Books We Are Using This Year
  • The Story of the World: Ancient Times (Vol. 1)
    The Story of the World: Ancient Times (Vol. 1)
    by Jeff West,S. Wise Bauer,Jeff (ILT) West, Susan Wise Bauer
  • Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2
    Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2
    by Bernard J Nebel PhD
  • Math-U-See Epsilon Student Kit (Complete Kit)
    Math-U-See Epsilon Student Kit (Complete Kit)
    by Steven P. Demme
  • First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 4 Instructor Guide (First Language Lessons) By Jessie Wise, Sara Buffington
    First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 4 Instructor Guide (First Language Lessons) By Jessie Wise, Sara Buffington
    by -Author-
  • SPELLING WORKOUT LEVEL E PUPIL EDITION
    SPELLING WORKOUT LEVEL E PUPIL EDITION
    by MODERN CURRICULUM PRESS
  • Drawing With Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too
    Drawing With Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too
    by Mona Brookes
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Entries in graphic novels (2)

Friday
Aug012014

Weekly book shelf, monthly edition: July

Calvin begged me to locate a good copy of Oliver Twist for him to read. Then, as possibly was to be expected, he had a little trouble with it. It wasn't the vocabulary, or even the language, I don't think. His main complaint was that the beginning was so negative; everything that happened to Oliver was bad. We assured him that it would improve, and the further he got into the book, the more into the book he got. By the end he couldn't put it down. I agree with him, though, the beginning sure is a downer.

Vampires are all the rage now, but this series is actually a 1980s classic. If you can call anything about the 80s classic, that is. Originally published in German, the story is about a young boy whose life takes a turn for the exciting when he makes two new friends—a vampire boy and girl pair. Adventures and hilarity ensue. Jon handed this one to Calvin because it was a favorite of his when he was little (oh those classic 80s), but upon further reading he found it to be lighter than he remembered. Such is life. Calvin enjoyed it, but he didn't go back to reread it the way he usually does with books he loves.

Speaking of books he loves, though, it was apparently time for the apparently annual Oz reread. I first read the Oz series to Calvin the summer he turned four. He loved it then, and as his reading skill grew, he reread it to himself almost immediately. He loved it so much, and some of the series books were so hard to get through the library, that we went in search of all fourteen Baum books—in the Books of Wonder editions because they have the original illustrations in situ. He has reread the entire series every year since.

Another beloved series of the 80s, but in a totally different vein, we were just waiting for the day that Calvin would discover our Calvin and Hobbes collection. Now he has. He spent the latter part of the month totally engrossed in the comics. Of course some of the humor is lost on him, but not all of it, and he has had a wonderful time play acting some of the antics, and he's picking up on some of the kid's humor, too. We asked for it. (Disclaimer: we did NOT name our Calvin after the comic, but he really is starting to resemble that iconic kid).

Sunday
Sep042011

Weekly book shelf, 9/3

What Calvin read to himself this week...

Escape from the Chanticleer, is the story of a merry-go-round horse who longs to leave his post outside the Chanticleer restaurant to visit the nearby ocean shore, and in this fantasy such dreams come true. The book is probably a local hit in Nantucket, and it paints a beautiful picture of the northeast beach both with poetic language and illustrations. The story simple and lacks the stressors of suspense, questionable behavior, or what have you, but it's the simplicity that allows it's beauty to shine. The illustrations are detailed without being overwhelming, and they contain hidden treasures for those who look closely enough. This one is a big hit in our house.

What would happen if all the water in the Great Lakes was drained away? Where would we vacation? How would we ship cargo? The Day the Great lakes Drained Away is exactly the ecology book it sounds like and it relays a valuable warning, but it does so in poorly developed rhyme that is hard to read and enjoy. The illustrations are interesting, but mostly because they include recognizable landmarks from actual points of interest along the lakes. I have yet to find a book that Calvin openly dislikes, but he really didn't seem overly interested in this one, and really I can't blame him. There are better books out there on water preservation.

The Happy Hedgehog is not so happy when his grandfather accuses him of wasting his life being lazy, so he goes in search of some goal in life. Our actually un-happy hedgehog interviews a number of other forest animals who are busy with their own fields of study or practice, but he rejects all of these and ends up recognizing the value of his own interests and of doing exactly what he was doing originally. I think Calvin liked this one, the characters are shallow and petty as they train to be best in their fields, and hedgehog is so negative about all the work they have to do that he really does seem kind of lazy. Calvin brought this one home from our library sale room, but it's one that I will be donating right back.

The Boxcar Children #2, The Surprise Island is the second installment in the Boxcar Children Series but it didn't come along until 1949, over 25 years after the original. Calvin is really enjoying it.

What We read out loud...

We are still working our way through The Secret Zoo, and Jon has been looking through the graphic novel adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Coraline with him, too, although they are not strictly reading it together—especially in this form the story is a bit dark for Calvin.

 

On my own shelf...I've finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and plan to focus on Proust and a handful of homeschooling and parenting books for a short while, although I'd better step it up or I'll never finish 52 by the end of the year.