Thursday, January 12, 2012

Read Aloud Thursday ::: Little Men by Louisa May Alcott

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Right after the first of the year, we finished our last read-aloud from 2011: Little Men. This was (and still is) one of my favorite books and if I remember right, I read this before I read Little Women. N1 had recently finished a illustrated children's version of Little Women (abridged), and had the gist of the story down and who all the sisters were. That led me to think that Little Men would be a great chapter book for us to read, full of entertaining and highly moral stories about the boys that live at Professor and Mrs. Bhaer's school, Plumfield.

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First, let me say that we did enjoy this as a read aloud. The scrapes and adventures the boys had were very entertaining and kept our attention throughout the book ... although it was sometimes hard for the girls to keep straight which boy was which. There was also a well-delivered moral lesson at the end of the boys' adventures and N1 at least, was able to catch on to these pretty well.

The hard part of reading this classic was the length of the chapters. Most days we had to break our chapter into two readings because it would take almost an hour to get through it in one sitting. Rarely did the littlest of girls have the patience to make it that long. Still I am glad we read this book together and made it to the end! : )

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Also, a first for us, we read this book for the most part from my Kindle instead of a physical book. As you can see from the pictures here, my copy of the book is quite old. It belonged to my Great Aunt - you can see that she was given it in 1935 - and the pages were falling out right and left as we read. I hated for us to lose the sweet illustrations sprinkled throughout the story, but I worried that the book wouldn't make it. Little Men is free for Kindle so we downloaded it and went on from there and this book has been retired to an upper shelf for now.

Linking up with Amy's Read Aloud Thursday this week!

17 comments:

  1. Laura Lee6:36 AM

    I've been meaning to ask you... How old was N1 when you started reading chapter books aloud? How does B do with following along? I'm trying to figure out how EK would do with this.

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    1. Let me think … we started when she was around 3 / 3 ½ I think? The first one we read together was Winnie the Pooh (the original A.A. Milne version) and I would read to her a few pages while she ate lunch – definitely not the whole chapter in one sitting. She was contained in her chair and that helped with her attention. B’s attention span is definitely the trickiest of the three. She does best when I read at the table during lunch, but I haven’t been able to do that with having to help the boy eat. We could probably get back into that routine and I just keep forgetting – that would help B a bunch with her ability to pay attention.

      My girls loved little chapter books like Frog and Toad and/or Little Bear - those would also be good to start with if you wanted something more picture heavy, but still have chapter breaks. Even something like Little House in the Big Woods wouldn’t be a bad first choice because there are quite a few pictures and since it’s about a little girl not much bigger than her, it would draw her in.

      That might be more than you wanted to know. : ) I get pretty excited talking about books for kids!

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  2. Oh, I love every bit if this! Can you believe that I haven't ever read Little Men? Lulu has been asking for Littke Women. Which abridgment did N1 read? I'm so funny about abridgements. I think what I live best about this is that you have your great aunt's book!

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    1. You will laugh when I tell you – it was the $1 paperback from the dollar spot at Walmart. : ) We’ve picked up several abridged classics there and it gives her enough of what the book is like to whet her appetite . Especially for a couple classic books that she heard about but we knew she wasn’t old enough to read yet – Frankenstien being one of them, and I think Treasure Island might have been another.

      We bought several of the Great Illustrated Classics versions as well from used bookstores (http://amzn.to/xHRI51) and she’s read several of those. Sherlock Holmes was a favorite for a while.

      Either way, we’ve not spent much on anything abridged! : )

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  3. And once more, typos abound, thanks to my iPod! :-)

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  4. Jennifer8:16 AM

    I've never read Little Men... might need to check it out. I love Little Women! Thanks for sharing all of this..I like reading about what you are doing with them.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. : ) I hope you do read Little Men! Little Women is definitely my favorite of the two, but Little Men is a close second.

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  5. Nice to meet you! Visiting from Hope is the Word, Read Aloud Thursday. Terrific to hear your opinion of "Little Men"...we loved "Little Women". I read from an old copy that belonged to my sister - can you believe I never read it as a kid? Looks like I'll be back on Amazon and downloading the free Kindle version for this one :)

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    1. Carrie, so glad you came by. : ) It's funny how some of us have read certain classics that others have never tried. Hope you enjoy Little Men!!

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  6. I've never read this one. Little Women always annoys me by the end of it (I know, I know...what's with me?) and so I've never picked up Little Men. At some point I shall simply HAVE to rectify this situation.

    That is a really cool old book you've got there! Love it!

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    1. I don't know that we can be friends anymore if you don't like Little Women. : ) You have boys. You HAVE to read Little Men!

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  7. This series is on our read aloud list. We'll get to it one of these days! Isn't it nice that there are so many great books to share?!

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    1. It is! I'm always on the hunt for more books to add to my list. : )

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  8. I love the entire Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys series. We haven't read these yet but they are on the list for the future. I picked up both Little Women and Little Men at used book sales. :)

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    1. I have a copy of Jo's Boys but it's been years since I've read it. I might have to dig that off the shelf.

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  9. I've never read this one either. I never loved Little Women so I think I stopped there. Hmmm....maybe I'll have to try the others.

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Thanks for commenting!