chapter books · read aloud · reading · slice of life

First Chapter Book

We're ready to pick up where we left off with All About Sam -- on the couch -- after Isabelle returns from school today.
We’re ready to pick up where we left off with All About Sam — on the couch — after Isabelle returns from school today.

I had no intention of sharing chapter books with Isabelle yet. But she was intrigued when she spotted me unpacking a box from HMHCo this morning. She plodded into my office and said, “What’s that?” She pointed at the book. It was a review copy of All About Sam by Lois Lowry.

“It’s a chapter book,” I replied matter-of-factly.

“What’s a chapter book?” she asked.

I handed her the book. “Take a look and tell me what you notice.”

She sat beside me and opened the book. “It has no words.”

“What do you mean, ‘it has no words’?” I knew she meant it has no pictures. However, I wanted to hear her to say ‘it only has words’ or ‘I don’t see any pictures.’

“I don’t see words,” she said.

“Do you mean that you don’t see any pictures?” I asked.

She nodded.

“Well, there are some pictures,” I said pointing to a few of the illustrated pages. “But it’s mostly words.”

“Read it to me,” she said.

“Right now?” I asked. We only had 20 minutes before we were to depart for school.

“Yes,” she replied.

I had never read this book, but I knew it was related to the Anastasia Krupnik Series. However, I went in blindly. I read the title and author and dove right into chapter 1. (Very unteacherly of me, right?)

By the end of chapter one, Isabelle was snuggling on the hardwood beside me. I would’ve been uncomfortable, but she looked cozy. She giggled at the parts where Sam described the first few hours of his life. By the end of chapter one she said, “keep going!”

“I can’t. We have to leave for school in 10 minutes,” I replied.

“Let’s read more!”

“Do you like this book?”



“Because it’s funny. It’s about a baby. And he’s funny.”

I looked at my watch again. I counted the pages in chapter two. There was no way I’d make it through the entire thing, but she doesn’t know what chapters are yet. I acquiesced.  “Let’s sit on the couch and I will read a little more.”

And so we did.

Once I found a good stopping point, midway through chapter two, I said, “Okay, we have to go to school. We can read more when you get home if you’d like.”


Later in the day I looked up the level of All About Sam online. It’s a level Q. That’s a fourth-grade level book! I’m not sure if she’ll still be interested as the chapters go on since this is way above where her interest level is. But you never know! So, we’ll keep reading — after school!

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Head over to for more slices of life.