It’s all about the Tudors this term in our house. There’s nothing like well-written historical fiction to bring history alive for young ones, alongside visiting museums and relevant places of interest. Continue reading
Easter Books and More
With Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday upon us, I’ve updated my book list. Perhaps you are looking for ideas for your family or as gifts for godchildren or grandchildren, you can browse my list here, Continue reading
Rainforest Literature for Kids
In a squeaky voice he piped in the man’s ear: “Senhor, a ruined rain forest means ruined lives … many ruined lives. You will leave many of us homeless if you chop down this great Kapok tree.”
— Lynne Cherry, The Great Kapok Tree
Lynne Cherry writes beautifully about the plight of the rainforest through an engaging story, lively illustrations Continue reading
Best Family Read Alouds of 2019
I will defend the importance of bedtime stories to my last gasp.
— J.K. Rowling
Rowling talks of bedtime stories, and of course there is something special about children all ready for bed being read aloud a story about a faraway land before they drift off to the Land of Nod. Continue reading
Read Alouds with my 4 year old
There are few stronger family bonds than this habit of devoting an occasional hour to reading aloud, on winter evenings, at any rate. The practice is pleasant at the time, and pleasant in the retrospect, it gives occasion for much bright talk, merry and wise, and quickens family affection by means of intellectual sympathy. Indeed, the wonder is that any family should neglect such a simple means of pure enjoyment, and of moral, as well as intellectual culture.
— Charlotte Mason, Formation of Character
Happy New Year!
With my elder two at school since Easter, it has been very special to have time in the day to read longer chapter books to my four year girl that are pitched just for her. Continue reading
Children’s Christmas Stories
The Magic of Christmas
— Tom Krause
‘Joy to the World’, the carolers sang out
as last minute shoppers scurried about,
desperately seeking that one special gift
that would give Christmas morning a magical lift.
A old man standing still listening to the song,
amidst all the madness of the bustling throng,
in a shaky hoarse voice began to join in
singing the words of the famous old hymn.
One by one people stopped with their madness
to join with the old man for a moment of gladness.
By the time the carolers finished singing their song
the whole throng was united as they all sang along.
And as if by magic from out of the sky
church bells rang out from a chapel near by.
When the song finally ended the people greeted each other
with messages of good will they shared with one another.
You see that magical gift the shoppers sought for so long,
was not in the shopping or scurrying along.
That magical gift so desperately sought
was the Spirit of Christmas -which could never be bought.
Barcelona, a fountain of courtesy, shelter of strangers, hospice to the poor, land of the valiant, avenger of the offended, reciprocator of firm friendship, a city unique in its location and beauty.
— Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote, 1605
Half term took us to the wonderful Barcelona for a few days, both “unique in its location and beauty” as Don Quixote exclaimed. Of course this was centuries before four great masters of modern art, Gaudí, Miró, Picasso and Dalí added their creativity to the city. Continue reading
Autumn Books and Inspiration
OctoberO hushed October morning mild,Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,Should waste them all.The crows above the forest call;Tomorrow they may form and go.O hushed October morning mild,Begin the hours of this day slow.Make the day seem to us less brief.Hearts not averse to being beguiled,Beguile us in the way you know.Release one leaf at break of day;At noon release another leaf;One from our trees, one far away.Retard the sun with gentle mist;Enchant the land with amethyst.Slow, slow!For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—For the grapes’ sake along the wall.— Robert Frost
Doesn’t Robert Frost capture the beauty of the season beautifully?! The leaves are falling and the skies are grey. Autumn has arrived. Continue reading