For many months, I've been trying to convert Ellie to reading chapter books (with me; she doesn't yet read confidently on her own). If you know Ellie at all (and as a reader of this blog, you do!), you know that anything that is MY idea is NOT HER idea. She was having none of it. Every attempt down the line has been met with resistance. Not even Charlotte's Web (she loves both movie versions!) passed the test. There was no way. I surrendered.
This week, we visited the fancy-pants new library in Peppermint Grove. My girls made a beeline for the children's room, where three little children had managed to commandeer and control all comfortable seating and interesting furniture. Ellie dissolved into tears, and I redirected my two to the non-fiction juniors section where I interested Ellie in craft books while Stephanie happily absorbed farm book after farm book. After a good while, Ellie's attention wandered to the shelf behind us and a whole pile of FAIRY CHAPTER BOOKS! They are beginning readers. Nothing fancy. Not canon literature by any stretch. BUT they are chapter books that she selected, and she cannot get enough of them.
I only took one home that day as a test. She was so upset that we didn't read the entire thing that night! She was really into it! We finished the next day, and she has "read" and reread it to herself, her sister, her dolls... Today, we returned to get more (there's a lengthy series), and alas, almost all were checked out. We managed to find two put away in random spots, and we brought those home. We're already four chapters in to one of them.
So there you go. Chapter books. Her idea. Voila.