June Read-Alouds

The months seem to be flying by–once again it’s time for a monthly read-aloud round-up! Many of these books were audio versions this month due to long car trips, but a few were read by me. While I’m not against audio books, I do sort of prefer when I do the reading since I can choose whether or not and how to do the voices!

Of course we’ve seen the Julie Andrews movie version of Mary Poppins, but I had never read the book before. In the book version, Mary Poppins has a lot more detail and some differences in adventure, as well as some differences in the characters.  First off, the Banks family has four children rather than two!  The book includes twin babies John and Barbara in addition to Jane and Michael.  I also thought the character of Mary Poppins herself was a bit different than Julie Andrews’ version.  The book reminded me a bit of the Nurse Matilda series–fanciful imaginings, a nanny who comes out of nowhere and doesn’t stay, children who wind up changed–but felt less formulaic.  We enjoyed the story.

Having seen the Disney movie and the play, I have to admit I was a little disappointed with the book version of Peter Pan.  The version we read was published in 1911 and is very close to the play, and is very funny in parts, but as a read aloud it just seemed a bit clunky to me.  The story is so much better as a play.  However, if you’re a big fan of Peter Pan or have only seen the Disney version, it might be fun to interact with the tale in a different way.

Then There Were Five is the third book in Elizabeth Enright’s Melendy quartet.  In this book, the Melendy kids befriend a boy who lives with his dreadful uncle, have their usual more-than-fair-share of adventures, put on a huge carnival for the war effort, and ultimately wind up with a new sibling.  These books are so fun and present a realistic but happy picture of how siblings get on each other’s nerves and bicker but still love each other and are best friends.

Spiderweb for Two: A Melendy Maze departs from the usual format of the series, as the youngest two Melendy kids are left at home with the big kids off at boarding school.  Bereft without their older siblings, Randy and Oliver begin receiving mysterious clues and undertake what becomes a year-long scavenger hunt until their family returns home.  the mystery aspect was great fun but we all missed Mona, Rush, and Mark, who only made short appearances in this book.  Most of all, we were sad to see this marvelous series come to an end!

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a fun and zany book to read aloud and the kids quite enjoyed it.  We listened to it on audio book as a matter of fact, but I wish that I had done the reading because I did not always love the narrator’s choice of voices.  However, the story is funny and I got past the voice thing eventually.  Note that this book is free on Kindle at the time of this writing, so if you were thinking of procuring it, now would be a good time!


What has your family been reading aloud this month?


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