The Continuing Adventures of Reading with Kids......

Everyone who has cultivated a love of books has an intense desire to pass that love of reading on to their offspring.  A Reader's Respite has been reading to our spawn, Thing #1 and Thing #2, since we brought each of them home from hospital (really? We get to keep them?  Do we even want to?).

Admittedly, we've had selfish reasons for instilling the love of books into Thing #1 and Thing #2.  The quicker these two learn to read by themselves, the sooner we'll be left the hell alone to enjoy our own books.      Being largely unaware of the timeline of childhood development, it therefore came as a slight disappointment when we realized that it actually takes YEARS before kids are able to read on their own.


So we were at a loss how to fill the years in between Goodnight, Moon and the blessed day when they would discover the world of Harry Potter and disappear into their rooms to read for hours and hours on end.  At seven, Thing #1 is now reading on his own, although his tastes at the moment run more towards BEAST QUEST and comic books graphic chapter books for young readers.  At five, Thing #2 is somewhere in between My Little Pony and Little Critter boardbooks, much to our continued dismay.


And this was the state of our world when we accidentally stumbled upon a compromise that brought peace to the family.  Well, at least where books are concerned.  Behold the Skippy Jon Jones Audiobooks:


If you've ever read these books with your kids, you're aware of how funny they are.  A Siamese kitten who thinks he is really a Chihuahua?  What's not to love?  But as it turns out, these books are about a hundred times funnier when you hear them read by the author, Judy Schachner.  And when we say funny, we mean FUNNY.  As in kid laughter resonating throughout the house (a much preferable noise, by the way, than the usual sibling arguments that frequently escalate to WWF levels).

About 15 minutes in length, they are perfect for the five year old Thing #2.  You can buy the book with the audio CD included or for a mere .69 cents each, you can download several from Audible.  It's a win-win kind of thing.

But what about Thing #1?  At seven, he gets a minor kick out of the Skippy Jon Jones' books, but he has a much longer attention span, something A Reader's Respite would be utterly stupid not to take advantage of.  Enter stage left:  Cressida Cowell and her utterly AMAZING How to Train Your Dragon series.


Thus far, there are eleven books in the series.  Now A Reader's Respite has read each and every one of these books out loud to Thing #1 over the past couple of years, but we had NO FREAKING IDEA that the audiobook version were so incredibly fabulous.  So fabulous, in fact, that we admit we would totally be listening to these ourselves without kids.  Each unabridged book runs 3-4 hours and Thing #1 is obsessed.  Yes, A Reader's Respite has to give up our iPod for a few hours, but that is a small price to pay for peace and quiet, my friends.


Skippy Jon Jones series by Judy Schachner
Courtesy of Personal Library

How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell
Courtesy of Personal library

17 comments:

  1. Worth Reading ItMay 30, 2013 at 5:22 AM

    This post had me laughing so hard.

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  2. Careful, or I'll box up Thing #1 and Thing #2 and send them to you.

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  3. I hope they continue to love it. Mine did not. I read to them until they were probably 10 or 12, and we also listened to audios in the car (ALL the Harry Potter!). Somewhere around 12 they rebelled. My daughter suddenly had a gazillion things she had to read for high school and has no time. My son? Eh, he will read half the book then get tired of it. I feel very angsty over this.

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  4. ShelleyBookClutterMay 30, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    We are big Skippyjon Jones fans here and now we must try to audio! My daughter even made up a play with her cousins based on a Skippyjon Jones book.
    If I'm not mistaken, the Dragon books are read by David Tennant, and that would be a fabulous treat. Love him!

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  5. I think you can be assured that they are going through that teen anti-reading phase. It will pass. I the only two books I can remember reading between the ages of 13 and 25 is Look Homeward Angel and The Grapes of Wrath, lol. But somewhere around 25, all my mom's hard work paid off and I became obsessed with books once again.

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  6. I can't remember if Tennant reads the abridged or unabridged versions. Both, though, are excellent! A local theater recently staged a Skippyjon Jones production and the entire school went....they all loved it. ;) Especially the parents.

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  7. You got a new layout! Gorg!


    You are so funny! I know exactly what you mean. My younger son (10) is definitely the reader of the two, although it's taking him FOREVER to finish the second Harry Potter book. I told him if he didn't hurry up and finish, I wasn't going to let him finish the series. Yeah, I'm mean. My older son (11) is not as big a reader, although he really enjoys non-fiction more than fiction. They listened to The Stand with me on audio during our daily long-ass car rides to and from school and really enjoyed it (don't judge). I'm hoping that I can get them to sit down and read Watership Down with me (which we're reading for my book chat, TuesBookTalk in June). I think they will like it if they give it a chance. But ripping them away from the infernal Xbox and pinning them down is a true feat.


    Audio books are definitely engaging for kids, I've learned. And SkippyJon Jones is THE BOMB!



    Here's hoping Thing #1 and Thing #2 will be reading independently in about five years...I know...that was mean. ;O)

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  8. Hahahaha, I would say the same thing so I guess we are both mean. And no judging re: The Stand....my kids listen to whatever I'm listening to all the time. Therefore, I can blame my audiobooks on whatever bad language they pick up (yeah, like I don't use those words on occasion, ha). Watership Down sounds like a great idea....I'm wondering if I can interest Big Kid in that one. If not, oh freaking well....I'd love to listen to it. :D

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