Awesome read alouds (or read to yourself!): The Dead Sea Squirrels series

I had not heard of the Dead Sea Squirrels until just a couple of years ago. But I was happy to know that one of the writers from Veggie Tales was the author (Mike Nawrocki). I had read great reviews for the series, so we decided to add it to the MHM booklist. However, I had never actually read one of the books before.

Son assigned to read!

Instead, I had our 8 year old son recently read one of the books on his own. We ended up deciding on A Dusty Donkey Detour for his book. I proceeded to ask him questions about what he read, and he would give me a blank stare and say, “I don’t know.” Frustrated, I had him read it again (FYI – obviously he was very upset about this, but I insisted since if he couldn’t tell me ANYTHING about the book except for the fact that they were traveling around Israel, then he hadn’t really read it).

So he started again on his own. But again, when I asked him some basic questions – more blank stares. I felt like I was about to pull my hair out. As I sat there annoyed, I just kept praying, “Jesus HELP me, I’m about to lose it.” And then I remembered it may be better to have him read the book to me out loud.

When our kids are little, they always get read to. However, as they get older, we obviously have to let them read on their own since more littles have kept coming up the ranks. Our 8 year old clearly needed help, though. Therefore, out of desperation, we gave it a whirl.

Forced read-aloud

Low and behold, magic! Initially, our son was reading in an angry, monotone voice. But as he gave up fighting what he had to do, he started to inflect his voice a bit. He then finally started getting into the book. And since we were reading it together, I was able to stop and ask him questions about what he just read. As you can imagine, that helped a tremendous amount on comprehension.

Do what works!

My point of telling you all of the above details is to hopefully give someone out there a spark of hope for a reluctant reader. Our son was one of those kids that learned to read very early, but then lost interest. Eventually, when he was forced to read, he could read the words on the page but lacked comprehension.

But for some kids, reading books out loud helps something in their brain to comprehend better. And what a great book for him to understand! He was able to tell me how the adventures the donkey, Dusty, had in the book were somehow connected to Bible stories. As the donkey traveled around Israel, Nawrocki was able to weave in several Bible stories to make those Bible stories more relevant. It’s a really cute book! He’s anxious to read the next book in the series!

Great books, however you read them!

I, and my son, are thrilled to recommend this series of books! Whether you read them out loud or to yourself, the books are a great way to help make the Bible come alive to your elementary aged child. It’s such a great way to introduce these Bible stories. That way, when they come across them when they’re older and reading the bible, it will be very familiar. This is a similar concept as to why we should have our kids read, for example, Classic Starts when they’re young! It helps make reading the actual classic far less intimidating and much more easy to understand.

So if you want a fun series for a great kid in your life, check out Dead Sea Squirrels! They’re awesome!

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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