I had no idea my kids would sit still through a book with very few and black and white pictures. And to be honest, my 3-year-old was a little squirmy throughout the book (more accurately the first three chapters). BUT my 5-year-old daughter absolutely loves The Boxcar Children, by Gertrude Chandler Warner. She has already asked me to read it again and we just finished it today!
I grew up with this book, and I remember the teacher reading it and being desperate for her to keep reading in class. It’s still as wonderful and captivating as it was when I was in elementary school.
We have tried other longer books, but Jordan couldn’t sit through more than a few chapters. And you could tell she couldn’t understand many of the words. The Boxcar Children was so si
mple, yet so playful! And you can read the excitement in the kids voices as they celebrate their creativity and ingenuity as they made the boxcar their home in the only way a group of young children know how. It’s a story about four orphans who would rather live on their own than with an estranged grandfather. So while running away from grownups who knew they were on their own, they find a boxcar in the
middle of the woods next to a stream and make it their home.
I wouldn’t hesitate to read it to a mature 4 year old or older. I’m not sure I’d try with much younger than that, although Dani (3) was able to follow the story when she could sit still. THIS IS A MUST-READ BOOK, in this humble mommy’s opinion. And for those mom’s who are getting tired of the picture books all the time, this is a good transition.
Review by Kristin Wilson – Kristin is a former newspaper journalist turned mommy of two little girls. She loves to read, and always has. That love for reading, she believes, is what helped her discover her passion for writing. And her goal is to pass that same love onto her children through books!