Last year one of our best times in the car was listening to a book on tape. People use to be so engaged by the radio just a couple of generations ago. I wanted to try it on my kids to see if they would hold interest. We looked at the options from the library and we decided to get a space adventure, The Search for Wondla by Tony Di Terlizzzi. I thought we’d just try it on our everyday commute about 20 minutes and see how far we can go with it.
When I first put it in I opened the case and it had NINE cds! Whoa, I really thought they would drop out of such a long story. But no way. Kids are surprising. They were entranced by it and were ready for it every time we were in the car. Even on longer trips, because this fourty-two chapter book needed more time, they would fall asleep and then wake…”what did I miss? go back…go back.” I thought it was awesome. I would give a comprehension check(bringing out the teacher in me), to see if they knew what was going on in the story,and they sure did. They even helped me understand a few times when I was too busy attending to driving needs. My husband was lost when coming into the part of the capture and the taxidermist museum. He thought the story was too far fetched for them to grasp, but they caught him up to speed with a group summary and he was quite impressed.
I remember checking at various times if they all wanted to renew it from the library, again. After three, 3 week renewals from the library check-out desk and one long 8 hour trip to the grandparents, we finally finished. There were even times when we sat in our driveway for a few minutes longer so we could get to the end of a chapter. From a book-loving-mom, this was fantastic!
On occasion we would have an extra kid for the driving adventure, they loved it too and wanted to stay in the car. Unheard of, right? My kids ranged from kindergarten, third and fourth grade. We were all so excited to get to the end of the book and then the last sentence came. I was almost mortified. “End of book I.” Really, Tony Diterlizzi? How can you do that? But bravo and now we have the next book on our list. Thanks for the memorable drives, the excellent adventure and I am sure cortex enlarger for my children.
Yes! Books on tape are Excellent! Be surprised about how well your kids can follow a story.
PS. Another book on tape idea is for a summer rainy day. I sent my kids to the car with a snack and a cd & book companion, (or a tape!). And they enjoyed the driveway and obeyed the rules of coming in when finished. It was a great summer station. But do make sure they know the rules of being clear of the drivers’ seat. And put the brake on please.)