Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Revisiting the Boxcar Children

We are reading aloud The Boxcar Children.

The first book tells the story of four children (Henry, Jesse,Violet and Benny) and their dog Watch.  Upon the death of their mother and father they are supposed to go live with their grandfather, but they believe him to be cruel. They run away and find an abandoned boxcar where they start a new life of independence.  Henry the oldest does odd jobs, they find dishes at the dump, they bathe in the stream, and have many adventures. Ultimately, their grandfather is reunited with them and they find out he's not such a bad guy. They move in with him and he moves their boxcar into his backyard. 

The books were written in 1942. There are 19 books in the original series. They were written by American writer and first grade school teacher Gertrude Chandler Warner. It is amazing how these stories have stood the test of time even today.  

We have finished the first book and now we are on to the second book Surprise Island. My kids really like that there are four boxcar children (two boys and two girls) just like in our family.  I loved these books when I was a little girl.  It makes me so happy to share something with my children that I cherished as a child.  It has been fun reading to them out loud and reliving the stories once again. 

My kids have been pretending to live in a boxcar.  They have been taking play dishes out into the yard to set up their car and pretending to make beds out of pine needles.  

Storytellin' Boy has had all kinds of questions about pine needle beds.  Are they soft?  Can we plant a pine tree in our yard?  Can we put some needles in his real bed, so he can see what it's like? 

Lil' Expert has also been enjoying the boxcar stories. He has been practicing his reading aloud by alternating  pages with me. His reading is improving every day.  

I would recommend these books for any school age children getting interested in chapter books. They are simple, wholesome, and promote families working together. They are exciting and engaging for young readers.  

Happy Reading!


Elle said...

Yes I love these stories
My son has enjoyed these as well.

MamaGeek said...

THOSE are beautiful stories indeed!

Genny said...

I've heard those are great books. I'll have to check them out. Thanks.