Monday, May 11, 2015

A Round Up of Books

We read. We read a lot.

Between my personal reading and reading aloud I do with the three kiddos, it constitutes a significant part of my day. More about my reading another though. Today - let's talk children's books!

Our homeschooling approach draws from lots of different influences, but I am particularly inspired by the Charlotte Mason approach, which has a large emphasis on 'living' books. (I really enjoyed this article's explanation on what makes a book a 'living' book). 

It's always fun to have a little look back at what we've been reading, so here's a quick look at a handful of children's books that we have been particularly enjoying just recently. 

Fiction Picture Books

The Treasure, by Uri Shulevitz
     Beautifully written and illustrated, a great moral tale set in Russia.

Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain, by Edward Ardizzone
     Oh my goodness - this the first book in such a fun adventure series, perfect for early elementary adventurers. We have been reading our way steadily through these books and enjoying them greatly.

Thy Friend Obadiah, by Brinton Turkle
     I loves this book; the art, the story, the unexpected social lesson.

Old Henry, by Joan W. Blos
     I'll be honest, that when I started reading this book aloud to my three Little Ones, I was a little unsure about it. By the time I was half way through though, I was smitten. Later I went back and re-read it by myself, it was that good!
     Beautifully illustrated, a gentle story about accepting others.

Each Peach Pear Plum, by Janet and Allen Ahlberg
     Something for the Preschoolers, I remember this book from my own childhood, and was delighted to find that it had lost nothing in the intervening years. Fun rhymes, lovely illustrations and a fun i-spy through the nursery rhymes.

The Little Airplane, by Lois Lenski
   Another one for the younger set, this is part of series about Small and the different adventures he gets up (Cowboy Small, The Little Sailboat, etc). Very sweet, and gently informative.

Non-Fiction Picture Books

Sky Boys, by Deborah Hopkinson and James E. Ransome
     Stunning art, and a wonderful combination of fictionalized story and facts about the building of the Empire State Building, this book proved to be a wonderful springboard for all sorts of construction, architecture and demolition conversations.

Math For All Seasons: Mind-Stretching Math Riddles, by Greg Tang
     Can I just gush for a moment or two about Greg Tang's books?! They are wonderful! Fun and engaging, with math fun on every page; we adore these books. Great for early elementary children.

One Small Square: Cactus Desert, by Donald M. Silver
     We have now read several books in the One Small Square series, and they are all great. Really informative, great for zoology and geography studies. Each book studies a different geographical location, and shares such information as weather, animals that live there, annual life cycles, plants and habitats. Fabulous!

Wolves, by Gail Gibbons
   I found this book for my six year old Little Guy, feeding his current wolf obsession - but also, it's by Gail Gibbons which really is enough for me! If you aren't familiar with her books and you are homeschooling or parenting young ones, you must must check them out. Between the factual information and the illustrations, her books are winners. Run, don't walk!

Chapter Books and Audio Books

A Bear Named Paddington, by Michael Bond
   A recent audio book for car rides, this was a firm favorite with all three children; funny, silly fun with Paddington!

Charlotte's Web, by E. B. White
     Another book on CD for the car, I was a little hesitant that this might be a little too intense for my sensitive little ones, but they LOVED it! We finished this one about three weeks ago, and are still talking about Wilbur and Charlotte.
     Added bonus, I found an audi version read by the author himself, which was amazing - worth finding.

Olga da Polga, by Michael Bond
     Another one by the author of Paddington Bear, this was a firm favorite of mine as \a child, and we have been giggling and chortling our way through it. A sweet book about the funny tales a silly and sassy guinea pig - not to be missed.
   Although popular in the UK, this is harder to find in the States, but worth looking for. The original illustrations were done by Hans Helweg and are just wonderful!

What have you been reading with your children recently? 

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