Archive for the ‘Books’ Category
Leeper the tree frog
We enjoy reading the stories of Pibbin the Frog by Gloria Repp. Pibbin is a very brave frog who helps those in need even when things are dangerous and he doesn’t feel all that brave. Each story is different, incorporating a variety of characters from and around Friendship Bog but his best friend is Leeper, a tree frog. These chapter books are great for ages 6-12 depending on your child.
Caleb was all excited the other night when he found a tree frog. This is the first one we have ever seen here in the wild. We looked it up and it was a Missouri Gray Tree Frog. Fascinating to see its ‘sticky’ pads. A great science lesson. Of course Caleb let him go once he had finished playing with him.
Hope your spring is going well. We are taking a lot of field trips and enjoying the weather before it gets too hot. You can read more about them here.
Excavators, Motor Graders, Bulldozers and Giant Dump Trucks
I found this set of Big Yellow Machine books by Jean Eick in our local library. I was SO impressed with them that I actually went and purchased them all. Why?
In my opinion, they were written before (1997) the age of “dumbing” kids books down. I had originally planned on reading them to Caleb (4) now, using them as part of his schooling but once I started reading them I realized they were WAY too advanced for him so will keep them for a later stage. They are actually recommended for kids 7 & up.
There is a lot of information in each of these books and one of the best things I like is the geography included. Where in the World? visits different places where these machines are used not to mention some have some history in them too. SO these books are a versatile teaching/learning tool that we will use in the future. Although older, really not outdated as these big machines do not change much.
Some are available in both hardcover and paperback, others just in hardback.
I shopped around and ended up purchasing mine from three different vendors:
- Abe Books
- Alibris is another online used book seller that I have used in the past.
This week we started reading Rudyard Kipling’s book – Just So Stories which is available to download FREE on Gutenberg complete with pictures 🙂 As we read a story each day I try and incorporate other books to go along with the animal/subject/topic that day. When we got to the story “How the Camel got his Hump” I came across this great book by Dick King-Smith called Hairy Hezekiah.
We LOVE Dick King-Smith stories in this house but had never read this one. It was wonderful. In fact we were so gripped by it that we read it straight through. That may not mean much to you but for Hannah to sit that still for that long is quite an accomplishment! You can read my full review on this book here. As an aside, we went to Longleat many years ago in 2002 when Michelle and Michael were younger. Maybe we met Hezekiah and didn’t even realize?! LOL!
Maybe you have never heard of Dick King-Smith? He is a British author and wrote Babe, the book about the pig that was made into the very famous movie several years ago. At the time of writing this post, Hairy Hezekiah is available for Kindle and also in hardback and paperback, as cheap as 1c so not expensive.
I recommend this book for 7 years and up as you have to be old enough to understand and appreciate some of the humor. Daniel and I were giggling through out! Caleb (4) was not interested at all.
We love books and most of you folks already know that 🙂 This book came across our path a few months ago when we first borrowed it from the library. We all loved it so much that I purchased our own copy. We have read it & read it. Quite often the kids will sit at the table and quote sections from it. A great book for parents and grandparents to have in their library. You can also read the good reviews on Amazon if interested.
Rooster is the great-grandson of the Little Red Hen. He is fed up with eating chicken feed and whilst complaining suddenly remembers his great-grandmothers recipe book and so goes finds it. (It is hidden under a nest in the chicken coop.) He is so surprised to discover that she baked more than bread. Dog, Cat and Goose think Rooster is totally crazy & have no intention of helping. However, when he gets to the kitchen he finds Turtle, Iguana and Potbellied Pig more than willing to help. What follows is an hilarious story of the four of them baking a Strawberry Shortcake, twice!
Homeschool Share has a FREE Unit Study on this book available to download to PDF.
2 cups (80z) of flour, sifted (We used Spelt and did not sift it!)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (40zs) butter
2/3 cup (5 1/2 fl oz) milk
3-4 cups of strawberries. washed & sliced. (Fresh are best of course but we used frozen today as had no fresh & it was still good!)
1 cup (8 floz) whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 450F (230C).
- Sift flour, then sift together dry ingredients. (We just mixed them all well with a spoon!)
- Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add egg and milk, stirring by hand just enough to moisten.
- Spread dough in greased 8 x 1 1/2″ round pan. (Square or rectangular works well too.)
- Bake for 15-18 mins.
- Remove cake from pan, cool on rack for 5 mins. Split in two layers, lift top off carefully.
- Alternate layers of cake, whipped cream and strawberries, ending with strawberries on top.
I doubled the recipe for my crew & baked it in a long cake dish. When just slightly cool, I cut into twelve pieces, taking out a piece at a time, cutting in half & just putting the strawberries and cream on top of that. For us that works much better as we are just interested in eating the cake etc and not what it looks like! LOL!
Happy reading and cooking!
The Three Little Pigs
How many of you are fed up with the many watered down / politically correct stories that are available today? Brandenburg Studies & Gutenberg have made available the original Three Little Pigs FREE & it is FABULOUS!
To download the one from Brandenburg Studies click here.
For Gutenberg’s which is the same but not quite as nice a format click here.
Our kids love the fantastic illustrations by L. Leslie Brooke & the ending of the wolf ending up in the pot belonging to the third little pig who cooks him up & enjoys him for his dinner.
I made a front & back cover for the book out of cardstock, printed the story double sided & bound it “loosely” for continued enjoyment.
How many of you like to read? How many of you like to read good books?! The more I research some of the classics the more I realize how poor some of the new literature is. I have often told you that we use our local library on a regular basis. Most times I have a list with me when we go so that we are not spending hours searching there but can instead just quickly & efficiently pick up all the books we are wanting. Even though I have researched most of the books there are many times that I am appalled when I start to read them. Some of them are just plain “cheesy” with awful story lines & chronic humor that isn’t even funny, others are just pathetic. Last week we brought home a book that I thought was going to be really good only to discover in the first chapter the parents lying to the child & having no remorse. What does that teach our kids?! Now don’t get me wrong – we also get some great books out from the library & enjoy reading them many times if they are picture books. This week we are reading Chester Cricket’s New Home by George Selden. This book was written in the 80’s so not old enough to be a classic but certainly not modern. It is wonderful. The characters just come alive in your mind & there is also a good storyline.
SO as I have been researching some homeschooling websites of the more classical nature I came across Project Gutenberg & have gotten really excited. They have over 40,000 books available to download. Of course not all of them are suitable for children & nor do we have the time to read that number of books BUT there’s more than enough to keep us satisfied for a LONG time. I personally like to hold paper in my hands when reading so am downloading the ones we want & then printing them double sided. (There is an option to download them to a Kindle etc .) I found some 50c folders at Walmart that hold a pretty decent sized book & they are flat unlike binders. This is important for us planning on moving & needed to be as efficient with space as possible.
OH & I should say that all the books are FREE which is fantastic!
What was the first book we downloaded? How many of you like fairy tales etc? A website called An Old Fashioned Education recommends Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books. These were written/compiled in the late 1890’s/early 1900’s. There are several in the series & they are large. We are reading the Yellow Book right now & all of us are loving it. The stories are original, not watered down & Daniel can’t wait each day to hear what story is coming next. Hannah doesn’t have the greatest concentration skills but most times will sit still & listen. Why are you reading about witches, wizards & fairies you ask? Good question. Although some of these stories do contain these characters the greater lessons in them are teaching obedience, consequences of disobedience, perseverance etc. They are not watered down like many of today’s fairy tales.
Tonight I have downloaded the animal stories by Thornton Burgess. I have never read any of his writings but found the recommendation on another site, The Baldwin Project, so thought I would investigate. Looking forward to starting tomorrow with The Adventures of Reddy Fox.
Are we still going to visit the library? Absolutely, as many of the books are not available online & so the local library is a great way of getting great books for very little cost. (We pay a yearly fee of $25 which is peanuts compared to what it would cost to buy all the books we read.)
Happy reading everyone 🙂