked it. I keep meaning to check out the book and skim through to see if it’s mild enough for them. Just a thought!

melanie
melanie
10 years ago

The Henry & Mudge books are great for shorter “chapters” – you can do them in one sitting, but they still have that longer book feel and they also have great, fun pictures. Mr. Putter books (by the same author) are awesome, too. For longer stuff, anything by Roald Dahl is awesome, and things like The Twits or George’s Marvelous Medicine (I have a feeling Riley might love that one) are shorter but still a little more of a challenge. My son was starting to get into Goosebumps at that age, too, but he’s a weirdo and they’re not that fun to read as a grown-up, so that’s your call. ;) We also read aloud Charlotte’s Web and Trumpet of the Swan and Stuart Little and A Wrinkle in Time at that age… any of those classics are classics for a reason and they should be able to hold his interest pretty well (maybe not Wrinkle yet, but the others). Really, best advice – go with what he likes. If it’s about something he’s totally interested in, he’s probably going to be interested in the book. And talk about it (which you’re obviously already doing) – it makes it so much more real and part of your actual life, you know?

I envy you, I miss reading aloud!! My boy is 9 now and we read side-by-side but it’s not quite the same. Have fun. :)

melanie
melanie
10 years ago

Oh, and Sideways Stories from Wayside School!! Something someone else replied just made me think of that, and those are awesome, awesome chapter books and so freaking funny (even for grown-ups, because they are just off the wall weird). And Bunnicula. Unless vampires might freak him out, but it is told with a light hand. And someone mentioned Gregor the Overlander, which is awesome but VERY violent and a little dark (a lot of death) so I’d read yourself first and see what you think.

Jen
Jen
10 years ago

I am sure someone already suggested this but I didn’t see it in quick scan I did of the comments. Fantastic Mr. Fox is one of my all time favourite books.

Bruja
Bruja
10 years ago

All good suggestions. The Gregor the Overlander series is awesome.

Elly
10 years ago

MATILDA!! And anything else Roald Dahl.

CindyAz
CindyAz
10 years ago

I loved reading the Hank the Cowdog series to my sons who are now 12 & 13. I loved these books because there were so many characters to do voices for and they were entertaining to me as well as the kids. So funny and just a few small illustrations. Highly recommend.

KateMac
KateMac
10 years ago

You can’t go wrong with Roald Dahl. My daughter loved ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘Matilda.’ Now we’re starting on ‘The BFG,’ and I think it may be her favorite so far.

KateMac
KateMac
10 years ago

(PS. One bonus to Roald Dahl books: there are quite a few illustrations!)

Allison Martin
Allison Martin
10 years ago

Junie B. Jones is a favorite of ours… the boys don’t get some of the humor, but hoo boy. I do :) Also, anything by Roald Dahl, and Beverly Cleary as a rule. I also have Mrs Piggle wiggle… but my boys didn’t really like them. I have My Father’s Dragon set aside for future reading as well, oh and the boxcar children.

Gina
10 years ago

I love all the Ralph S Mouse books – I read them as a child & couldn’t wait to read them to my kids.

Christina
10 years ago

My son is six and we have read our way the past couple of years through a pile of chapter books. Charlotte’s Web, Edward Tulane (any of the books by this author, Kate I cannot remember her last name Disalvo maybe… she also wrote the Mercy Watson series which are silly easy fun reads with more pictures), The Magic Treehouse series, anything Beverly Cleary and some Rohl Dahl, The Kingdom Keepers, Junie B Jones, Peter and the Starcatchers, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, there are tons more… just keep exploring the shelves at B&N and Amazon and the library. We have tried some and stopped (The Witches which he hated, it scared him!) All he wants us to read to him now are chapter books and we work through them a few chapters a night. I love it because I get to relive being a kid!

Christy
Christy
10 years ago

Geronimo Stilton books are fun to read, and they have a few pictures which make the adjustment to chapter books a little easier.

Jen
Jen
10 years ago

Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad stories have entertaining pictures and friendship and simplicity. And the musical is great too!

Adrienne
Adrienne
10 years ago

I remember my teachers reading Sideways Stories from Wayside School. It’s good for young listeners and humorous. As a teacher, my students also loved Maniac Magee- they asked me about it years after we read it. I personally loved reading Frog and Toad to myself as a 6 year old, along with Charlotte’s Web.

Karen
10 years ago

I kind of edit as I read (add the contractions!) It helps.

I’m reading Geronimo Stilton books with my six year old. He also loved Captain Underpants. And Ricky Ricotta.

jess
10 years ago

Time Warp Trio series. Funny, entertaining, light, and a fabulous vehicle for teaching history. When I was teaching 5th grade I read these to my students and they loved them. Now my 6&7 year old are reading them and my son thinks they’re hilarious.

Melissa
Melissa
10 years ago

We love the Sideways Stories from Wayside School. The chapters are fairly short and the humor is goofy and silly and my kids love it!

Lise
Lise
10 years ago

At six my kids loved the books by Dick King-Smith. Also the Hank the Cowdog series. And Charlotte’s Web.

Cara
Cara
10 years ago

We’ve read a bunch of the Magic Treehouse books and my 6 year old liked them. We’ve recently started the Spiderwick Chronicles books. There’s a picture every few pages…enough to hold his attention.

jody
10 years ago

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
James and the Giant Peach
Mr. Popper’s Penguins (before the movie came out, and we haven’t actually even seen the movie yet…)

I tried one of the “Ramona” books, but he was not interested AT ALL.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle is next on my list!

Marna - jwoap
10 years ago

Mrs. Pigglewiggle series:)

Laurie
Laurie
10 years ago

Lots of great suggestions here! My boys loved the Bunnicula books–how can you not love a carrot juice sucking bunny?

Jennifer in Germany
Jennifer in Germany
10 years ago

What a great post! I loved reading through the comments and being reminded of some great books I’ve forgotten about or couldn’t remember the title.

Also: “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” (much better–than the movie as most books are–the movie is an almost unrecognizable rewrite)

And one of our favorites that I am surprised I didn’t notice mentioned, “Treasure Island”. It’s fun to get your pirate accent down. We had a Playmobil pirate ship that I used to help my boys visualize the ship as we were reading. I love that periodically the boys will throw out,

“Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest—
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest—
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!”

Awesome.

Tricia
10 years ago

seriously? the telephone cord? holy crap i feel old all of a sudden!

When I was a kid, and it was my Dad’s turn to put me to bed, he read me some story about a turtle that I dont quite remember. Helpful, no?

Emily
Emily
10 years ago

I’m going to try to keep this short, by which I mean “fewer than 100 authors”. Here goes!

On the “I Can Read” level, Arnold Lobel is really great. He wrote the “Frog and Toad” books. They’re a LOT less painful than similar “I Can Read” books. Also, there are new “I Can Read”s that are “Read With Me”, where the child reads the easy text and the adult has a page with real sentences with contractions. If you think Riley would go for that, those might be worth looking for.

I remember loving the Miss Mallard Mysteries by Robert Quackenbush. I love Beverly Cleary, but she’s not as popular with kids as she used to be. E.B. White (“Charlotte’s Web”, “Stuart Little”) is still very popular. So is “Farmer Boy”. “Captain Underpants” is hugely popular. Matt Christopher writes books about sports for younger readers that are very popular. I also enjoy the “Horrible Harry” series–they’re similar to Junie B. Jones, but the main character isn’t such an insufferable brat. (Ooh, did I say that out loud?) The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series is great, and I think there’s been a new one put out recently. I also loved the Henry Reed series by Keith Robertson.

Good luck! There’s so much good stuff out there, I’m sure you’ll find something you and Riley love.

Maggie
Maggie
10 years ago

My daughter’s favorite is the BFG (or Big Friendly Giant) by Roald Dahl. I am now reading it to my 5 year old. Also try the “Stink” books by Kate McMullin. He is Judy Moody’s annoying little brother. I think they are totally age appropriate and funny and gross, what kid doesn’t love that!

Maggie
Maggie
10 years ago

Here is a link: http://www.stinkmoody.com/

Deanna
Deanna
10 years ago

http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Commander-Zack-Proton-Giant/dp/1416913645/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1316091808&sr=8-1 This series is fun! The author is also a college chemistry professor and I think it is cool to support an author who write for the love of it. I sooo wish he would write more and I buy these books for gifts all the time.

(http://www.zackproton.com/brian.html). My kiddo met the author when he visited the school and he was pivotal in turning my comic book loving kiddo (garfield, calvin & hobbes, archie, anime) onto chapter books.

Relatedly: Books that are banned in our house (yes, I ban books) are the captain underpants, goosbumps and spongebob. I consider my book bans the equivalent of not letting my kids gorge on pixie stix at every meal.

Deanna
Deanna
10 years ago

Forgot to mention- they are not chapter books but are great to sneak in some learning –
http://www.amazon.com/Explorers-Wanted-Jungle-Simon-Chapman/dp/031615539X/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1316092520&sr=1-9
The Explorer Wanted series.

And if your kids like the Magic Schoolbus there are Magic Schoolbus chapterbooks, too.

Lauren
Lauren
10 years ago

I still remember – very clearly – being about 6 years old and each night my Dad and I sitting down to read Charlotte’s Web. I’ve kept the tattered paperback all these years and those memories – and that book – are incredibly special to me.

wealhtheow
wealhtheow
10 years ago

Wind in the Willows for sure. GREAT book. Cricket in Times Square.