Can I just say, I LOVE this book? I admit, when I was reading it by myself I wasn't too sure about it. It seemed maybe to move a little slow. I started by reading the first chapter to my boys ages seven, six, and five. I had never read it before. It wasn't fantastic. The boys weren't in the mode to listen and were antsy to get outside.
Today, however, I was prepared. Last night I read all the way to chapter eight so that I would know the story line in my head. I had decided to let the boys draw Fred and whatever else they heard about in the story as they were listening. I had my white board, they had their notebooks, and we all sat in a circle. I drew key points of the story on the whiteboard in the middle and they took notes in picture form as they were listening. Then when it came time for questions they just wrote their answers in their books. Reading the chapters before hand helped me move the story along and I was also able to get some props from the story for the boys to look at while I was reading.
All in all, with squirly boys I still got through four chapters in one sitting. I know they actually absorbed the information because every time they pass me I ask them another question from our reading today. They always get it right. The chapters are really short and you can do one chapter in a short amount of time, which is fantastic for boys who are ready to be outside doing things. They go outside or go play for half an hour and can come back for ten minutes to listen to a story and then go play again.
Also, I love that the drawing of Fred is so simple. Even my three and a half year old was able to draw a pretty good representation of Fred. And they each drew Fred doing things that he had done in his story. All in all I'm hoping that as we use these books they will grow to enjoy them even more. I will keep you posted.