One thing we did achieve was completing two summer reading programs with Henry. Each was a bit different so it wasn't completely like double-dipping. One was about just getting books read and the other had a larger balance of literary type activities for pre-school kids.
I spent a good chunk of the summer just trying to figure out where we were in terms of read alouds - ready for chapter books? How long? What about pre readers? Should we still do picture books?
(The answers Yes. Medium. Annoying. Yes).
If our list seems a little scanty it might be because we also started reading "The Hobbit" this summer. We're using a version of the book I have that has illustration from the Rankin-Bass animated movie - you can see here - which can be a little intense for a four year old (it took us about a week of starting and stopping to get through the Goblins and Gollum). But it's so much fun to hear him asking "Where's Gandalf?!" and continually shutting down my use of the Gollum voice.
I will say I'm pretty happy that I got to read the Trolls scene and do all the voices. My husband was supposed to take over storytime that night, but instead he stood in the hallway listening to me read the whole chapter and I'm glad he did.
Mostly we read early chapter books - not pre-readers (which I think are more for kids learning to read rather than good choices for read alouds). Most of these books had 2-4 stories each or had multiple chapters that we read over the course of a couple bedtimes.
Mercy Watson - is a good, solid, funny read. (Though personally I'm learning I don't really enjoy animal books for some reason? But the kiddo enjoys it.)
Martin Bridge - Probably the longer of the books here, but I was desperately searching for a human boy who has the kind of adventures I want my son to have and that's how I found Martin. We haveMartin Bridge: On the Lookout! on hand to read next.
Annie & Simon - I love these little stories of a little girl and her much bigger brother. They go canoeing, they go watch a meteor shower and many other things and the stories are sweet and fun.
The Whale - This is actually the second book in the Lighthouse Family series (we're on the waiting list for Book 1). We read about half of this book one night and then kind of forgot about it for a few days, me thinking that it hadn't gotten his interest but last night out of the blue he announced that we really needed to find out what happened to the mama and baby whale. So I think it was a good choice.
Mrs. Noodlekugel - Fun early chapter book and about a couple of siblings and their new babysitter - a little Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and a little Pippi Longstocking. We have
Mrs. Noodlekugel and Drooly the Bear and Mrs. Noodlekugel and Four Blind Mice next in our line up.
The Littles - The Littles was a fine book, but a little dull I think. I think we'll dive into the actual Borrowers books this fall instead.
The Miniature World of Marvin & James - A fun story about a boy and his best friend, a beetle, and the adventures Marvin gets into while James is on a vacation with his family. A fun, whimsical little story with good illustrations.
Of course the fun doesn't stop there. We still have large stack to get through, but I can't tell you to take my word on these titles quite yet.