I figure my diatribe yesterday on why I don’t push my kids into advanced books is a nice segue into what we’ve been reading lately. Library tip: I just discovered that my library actually has a Caldecott shelf, so I don’t have to go all over the children’s section to hunt them down. The books today, with the exception of the last, are all Caldecott Winners.
The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
I’m not sure why, but I don’t remember ever reading this book. It’s a sweet account of a little house, built in the country, surrounded first by suburbia, and then by city proper, abandoned, and then finally rescued and brought to the country again. The illustrations are lovely, with an adorably anthropomorphic house that hardly changes in spite of the growth that surrounds it. The images have enough detail that you can look at each page for a few minutes and discover interesting details, and overall patterns are quaint and pleasant.
Time of Wonder (Picture Puffins) by Robert McCloskey
I love Robert McCloskey (Blueberries for Sal , Make Way for Ducklings) but I did not love this book. The illustrations are beautiful, but… I just couldn’t get into it. It’s about a little island in Maine as they prepare for a hurricane, so pretty far outside of our experience. Normally that’s a bonus, but for some reason we all were just sort of “meh” about this book. There isn’t really a specific character to identify with as it sort of hops around between people, so that may have been part of the problem. I imagine if you lived in the Northeast coast, this book would be exciting, but for us, it was just okay. I realize this is a pretty lame review, but I suppose I just can’t work up the energy to love or hate it.
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
This book, on the other hand, I absolutely adored. A little girl goes on her first nighttime expedition with her father, searching out owls under an Owl Moon. She must keep totally silent so as not to scare away any owls. You can sense her excitement through the simple first-person narration anyway. We initially got this from the library as a part of our study on the virtue of silence for Little Flowers, but we ended up reading it several times to all the kids, and even the boys loved it.
The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble
I had this book as a child. It tells the Native American legend of a girl who initially is the caretaker of the tribe’s horses, but through her love for them, ends up becoming one of the wild horses. The illustrations are quite striking, very much in the style of Native American art. The story is geared toward older kids, I’d say. My boys didn’t care for it so much. The girls liked it, but it wasn’t one of the ones we read over and over.
by Susan Helen Wallace, FSP and Patricia Edward Jablonski, FSP
Gianna received this from my mom as a gift for her First Holy Communion. (As if the dress wasn’t enough, right?) It’s a chapter book based on St. Gianna’s life. My Gianna devoured it, and Aliya is reading it now. I also read it, and the three of us combined give it 6 thumbs up. It’s not illustrated, and Gianna did have to ask me for a couple definitions, but it’s thoroughly enjoyable. St. Gianna fits in with the Modern Woman mold, but in a truly Christ-like way. I asked Gianna if she’s like to read more in this series and she gave a vigorous nod. So perhaps we’ll amke them a part of our curriculum next year. You know, so I can justify the expense.
This isn’t related, but would you believe that I didn’t even know about St. Gianna when I named my eldest daughter? I just thought it was a pretty name. St. Gianna was canonized just a year before my Gigi was born. I love that I “accidentally” named her after such an awesome woman.
That’s all for today. I’m currently reading Michael O’Brien’s A Landscape With Dragons and Faber and Mazlish’s How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. If I can get super motivated and finish them, I’ll review them next week, but they’re both pretty meaty books.
Head on over to Jessica @ Housewifespice, to whom I still owe a Korean BBQ vlog. Just waiting on that makeover fairy to show up.