Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Books: Shift One

We are gearing up for the month of December here. I do not even think of Christmas decorating until December 1st. I have, however, already begun thinking of Christmas books and decorated my blog! I have lots of Christmas books, so I usually pull them off the shelves in shifts of about a week. I will set out the Christmas basket of books along with the decorations.

First Shift books:

The Christ Child by Maud and Miska Petersham (my very favorite!)
The Story of Christmas by Felix Hoffman
A Wreath of Christmas Legends by Phyllis McGinley illustrated by Leonard Weisgard
The Friendly Beasts illustrated by Tomie de Paola
The Story of Christmas illustrated by Jane Ray
The Little Fir Tree by Margaret Wise Brown
The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie de Paola
The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore, illustrated by Tasha Tudor
Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
A Pussycat's Christmas by Margaret Wise Brown illustrated by Helen Stone
The Christmas Cat by Efner Tudor Holmes illustrated by Tasha Tudor
On Christmas Eve by Margaret Wise Brown illustrated by Beni Montresor
Take Joy: The Tasha Tudor Christmas Book

Shift Two Books    Shift Three Books

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What Not to Buy

My friend, Vee and I are wrapping up the book collecting series. I'll be doing one more post, highlighting illustrators that I collect, despite the author. Today, we are discussing "What Not To Buy".

Vee said almost everything that needed to be said about in her recent post, (sorry!  Homeschoolblogger is no more and all her great articles were lost! This is a tragedy!) but I'll have a go with a post, too.

1. Twaddle, of course. However, what is twaddle in my home may be beloved in yours. For example, we adore Little Critter. Some folks don't. I don't care for David Shannon's books and despite winning the Caldecott medal, I think they are ugly both in text and visually. Investigate lots of different books even if they are 'twaddle' to others. Don't feel bad for getting rid of books that everyone else loves if they are not right for your family.

2. Abridgments. You simply miss out on what makes a great story great. Reading abridgments can also make your child a lazy reader. They are dumbed down and fail to inspire. They are also often missing references that the author made about the Lord, so a great Christian story becomes just another story.

3. ALL the books in a series. So many times a great story is conceived and written, and then the franchisement of it begins. Book Two is pretty good, Book Three is just ok, Book Four is downright silly Book Five stinks. However, there is still Book Seven. Eight, Nine and Ten to go! When a series goes downhill, let it go without you. Inkheart (but please read the first one; it's fantastic!), Nancy Drew and The Boxcar Children (after #19...get #1-19!) come to mind when thinking of series that go downhill fast.

4. Exclusively pristine hardcovers with dustjackets. Please don't be a book snob! Books are meant to be handled and they will get grubby. Hardcovers are expensive and it's much harder to find them used. Is it better to have only a few really great titles, high on a shelf where they are safe, or to develop a love of reading in your tots with books surrounding them? I like a hardcover as much as the next person but I won't ever pass up a softcover copy of a book I want simply because it's not hardcover.

5. Disney and other adaptations of classics. Vee mentioned this and it goes hand-in-hand with twaddle and abridgments. Please read the original versions of stories. There is so much more to them than can be expressed in a movie, and the Disney books will almost always be simply printed versions of the movie.

Do you have any guidelines to add? I'd love to hear your suggestions!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Book Organizing Project

We're taking some time off for Thanksgiving, so I am undertaking a HUGE project. I am noting the titles (and other information) of ALL of my books, and reorganizing them. I began a couple of days ago with novels. Here's the stack that the Lambies brought:

This isn't all the novels, by all means, but they are the ones from my elder daughters' room and from several of the library shelves. I can only work with so many at once! By Friday afternoon I was done cataloging them and putting them back into order. That stack had 840 books in it! I even found a small stack of doubles and "I don't really need this one, I guess" 's. School books will be next, and then I'll begin the science section.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Shipwreck and Treasure Hunting Mini Unit

We watched a couple of episodes of "Treasure Quest" on Netflix last night. It's an interesting show that makes treasure hunting look very exciting! Today I pulled out some appropriate books and let the Lambies spend some fun time learning about various shipwrecks and treasure. I thought I'd share the books so you could share them with your family!

True Life Treasure Hunts by Judy Donnelly
Sunken Treasure by Gail Gibbons
The Treasury
Treasure Hunt by George Sullivan
The Mutiny on the Bounty by Russell T. Clement
EyeWitness: Shipwreck
Ghost Liners by Rick Archbold
True Tales of Buried Treasure by Edward Rowe Snow
True Tales of Terrible Shipwrecks by Edward Rowe Snow
The Vasa Saga by Bertil Almqvist
Vasa published by the Vasa Museum in Stockholm
The Swedish Warship Vasa published by the Vasa Museum in Stockholm
The Martyr of the Catacombs by an Anonymous Christian-found on an abandoned sailing ship in 1876

The Little Lambies made some treasure, too. Crowns, scepters and necklaces were made from paper and crayons, and lots of "what-if" stories were made up. The Legos are out, so I bet there'll be some sailing adventures soon. Their imaginations have definitely been sparked by this study! Too bad my camera battery is dead. I think we'll watch some Gillian's Island this afternoon.

We'll see where this interest takes them over the next few days! Do you have favorite books on the topic? Please share in the comments.

Monday, November 1, 2010

November Storybooks

The Bun: A Tale from Russia by Marcia Brown
Once a Mouse by Marcia Brown
The Queen with Bees in her Hair by Cheryl Harness
The Three Billy Goats Gruff by P. C. Asbjornsen and J. E. Moe illustrated by Marcia Brown
The Elves and the Shoemaker by Freya Littledale illustrated by Brinton Turkle
Steven Kellogg's Yankee Doodle by Edward Bangs
The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons
There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight by Robert Quackenbush
Curious George by the Rey's
Fannie in the Kitchen by Deborah Hopkinson
The Three Robbers by Tomi Ungerer
Crictor by Tomi Ungerer
Amelia's Fantastic Flight by Rose Bursik
The Happy Lion by Louise Fatio, illustrated by Roger Duvoisin
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat by Lucille Colandro
Happy Birthday, Jesse Bear by Nancy White Carlstrom
Sleeping Beauty illustrated by Felix Hoffmann
Thorn Rose by The Brothers Grimm, illustrated by Errol Le Cain
Sleeping Beauty- Rand McNally Publishers- illustrated by Elizabeth Webbe
The Story of Ping by Marjorie Flack
Brother and Sister by The Brothers Grimm, from The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm by Lore Segal and Maurice Sendak
The Three Lucky Ones from More Tales of Grimm translated and illustrated by Wanda G'ag
Curious George Rides a Bike by H. A Rey
The Pilgrim's First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern
In The Forest by Marie Hall Ets
Mr. Gumpy's Outing by John Burningham
Tom by Tomie de Paola
Mousekin's ABC by Edna Miller
Little Nino's Pizzaria by Karen Barbour

Whew! We read a lot this month!

The Declaration of Independence

Now to get them read the Constitution!