During this meal some efforts were made to deal with the question of the Psammead in an impartial spirit, but it is very difficult to discuss anything thoroughly and at the same time to attend faithfully to your baby brother’s breakfast needs. The Baby was particularly lively that morning.

Five Children and It

I love reading stories of big families to my kids. There is just something special about a child meeting a character in a similar situation as their own. Especially if your child’s life is a bit off the beaten track.

These days, life in a big family is life off the beaten track. It can also be a little… overwhelming… for everyone.

Kids in big families- especially the older kids- are often asked to contribute quite a lot. My kids probably do more around our home than just about all of their friends. Of course, our house is also full of joy six times over, and I wouldn’t trade the sibling relationships I watch blossom every day for the world.

Even so, we’ve got a lot of little folk running amok over here, and that means it’s often loud, messy, and chaotic.

If books are to be our companions (and: of course they are), then they ought to meet us where we’re at.

We meet a character in a story and instantly feel kinship. We realize that we’re a lot less alone in the world than we otherwise thought we were.

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I love that when we’re reading a book like Five Children and It, my kids laugh out loud at the boisterous little Lamb of a baby. They giggle over the toddler’s antics, and smile affectionately when a character sighs over her daily household duties.

They get it.

If a book has mischievous toddler twins? Well, that’s a no-brainer around here. We’re all in- and every single one of us is laughing through the whole thing.

(Actually, even if you don’t have a pair of twin tyrants running about, but you’re feeling weary and overworked- grab The Seven Silly Eaters and give it a read. You’ll be glad you did.) ;)

Here is a list of my favorite books for kids in big families. It’s just one category in our free Read-Aloud Revival Booklist.

Big Families
Five Children and It
Happy Little Family (Fairchild Family Story)
All-of-a-Kind Family
Half Magic
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (Dover Children’s Classics)
Cheaper by the Dozen (Perennial Classics)
On to Oregon!
The Seven Silly Eaters
The Penderwicks
Jo’s Boys (Bantam Classics)
Little Men (Puffin Classics)

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