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Read Alouds that your child loves...that make you want to gag


Critterfixer
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Today I happily returned The Mysterious Benedict Society to the library. We didn't quite finish it. I'd be happy not to see it again, but one of my boys has such a low lip about it that I'm now honor bound to check it out this weekend at the other library so we can finish it!

I'm hoping he'll forget about it. Maybe I can "forget.":D

 

Regardless, I'd like to see the list of books you hate that your children loved to hear you read aloud: you know the kind! Poor plotting, bad dialogue, dragging on and on, too many forays into the character's emotions, telling not showing. Please feel free to list classics too. The realm of poor read-aloud choices would surely include perfectly lovely stories to read by yourself that just kill you to read them aloud!

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Anything with too much dialogue, like Arthur books. And any Disney books. Disney books are usually poorly written anyway though, so that irritates me.

 

Yes, those. They're hard to read, and can be super annoying.

 

To the OP, I LOVE the Mysterious Benedict Society. Like really and truly love all of them (there are currently four in the series, including a prequel). I was really sad when they were all done :(

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The Series of Unfortunate Events. The girls loved it. It had some good points - amazing vocabulary, with the words definied right in the text! And hilarious literary & cultural reference to keep the grown-up reader engaged. . . at first. But 13 books???!!! I was sooooo ready to be done after about the 3rd one, but the girls wanted to go on, and on, and on . . .

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My daughter is really into Dora and Diego right now. I really hate reading those books although I'll do it. But she knows I don't like them, just this morning she was asking me to read and said "Not Dora. Mommy doesn't like Dora." :)

 

My boys have always loved Magic School Bus and I like those books but find them annoying to read aloud. It's hard to know what to read when between the dialogue, sidebars and main story. I try and skip parts but then they get annoyed with me.

 

I really hate reading Magic Treehouse books aloud although I think they are fine for what they are (intro level books for early readers). But I'm saving them all for my second son to read BY HIMSELF. I learned my lesson with my oldest.

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The Berenstain Bears, but those were bookstore- or library-only books. If I could help it, DH was usually charged with reading them. :tongue_smilie:

 

I'm sure there were some I tired of with repeated readings (yes, you can have too much Moffats, as hard as that is to believe), but the only one I can think of that meets the OP's criteria is Milly Molly Mandy. If I were to write a sequel, it would be entitled "Milly Molly Mandy Goes to the Pub and Can't Find Her Way Home."

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Oh, I forgot the best (worst) books my son ever wanted me to read to him. The Smurfs!!! Oh, the torturous torture.

 

"Papa Smurf, can you smurf me a smurf?"

 

or the one where they were bitten by a strange bug and turned purple and the entire book was filled with:

 

"Gnap, gnap. Gnap, gnap, gnap."

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Five Little Peppers.

 

I HATED that book. I hid that book in all kinds of places but they always managed to find it!:lol: Luckily I found it in audio book at the library so they got to finish it (but I didn't have to!)

 

I never even tired to read it aloud myself. I did listen with my boys. We got the first two at LibriVox. The third book was available, but the voice or sound wasn't good and Eldest wanted me to read it.

 

Um,, .... No way.

 

Oh, I forgot the best (worst) books my son ever wanted me to read to him. The Smurfs!!! Oh, the torturous torture.

 

"Papa Smurf, can you smurf me a smurf?"

 

or the one where they were bitten by a strange bug and turned purple and the entire book was filled with:

 

"Gnap, gnap. Gnap, gnap, gnap."

 

Oh gosh. I know what you mean. I started reading one and Ackkk - that was more then enough.

 

We had a black friend and he needed to come up with a company name just for paperwork reasons. He ended up picking the name GNAP since he liked Smurfs. He said it was a acronym for (in French) Big Nigger in Charge.

 

So to this day I can't hear Gnap without thinking of the very politically incorrect company name.

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My boys have always loved Magic School Bus and I like those books but find them annoying to read aloud. It's hard to know what to read when between the dialogue, sidebars and main story. I try and skip parts but then they get annoyed with me.

 

I really hate reading Magic Treehouse books aloud although I think they are fine for what they are (intro level books for early readers). But I'm saving them all for my second son to read BY HIMSELF. I learned my lesson with my oldest.

 

What I do for the Magic School Bus is that I only read the main story and insist that the child can read the rest alone. This frustrates my non-readers but is a terrific reward for them once they can read it alone.

 

My dh read those wretched MTH books to my older daughter. I refused, but I think they're terrific early readers.

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Today I happily returned The Mysterious Benedict Society to the library. We didn't quite finish it. I'd be happy not to see it again, but one of my boys has such a low lip about it that I'm now honor bound to check it out this weekend at the other library so we can finish it!

I'm hoping he'll forget about it. Maybe I can "forget.":D

 

Regardless, I'd like to see the list of books you hate that your children loved to hear you read aloud: you know the kind! Poor plotting, bad dialogue, dragging on and on, too many forays into the character's emotions, telling not showing. Please feel free to list classics too. The realm of poor read-aloud choices would surely include perfectly lovely stories to read by yourself that just kill you to read them aloud!

 

I just started Mysterious Benedict Society with my boys - we are only about 3 chapters in. I am dissapointed to hear you didn't like it. I hope it turns out better for us.

 

I tried to read Peter Pan to the boys last year and had to stop. They were not into it and it felt like work - no thanks!

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The Mysterious Benedict Society is fine as a book.The quick read through I did in about two hours was fine, if not fully enjoyable. It's just horrible for me as a read aloud. Which is why the first boy has really enjoyed it. (And why, as much as I dread it, I will go check it out again and finish it for him.) I'd put it on an Independent Read List for him because it wasn't that bad.

 

Other books I would find challenging to do as a read-aloud, based on the actual reading would be the first three Harry Potter books. Way, way too many Tom Swifties to get through. I end up editing on the fly.

 

Another one (and I happen to love this book, and loved it when I first read it) would have to be A Swiftly Tilting Planet. I couldn't even endure the audio book. It's just one of those books that doesn't read-aloud well.

 

Glad to hear about the Snicket Books. I've a feeling the boys will enjoy those, and I do think I'll let the CD player do those for me.

Also good to know about the Moffets. I have that one, and I liked the read through, but it's another one of those books that I'm not sure will be great read-aloud material. But at least it's short.

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Also good to know about the Moffets. I have that one, and I liked the read through, but it's another one of those books that I'm not sure will be great read-aloud material. But at least it's short.

Oh, the Moffat books are wonderful, even through all four books in a row. It's just when the child ts to start in again from the beginning soon after finishing that it's too much. The Pye books OTOH, I'm content to let the kids read themselves.
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It might be helpful to expand the thread to include "why" the book didn't make a good read-aloud.

So, here goes on the Benedict Society, in very general ways.

 

1) The boy was able to suspend his disbelief. I never could. (His younger brother also had this same problem, as it bothers him with all fiction. I've been allowing him to read something else during the read aloud since he really found the book to be so tedious.)

 

2) The number of characters proved difficult for me to fit voices with. The only one I could do consistently well was Constance, and I gave her a lisp.

 

3) The book plodded. The chapters were long, and did not cover much territory.

 

4) I found it difficult to consistently carry on the theme of very intelligent children when they would make some pretty foolish decisions. (Ironically, this is probably why the one child really enjoyed the book. He identifies.) I could deal with a few lapses, but big time ones I couldn't really pass over, except to read through fast and hope that I didn't get asked questions.

 

What was good about the book that I will look for in read alouds for this child:

 

1)Humor. I got giggles even out of my younger son over some things. And getting him to "get" fiction is difficult.

 

2) Point A to Point B adventures. They appreciated the single chapter for a single event, although I did not like the length of the chapters. An adventure per is also nice in that it provides for good places to break off for the next day.

 

3)Child protagonists were easy for the boy to identify with.

 

4) This child really seems to enjoy the mystery genre. I would not have guessed that, so it gives me a good idea of what I should look for when choosing books for him at his reading level.

 

So even books that I really don't like, I can learn from.:001_smile:

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Aww, my son and I really enjoyed that book. Why not just have him read it on his own? That's what I do with books I dread reading aloud.

 

Honestly, I read aloud only the books my kids wouldn't read on their own or the children's classics I never read as a child.

 

Today I happily returned The Mysterious Benedict Society to the library. We didn't quite finish it. I'd be happy not to see it again, but one of my boys has such a low lip about it that I'm now honor bound to check it out this weekend at the other library so we can finish it!

I'm hoping he'll forget about it. Maybe I can "forget.":D

 

Regardless, I'd like to see the list of books you hate that your children loved to hear you read aloud: you know the kind! Poor plotting, bad dialogue, dragging on and on, too many forays into the character's emotions, telling not showing. Please feel free to list classics too. The realm of poor read-aloud choices would surely include perfectly lovely stories to read by yourself that just kill you to read them aloud!

Edited by nestof3
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Why not just have him read it on his own? That's what I do with books I dread reading aloud.

 

He picked it out and it is well above his current reading level.

I feel sure that when he is capable of reading it on his own, he will.

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I'm sure there were some I tired of with repeated readings (yes, you can have too much Moffats, as hard as that is to believe), but the only one I can think of that meets the OP's criteria is Milly Molly Mandy. If I were to write a sequel, it would be entitled "Milly Molly Mandy Goes to the Pub and Can't Find Her Way Home."

 

oh no. Those are fighting words! MMM is lovely. Meet me out back and we'll see if you're woman enough to wear the white and pink striped dress. Snort.

 

The only thing is the ten different repackagings of her stories (MMM and Friends! Further Adventures! Big storybook!) that make you think there are brand new adventures.

 

I hate reading Lang's fairy books. The font is too dang small and it takes me 30 min to read one page. Bleh. I have a couple edited by someone else with nice large font (Brian Anderson or something) that I love to read, but my kids insist they're not the "real" Fairy books

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Anything with too much dialogue, like Arthur books. And any Disney books. Disney books are usually poorly written anyway though, so that irritates me.

 

:iagree:But I have a "no character" rule. DD is allowed to check out one character book (Spongebob, Disney, Arthur, Dora, etc.) each time we go to the library, but she knows that it's up to her to read it- Mommy is under no circumstances reading it to her. :D

I used to tell her that I didn't like those books, now I tell her that they aren't written for reading aloud. Whatever it is, it had worked. She used to wanted stacks of the character books, now, half the time we go to the library she actually forgets to get her one allowed character book because she's so busy getting the "good stuff" as she calls it. (The funny thing is... that's pretty much the only place I draw the line, I do make sure to pick and read lots of quality literature to her, but we also read a lot of twaddle. Just not TV characters!)

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He picked it out and it is well above his current reading level.

I feel sure that when he is capable of reading it on his own, he will.

 

Our library also has the audio book on CDs; the narrator is fantastic. Perhaps that would be an option.

 

There are two sequels too. :lol: (I read the second but never read the third. My son enjoyed all three. He has also read the newest which is written most recently but is actually a prequel).

 

Oh, and here is a website: http://www.mysteriousbenedictsociety.com/

 

I just remembered suffering through the Pooh books. I was so happy to find such a great narration of those!

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I just remembered suffering through the Pooh books. I was so happy to find such a great narration of those!

 

All three of us love those. They are a frequent read aloud choice at bedtime and they both have favorites.

 

Thank goodness for audiobooks. Those are certainly an option.

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My boys love them as well. In fact, Nathan memorized several of them and would perform them for us verbatim. Like L. Frank Baum (another of Nathan's favorites), they knew how to write for kids!

 

All three of us love those. They are a frequent read aloud choice at bedtime and they both have favorites.

 

Thank goodness for audiobooks. Those are certainly an option.

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He picked it out and it is well above his current reading level.

I feel sure that when he is capable of reading it on his own, he will.

 

The audio of TMBS is wonderful! Did you check to see if your library had it? That's when I hand them the CD's and the book to read along and let 'em go! :D

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oh no. Those are fighting words! MMM is lovely. Meet me out back and we'll see if you're woman enough to wear the white and pink striped dress. Snort.
:tongue_smilie:

 

I'll let you keep the dress, as long as I don't have to be LFS. I can't imagine a worse fate.

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The audio of TMBS is wonderful! Did you check to see if your library had it? That's when I hand them the CD's and the book to read along and let 'em go!

 

Our local does not have a good selection of audiobooks period. Half of what they have is on tape, if that gives you an idea of their budget for audiobooks. I wish someone would leave them a large sum of money.

But our library in the state capital may have them. If so, I could reserve them. I can put them on when I'm out running or in the garden and so preserve my sanity.:D

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I know it is a classic, but...

 

The Secret Garden

 

:blush: I just didn't get what all the hype was about. She was a spoiled brat, he was clueless and the third kid could talk to birds.

 

Don't flame me! I enjoyed TMBS - although it just goes on, and on. :D

 

I couldn't do The Hobbit though, too many voices and I feel compelled to sing any written songs (which is a crazy compulsion). Luckily I found it on audiotape and we have some long drives coming up.

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Picture books... Mouse soup. Also, the best house ever.

Both books my son adored and I read over and over.

I hate Mouse Soup. I wanted the weasel to eat the mouse.

 

We have a family read aloud and try to alternate current works with classics.

My husband stays awake through the current books, but he dozed through Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan.

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I really hate reading Magic Treehouse books aloud although I think they are fine for what they are (intro level books for early readers). But I'm saving them all for my second son to read BY HIMSELF. I learned my lesson with my oldest.

 

 

Oh, these too! "xxx, Jack said," "xxx, Annie said," "xxx Jack said," aAAAAAGGGGHHHHHH!!!!

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Nearly any chapter book level series is a read aloud dud. Magic Treehouse being a prime example.

 

Any graphic novel or comic book because it's just absurd to me to try and read that aloud.

 

Any blurby book or book with lots of sidebars like the Magic School Bus.

 

Any book involving a licensed character is usually a read aloud cringe for me (there are exceptions, such as The Monster at the End of this Book, which is a total classic... but most of it is just complete tripe).

 

Beyond that... we haven't had any books that the kids loved that I actually loathed. Sometimes they like something more than me or vice versa, but it's usually not a severe difference of opinion.

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The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper. The illustrations are nice and my daughter loves it, but it is horrible to read aloud. I can't pin down why, but I hate it. My husband and I won't do it anymore.

 

Ugh - I hated that book too.

 

Swallows and Amazons. ZZZZZ

 

Oh Say Can You Say by Suess. It drives me insane. Feels like a migraine coming on to read/hear any of it. LOL I dislike reading Suess in general, though this book takes the cake in the torture category.

 

A Gathering of Days. Diary style read alouds lack read aloud flow. Good book but not as a read aloud.

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:tongue_smilie:

 

I'll let you keep the dress, as long as I don't have to be LFS. I can't imagine a worse fate.

 

The story with the penny is very sweet. She's a nice break from princesses, with her excitement over a scrap of ribbon, etc. Bunchy, by the same author, is totally cute. It's about a little girl's imaginary play by herself. She reminds me of my grandma.

 

I read a really bad abridged Swiss Family Robinson. It had so many grammatical errors and typos.

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I read a really bad abridged Swiss Family Robinson. It had so many grammatical errors and typos.
I picked up a beautiful edition of The Princess and the Goblin many years ago in anticipation of reading it aloud one day. Unfortunately, some of the text is repeated and some is missing. The Puffins may not be pretty, but they're usually at least proofed.
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I hated Uncle Wiggily from SL P4/5 for Sylvia. I would have dropped it if she didn't love it so much.

 

Mountain Born. Just tedious and we've been through it twice, but for some reason the girls loved it.

 

Tedious. That is good to know, I'll have to see if my library has it.

Eldest seems to go for what many call Tedious or Boring

 

Ugh - I hated that book too.

 

Swallows and Amazons. ZZZZZ

 

 

I have been meaning to try that book. It just looks so long. But I'll try it now. Eldest should really like it.

 

-- I do admit we are listening to "Farmer Boy" for the first time. We listened to the first 7 books in the Laura series last year but skipped Farmer boy on request. (The boys hated his name so didn't want to do his book)

 

I have now fallen asleep twice. But both times I put it on because I was so very tired. We also listen in bed. - not a good mix. I'm not sure how much Youngest is listening when I'm snoozing. I know he listens when I'm awake. Eldest is really into it regardless of what I'm doing.

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I picked up a beautiful edition of The Princess and the Goblin many years ago in anticipation of reading it aloud one day. Unfortunately, some of the text is repeated and some is missing. The Puffins may not be pretty, but they're usually at least proofed.

 

I've been on the search for a nice version of the princess and the goblin. If anyone has a recommendation, I would be thrilled!

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Anything with too much dialogue, like Arthur books. And any Disney books. Disney books are usually poorly written anyway though, so that irritates me.

 

:iagree:Oh my word! We had this "storybook" that was the Disney animated movies and it was so poorly written I about threw up every time my kids wanted me to read it. And they loved it. Why? Probably the same reason my kids love Otter Pops. Somehow it found itself in the recycling bin. I have no idea how that happened.;)

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:iagree:But I have a "no character" rule. DD is allowed to check out one character book (Spongebob, Disney, Arthur, Dora, etc.) each time we go to the library, but she knows that it's up to her to read it- Mommy is under no circumstances reading it to her. :D

I used to tell her that I didn't like those books, now I tell her that they aren't written for reading aloud. Whatever it is, it had worked. She used to wanted stacks of the character books, now, half the time we go to the library she actually forgets to get her one allowed character book because she's so busy getting the "good stuff" as she calls it. (The funny thing is... that's pretty much the only place I draw the line, I do make sure to pick and read lots of quality literature to her, but we also read a lot of twaddle. Just not TV characters!)

Wow, this is pretty much exactly how I approached things. No tv characters!!!

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I've been on the search for a nice version of the princess and the goblin. If anyone has a recommendation, I would be thrilled!
This one has illustrations by Arthur Hughes, but I don't know if it has the colour plates:

http://www.amazon.com/Princess-Goblin-Looking-Glass-Library/dp/0375863389/

 

You can see the plates here:

http://www.childrensnursery.org.uk/princess-goblin/

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I've been on the search for a nice version of the princess and the goblin. If anyone has a recommendation, I would be thrilled!

 

Not print versions, but my son enjoys the librivox audio version!

 

http://librivox.org/princess-and-the-goblin-the-by-george-macdonald/

 

http://librivox.org/the-princess-and-the-goblin-by-george-macdonald-version-2/

 

Nathan likes the Lizzie Driver one.

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I couldn't do The Hobbit though, too many voices and I feel compelled to sing any written songs (which is a crazy compulsion). Luckily I found it on audiotape and we have some long drives coming up.

 

Me too! I don't know why, but I can't just read a song. I have to compose a song on the spot. Ugh. It gets better with multiple readings, but the first time or two through a book with songs is rough going.

 

Character books are awful, but aside from that I haven't come across many books that I hated the first time through. It's the tenth time she asks for it in a day when I start looking for places to hide the book. I'm so sick of The Pie and the Patty-Pan right now... Not to mention it makes pregnant-me gag to think of a pie made of mouse. Ugh. :tongue_smilie:

 

I've found Pooh books hard to read aloud. They're really sweet and fun when I read them to myself, but I've found them very plodding when I read them aloud. Maybe it's because I don't do good voices for the characters?

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The Rainbow Fairy books :glare: I only tolerated them because they got my DD interested in chapter books.

 

The BFG - it's a great story but after 20 minutes of me tripping over every other word we got the audiobook :lol:

 

Any of the Pooh books are also read via audio books :D

 

My Father's Dragon -no idea why everyone else loves it so -both my kids and I agreed to ditch it after the first 2 chapters.

 

And last but not least -the 20 billion board books about fire engines that my DS2 owns. I mean how many different storylines can there be for a fire engine anyway - and why must every one have sound effects :glare:

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