The past few weeks at story time we’ve noticed that O’s interest is in longer and more detailed stories. He has also been showing a huge interest in making up stories on his own, as well as circle story time, where we take turns telling each other stories. We introduced story cards about a month ago to help encourage this passion (See my post on create a story cards here). He has been using the story cards, but being the extremely self-directed learner that he is, he seems to gravitate towards just making the stories up from scratch. It seems that there aren’t enough cards to fit all the things happening in that brain!
To help support his desire for more in depth stories I decide to try out some chapter books during story time. We have the classic Little House on the Prarie, which is always enjoyable to listen to and I also tried out some longer format classic fairytales. He liked these, so it was off to the bookstore for more.
I came across a few interesting finds this weekend for chapter books that I think would work for 3 years and up (or any age that likes to sit for about 15 +and listen to a story). I was specifically looking for “adventure-heavy” tales as this is what O is loving at this time.
First up, I spied these illustrated classics (on sale at Barnes and Noble now, buy 2, get 1 free. find the whole series and the deal here.)
I liked these a lot as a starting off point for introducing chapter books as they still have illustrations, but the stories are longer and a bit more complex.
Next up, we chose this paperback, The Haunted Library. This is the first in a “haunted” series (O loves ghosts right now)
This book has a few black and white illustrations, maybe every 10 or so pages. So far, it’s been a hit and also led into O making up his own ghost stories after we were done reading.
The other chapter book we picked up was Dinosaurs Before Dark, from the Magic Treehouse Series. This book is also lightly illustrated, about every five pages, in black and white.
This is a middle-grade series, but O (3 1/2) was definitely engaged in the story. Dinosaurs Before Dark has Annie and her brother transported back to prehistoric times after they find a dinosaur book in the magic treehouse and wish they could see a real dinosaur.
The Magic Treehouse series has a bunch of fun adventures to choose from, including pirates, Amazon adventures, knights, mummies, and space adventures.
Do you have any favorite chapter books for pre-readers? Share them below!