Even with a background as an English teacher, I would have never considered picking up The Boxcar Children to read with my four and a half year old. I would have read Curious George, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and other such shorter stories. However, thanks to Sonlight (our primary curriculum at this point) and it’s fantastic list of recommended reading, we read The Boxcar Children (the first book) to begin our preschool year.
Now, let me interject with the fact that my son has patience for a good story and he doesn’t at all mind if there are no pictures. Shorter chapter books such as the Mercy Watson books and the Magic Treehouse series had introduced him to this type of story; he was certainly ready for The Boxcar Children series.
My little man has fallen in love with the the Alden family. Of course, eager, clue-finding, mystery solving Benny is his favorite. The cliffhangers and the mysteries keep him on the edge of his seat.
Free play now often involves clue finding and mystery solving; he thinks he’s a super-sleuth. The only trouble is that he keeps telling us that he wishes he was an orphan… or that he wants to run away… so he can live on his own, just like The Boxcar Children.