This week we’ve got some great titles for read-alouds going on in our book basket. Most of them are “go-along” books for our Five in a Row selection, but the stories are so good they would be awesome to read anyway. I am always looking for book recommendations, especially for stories that will appeal to both the kindergarten crowd and the preschool crowd.  And most of the books in our book basket this week have been a big hit with both. So if you’re heading to the library, or if you have a couple credits on Paperback Swap to use up, keep your eyes out for some of these reads. Here’s what’s in our book basket:

book basket with text

What’s In Our Book Basket?

1. The Rag Coat

51lasaBaNBL[1] This is one of the SWEETEST stories we have read, maybe ever. It’s a story about learning to be content with what you have, about the value of community, and most importantly, about forgiveness. This is our Five In a Row selection for the week (or two), and we are really having some great discussions because of this story. It is not one I had ever read before, so I’ve been enjoying it along with my children for the first time.

2. When I Was Young in the Mountains

When I was Young in the Mountians This is a beloved story in our home. Cynthia Rylant’s writing about life in Appalachia is a perfect go-along story for The Rag Coat (which is also set in the Appalachian Mountains, in coal country). The descriptions of times gone by and a simpler, slower, sweeter life are ageless. This is a book every family should own.

3.Growing Up In Coal Country

51iogBDeHRL[1] This is a non-fiction book which takes readers deep inside the reality of the life of coal miners and their families. We wanted to learn more about coal mining since the daddy in the story The Rag Coat is a coal miner who eventually dies from “The miner’s cough”. My children had no idea what coal mining was all about so this book gave us a really good look at what life in coal country was like at the time the story took place. It specifically focuses on children who worked in the coal mines before child labor laws were instituted. My children were shocked by the real photographs of children working in such a way.

4. The Appalachians


I checked this book out of the library mainly because it contains awesome pictures of the landscape, seasons, and animals in the Appalachian Mountains. This is an area of the country my children have never seen. It may as well be a foreign country compared to the scenery they are accustomed to in Las Vegas. The photographs are lovely, and the maps included in the book gave us a chance to talk a little about the geography of the area in which The Rag Coat took place.

5. The Keeping Quilt

The Keeping Quilt This story is another perfect “go-along” story for The Rag Coat. Patricia Polacco (who also wrote one of our favorite books Thunder Cake) tells a rich, gorgeous story about the way memories can be preserved through scrap quilts. This ties in perfectly with the way stories were preserved in the making of Minna’s rag coat. I love the illustrations in this book most of all. They are done in charcoal with the exception of the quilt (which starts out as a babushka and a dress, and then becomes a quilt, and then gets used as a table cloth, a wedding huppa, and a superhero cape among other things). This story is truly a treasure.

6. Ivy + Bean


This book is ALL fun! I stumbled upon it unintentionally and thought it looked like a fun read-aloud. Boy was I right. It’s about two seven year-old girls who are reluctant to become friends but then learn that they REALLY enjoy one another’s company (and antics). We plowed through this “big kid book” in two days! Addison was begging for me to read more. We read it at bedtime, at naptime, and even at lunch while they ate. I was thrilled to learn that there are a whole bunch of books in the series. I found myself laughing out loud as I read this to the children. If you are looking for a well-written, funny, charming read aloud, this is a winner. It’s definitely geared toward girls, but Doc enjoyed it too.

I hope you will have a chance to check out some of the titles we’ve been enjoying from our book basket this week. If you have any questions about these books or any of the others we’ve been reading as part of our Kindergarten homeschool, ask away! Happy reading!


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