What (& How) We’re Reading {Exodus}

Mar 1, 2013

By the time you’re reading this post, I’m hopeful the last minute of 3,000 minutes will have been read *update…we are at 2,876 minutes…with 3 days left*. (exhale)

This month has been a doozy (having two weekend conferences and getting a weeklong cold didn’t help our efforts).

I’ll tell y’all I haven’t had the best attitude when reading aloud to the boys. It wasn’t like I expected them to listen so perfectly they could write a 20 page book report afterward. But I did hope for quiet and few distractions. Trying to read when you can’t hear your own voice isn’t my definition of “quality family bonding”.

Frequently it took an hour for me to read 20 minutes…seriously. Just as I would settle down to read, an announcement would be made from the bathroom someone needing…ahem… “assistance”. Then I’d grab the book again only to see the baby climbing into the entertainment center cabinet. Back again to reading just as a fight would start over a Lightning McQueen car. I’d start reading a sentence just as one son asked a question about how birds fly.


So here are some ways I avoided out-sourced transferred my reading duties. Bruce often read for 30 minutes at bed time. Or Quade read as we drove home from school. Or we took a trip to Sonic. After passing out slushes to everyone I would begin reading (although that only lasted 20 minutes before Watts crushed a hole in his styrofoam cup & the baby needed a diaper change).

I just wanted you to know when I write about these books we’ve been reading don’t picture in your head four boys sitting quietly by my side hanging on my every word and halos hovering over their heads.

It’s a mess over here. But they are developing a love of books…only by God’s grace.

Here is the beautiful book I wanted to share with you today:

Exodus by Brian Wildsmith


-For Kindergarten thru 4th grade (our 3yo likes it too!)

-“Wildsmith recounts Moses’s saga from his rescue in the bulrushes by Pharaoh’s daughter to his death on Mt. Nebo overlooking the Promised Land. The writing is straightforward and simple; the story is brief but accurate. The artwork is a visual feast. The double-page illustrations, framed in gold, are panoramas of activity, crowded with the figures of the Hebrew multitudes suffering in slavery, streaming out of Egypt, traversing the Red Sea between walls of water, wandering in the brown hills of the desert, and at last, triumphantly entering the verdant Canaan.

Filled with meticulous and decorative detail, glowing with rich colors, and arranged to maximize dramatic impact, the paintings show the awesome events with excitement and beauty. The pillars of cloud and fire are shaped like huge pointing fingers. Animals, birds, and sea life abound. God’s presence is shown by a multicolored, starry shape superimposed on a sphere. The endpapers present the Ten Commandments printed on monumental, gold-decorated arks against a background of intense violet and rose.” -(Amazon.com)

Why we love it: 

Just like the Amazon summary said, it’s a visual feast. The boys will flip through the pages and retell the story…even if they can’t read. Apparently this author also has an Easter story which would be worth checking out as a gift for those easter baskets (this is how we handle easter baskets).

Today I’d love for you to share some tips in the comments on how you read aloud to your kids…go!


  1. Laura King

    I have such a love-hate relationships with read-alouds. I have this beautiful picture in my head of what I want them to look like, but with a bunch of wiggly, noisy children it doesn’t usually work out that way. Still, some things have helped. Sometimes I give them a snack to eat while we read. For some of them, having a page to color helps. I don’t mind them playing with Lego or something along those lines if they do it quietly and can still pay attention. More recently, we’ve tried lighting a candle when we start reading, and let it burn as long as everyone is behaving well. If we start having issues, it gets blown out. When the candle is all gone, we’ll all have a special treat (not sure what yet). It’s definitely a work in progress!

  2. Jacki Rucksdashel

    Heather–I just want to say Wow! You have one reading rally under your belt…way to go! And it is so true…with all of the demands and interruptions throughout the day–it is only by God’s grace that we read aloud at all! I usually do a lot of reading during meals when hubby is at work…of course that also depends on how stressful your meal times are??!!:) I also pull out paper and markers, play doh, leggos, something hands on to help if I am reading aloud for a lengthier time period. We also check out read aloud CDs from the library to listen to in the car, or at home. That sometimes frees my hands up to help keep the younger one busy so we can all listen “more.” But–what works today doesn’t always work tomorrow! So, I hope to learn some more good ideas from other readers!

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