chapter books for preschoolers

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Ok, so maybe not all preschoolers.  These were the books we read Micah’s preschool year.  We didn’t even read them during our homeschool time.  For months, bedtime seemed to take longer and longer with the stacks of picture books we’d read growing every night.  I love Mo Willems books, but not enough to read fifteen of his books in one night.  So, we started reading chapter books.

chapter booksEach night we would talk about what had been going on in the book we were reading and what we thought might happen next.  All I would have to do is whisper a title to Micah and he would hurry to brush his teeth before climbing into bed.  We started with The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.  While there were dated references that went right over Micah’s head (“wash basin” for example), he was still hooked on Ralph and the mischief he got into.  Beverly Cleary’s writing got us into the Ramona books and we fell in love with the residents of Klickitat Street.  (Seriously.  Between the books and the Ramona and Beezus movie, Micah had asked if Ramona could come to his fifth birthday party.)

books2We read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in a week.  We raced to bed on those nights.  Harriet the Spy took a little longer to read because we were constantly talking about how Harriet and her friends should have acted.  There is a lot of misbehavior in Roald Dahl’s books as well, but I feel like he wrote the lessons into the books so we were able to discuss it organically.  We started the Harry Potter series.  Micah was pretty excited about that because he enjoyed the movies.  There were nights that I would read 50 pages and my mouth would be dry and my jaw would hurt.  That didn’t keep us from reading more.

During Micah’s kindergarten year, we read a lot of books from The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne.  We have read so many books together that it started to seem silly to keep track of them all.  As we start another year of homeschool, we will probably do book reviews together so we can share our favorites with you.

For now, we are back to reading Mo Willems books at night.

Except this time, Micah reads the books to me.


You can find the books we read, below.

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philadelphia zoo: zoo360

As vegans, we don’t support circuses.  We do support zoos that strive for conservation and education.  The Philadelphia Zoo meets both of these requirements with their Zoo360 program.  In the past few years, the Philadelphia Zoo has undergone several renovations (including the much improved children’s exploration center: KidZooU, but I’ll save that for another post).  They have begun to incorporate exploration trails for their animals, so they can expand their environments.  

zoo360 zoo360

You may spot these tunnels winding their way around the Philadelphia Zoo’s campus.  If you’re lucky, you’ll see animals crossing above you!  We were able to watch a tiger use the crossing on our last visit, but I wasn’t quick enough with my camera.


Sometimes you’ll catch animals resting in the tunnels.  (I’m almost certain that they are people watching.)  We have caught monkeys chasing each other and playing in the treetop trail crossings!  


In all of our visits there, I have learned that gorillas are real performers.  They know when they are being watched and often they will put on a show.  (I’m definitely thinking back to the time they came up and banged on the window and scared the living daylights out of everyone that was watching them from inside…myself included!)  

Great news!  These guys are going to be getting an expansion all their own!  We’re really excited to get to see them travel around the zoo.  Hopefully Zoo360 will act as a model for zoos around the country.  It would be great if all zoo animals were provided with more freedom like the animals at the Philadelphia Zoo.


What is your must see animal when you go to the zoo?