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Reading to an insatiable 3.5 yr-old......suggestions please!

25 replies

Acinonyx · 15/01/2009 17:57

Dd is totally inlove with the Rainbow Fairies - I got the series intending to read a bit every night and ready the first 3 on the first day then made a rule that we can have one at bedtime. I don't know how long dd would be read to by choice but I generally plead off after an hour (maybe 1.5 hours on a very patient day) and my limit is 30 mins at bedtime - perfect for one Rainbow Fairy. They're not exactly Dostoyevsky but she's only 3 and she totally adores them

So I went to Borders today and was just overwhelmed by all the series in the 4-9 range and didn't know what to get for the best (got 4 in the end) and which would be at the younger end of that age bracket. And no idea about quality.

I'm also making a list for dh to take to the library - or it's going to get very expensive. I'm only going to do the long books at bedtime for now and keep doing the shorter ones during the day. I think. Not really sure - but want to keep the variety with younger picture books.

I had very few of the well-known titles so many mnetters rave about when I was a child (did have some Enid Blighton famous 5, secret 7 and schools) so I am pretty clueless. She's quite easily scared though.

Please help me make a list

OP posts:
littlelamb · 15/01/2009 18:01

Roald Dahl. I started reading him to dd when she was this age and she loved them all- especially Charlie & the Chocolate factory (the great glass elevator was a bit pants imo) and Thw Witches.

LostGirl · 15/01/2009 18:17

The Sophie Books by Dick King- Smith are lovely.

Enchanted Wood/Magic Faraway Tree/Folk of the Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton, as well as The Wishing Chair adventures were all very popular with dd when she was 4.

The owl who was afraid of the dark by Jill Tomlinson

George's Marvellous Medicine, Roald Dahl

Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf by Catherine Storr

LostGirl · 15/01/2009 18:18

Enid Blyton is dire to read aloud by the way!

bodiddly · 15/01/2009 18:29

Im interested in this as am thinking of starting to read chapter books to ds. Are there any with quite a few illustrations that help with the transition? Ds found some Disney books ie. Aladdin, Lion King, Peter Pan in the cancer research shop. They are perfect as they have loads of illustrations but are longer and a bit more detailed. Anyone know of any others?

littlelamb · 15/01/2009 18:35

You can get some really nice ditions of Roald Dahl. Our Charlie and the Chocolate Factory came from TK Maxx of all places, is softback but hardback size iyswim and has all of the illustrations in colour.

littlelamb · 15/01/2009 18:35


neversaydie · 15/01/2009 19:13

Little House in the Big Woods - Laura is 4 at the start of it and the stories are perfect for that age.

frumpygrumpy · 15/01/2009 19:15

Another vote for Enchanted Wood series (3 books). The chapters are quite long so one a night would be fine. They are not scary. There is enough to keep you interesteda as well. Rainbow Fairies are so DULL for adults.

Also Roald Dahl stuff.....some can be scary but you can easy change some language as you read.....

frumpygrumpy · 15/01/2009 19:17

Roald Dahl, Fantastic Mr Fox is good for a slightly younger reader/readee. Peter Pan can be frightening but you can easily change some words and miss some bits out.

LostGirl · 15/01/2009 19:17

My Naughty Little Sister Stories by Dorothy Edwards, and The Adventures of Joe and Timothy by the same. These are quite dated now I suppose but dd still enjoyed them.

curlygal · 15/01/2009 19:32

I second the naughty little sister stories. I LOVE them. I have a DS who is 3.5 and he likes them (think he identifies with Bad Harry!).

I just got the Fudge Series by Judy Blume for him - they are great books.

He liked fantastic Mr Fox as well.

Shirley Hughes Alfie stories are going down well with DS too.

The Lighthouse Keeper stories.

He loves the Thomas stories (unfortunately I cannot bear them) and is happy to read picture books but requires about 10 - 15 per night which is a bit exhausting.

Have a look in charity shops - that is where I get 90% of DS' books, that way he can choose the crap lovely stories he likes that I wouldn't spend £5.99 on!

Takver · 15/01/2009 20:09

Milly Molly Mandy, perfect for a 3.5 year old at bedtime as nothing scary, and a nice way to talk about how things have changed (like when she is so excited to get a ride in a car!)

DD also loved Teddy Robinson at that age.

cmotdibbler · 15/01/2009 20:12

Olga da Polga, Tales from One End Street, Mrs Pepperpot, anything by Margaret Mahy but esp her storybooks

Acinonyx · 15/01/2009 20:26

Excellent. I'm copying and pasting the list then we can look at them. We do buy a lot from charity shops too.

Yes, I think I'm training for sainthood reading the rainbow fairies every night!

OP posts:
MilaMae · 15/01/2009 20:46

I saw a lovely book in Waterstones. It was a paperback called Tumtum and Nutmeg by Emily Bean about some mice living in a mansion in a cupboard. It looked like a Borrowers type of story that would suit 4-5 and above.

My boys love Flat Stanley.

MilaMae · 15/01/2009 20:47

Then there are all the Rumer Godden ones,can't wait to read those to my DD. Astrid Lindgen did some good ones eg The Bullerby Children?

cmotdibbler · 15/01/2009 20:55

I was just going to look to see who wrote Miss Happiness and Miss Plum, and you wrote Rumer Godden ! The Spettecake Holiday, Little O and the Saucepan Journey were also books I was very fond of.

Pippi Longstocking or the Moomins also ?

LadyGlencoraPalliser · 15/01/2009 21:00

No one has said Mr Gum yet.
So I will.
Mr Gum, Mr Gum, Mr Gum.

Takver · 16/01/2009 08:14

I think quite a few of the books mentioned here might be quite heavy going for a 3.5 year old?

Acinonyx · 16/01/2009 10:20

Takver - that's probably true. But if they're good, we can just try them again later. It is hard figuring out the right level - I guess it will be trial and error. We just suddenly seem to have leapt forward from big picture books to chpater books - she asks me every night if I have some more for her when these are done. I'll start with the ones I just bought as they definitely look like they are for the lower end of that range and then try some from the list.

OP posts:
randomname · 29/01/2009 14:12

what-a- mess rocks!

TotalChaos · 29/01/2009 14:14

Winnie the Witch (you can get this in chapter books).

Winnie the Pooh.

There is a gorgeous hardback version of Pippi Longstocking illustrated by Lauren Child.

BlueCowBackToWondering · 29/01/2009 14:17

or have you thought of audio books to give yourself a break sometimes! Loads of choice in libraries, and ours love the Roald Dahl collection on CD.

fillybuster · 29/01/2009 14:30

brilliant - i have a 3.5 yo ds who also consumes everything possible....can't wait for him to start reading by himself! having said that, at least we get away with just 1 chapter/short book every evening - but he's getting much too old for all the young kids stuff and really enjoys 'chapters' of stories.

can i suggest some of the dr seuss stories and my ds also loves the poems in 'when we were very young' and 'now we are six'

IdrisTheDragon · 29/01/2009 14:37

I loved Little O but haven't read any of the other ones. Must try and find them somewhere.

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