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Read Aloud Thursday–Easter Edition

During this very busy week, we have been reading books in celebration of springtime.  I hesitate to designate this as an Easter post, really, because I prefer to focus on the real reason we celebrate this holiday.  However, we do usually do the Easter bunny thing–sort of.  The girls get Easter baskets full of goodies, we hunt eggs, etc.  I don’t think, though, that they’ve ever been confused about what Easter is really all about.  In fact, we have a whole mini-library of Easter books which focus on the real reason for the holiday, but I haven’t gotten them out yet.  Actually, most of these are probably too young for the girls now, so I might just wait to read them to baby brother.  🙂  I decided this year to focus on some springtime/Easter storybooks this week and then next week to really focus on the real Easter story.  These are some Easter storybook gems we’ve read this week. 

This first one really deserves its own Friday’s Vintage Find post, but I’m consolidating posts.  So many books, so little time!  Like The Easter Egg Artists, this is a story I remember from my own childhood.  The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes is a story of an unlikely heroine:  a mother bunny who once dreamt of being one of the five real Easter Bunnies that delivers Easter eggs on Easter morning.  However, she finally realizes that this might be one dream that motherhood has disqualified her for.  When the Old Grandfather Bunny has to pick a replacement, though, it is her wisdom, kindness, swiftness, and cleverness, all of which came to her through the experience of motherhood, that actually qualify her for the job.  In the end, she proves to be not only wise, kind, swift, and clever, but also brave.  Apparently this book started out as a story that the author, DuBose Heyward, told his daughter, Jenifer.  (Her name also appears on the cover of the book!)  Marjorie Flack’s (yes, the one responsible for this and this)  illustrations are vintagey-looking, colorful, and completely charming.  I can guarantee you that if you are a mother, you will enjoy this book!  (Sometimes we do have to read things for ourselves, right?)
Miz Fannie Mae’s Fine New Easter Hat by Melinda Milich is a sweet and funny book about a poor African American family that is rich in love.  Tandy and her father set out by horse and wagon for the nearest town, Meridian City, to buy Mama an Easter hat.  This isn’t to be just any Easter hat, though–it’s to be a “fine new Easter hat.”  In addition to not overspending, Mama gives Tandy the responsibility of not letting Daddy buy “no ugly hat.”  Daddy heads straight for the best millinery shop in Meridian City, and he and Tandy settle on a splendid hat–one with flowers and fruit and even a little nest of green cradling four tiny bird eggs.  Daddy has to pull a rather funny prank to get Mama to wear such an obviously expensive hat, but it’s at the Easter service at church that the hat really begins to take on a life of its own–literally.  🙂  My girls found this book hilarious!  It’s full of the cadences and rhythms of an African American church service, which is fun for a read-aloud.  Yong Chen‘s illustrations are warm, and almost every single person in this book is smiling.  This is just an all-around happy book!
Have I mentioned before how much we like Patricia Polacco here at the House of Hope?  Yes, I think I haveRechenka’s Eggs is a must-read for this time of year!  This is the story of Babushka, who spends her year painting eggs to take to Moskva to sell before Easter.  She rescues a goose that has been apparently shot by a hunter, and to thank Babushka for nursing her back to health (and to pay her beak for breaking the eggs Babushka had made), Rechenka the goose lays a dozen truly spectacular eggs, one at a time.  These eggs are a huge hit at the market, of course, but when Babushka returns home, she finds that Rechenka has left her the best gift of all.  This is a charming story, but it’s Patricia Polacco’s inimitable illustrations that make it unforgettable.  Visit Patricia Polacco’s amazing website to view some of the artwork from this book.  I believe this book appears in a later Five in a Row volume than the one we’ve been using, so activities that accompany this book abound.  In fact, we’ve done a few.  We’ve looked at Pysanky eggs (Ukrainian Easter eggs) online, and my girls have had fun playing with my set of Matryoshka dolls. I have a soft spot in my heart for all things Russian (or Ukrainian or . . .you get the idea) since I took a year of instruction in the Russian language while in high school.  I also love twentieth century history, particularly eastern European history.  This book was a big hit with me and my girls!
Last, but certainly not least, I have to tell you about Jan Brett’s new book, The Easter Egg.  After our adventure, how could I not?  🙂  This book is truly gorgeous, with Jan Brett’s trademark sidebar illustrations, etc.  After reading her Christmas books for so long, I find this springtime book and all its nature-inspired illustrations to be especially refreshing.  The Easter Egg is the story of Hoppi, a rabbit who wants to win the Easter egg decorating contest so that he can help the Easter Rabbit hide eggs on Easter morning.  The problem is, Hoppi is uninspired.  He observes all of his friends and neighbors with their respective talents decorating eggs that reflect those talents, but he comes up empty-handed.  That is, until he rescues a robin’s egg that has fallen out of its nest.  Hoppi’s true talent, it seems, is caring.  Of course, the story isn’t as heavy-handed as I am.  Instead, Jan Brett has created a lovely, lovely springtime story and a feast for the eyes, all at the same time.  Highly Recommended!  (If you’d like to see more of the artwork for this book, be sure to visit my post about our trip to Jan Brett’s spring tour booksigning or her website.)

Well, that’s it, folks–at least for the time being.  I’m sure we’ll read a few of our old Easter titles next week, as well as enjoy a few more new ones I’ve picked up at the library.  Has your family been reading any Easter or spring-inspired books?  Please share what you’ve been reading by linking up your Read Aloud Thursday blog post, or simply by leaving a comment.

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Next week will be the last week that Read Aloud Thursday will be here at my old blog.  My new blog goes live on April 5, so the Read Aloud Thursday for April 8 will be over there.  Please update your links! 

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Friday’s Vintage Find:: The Story About Ping (and some Go-Alongs and an Art Activity, too)

The Story About Ping probably doesn’t need much of an introduction, but I wanted to share a few of the books we read and an activity we did in relation to this story.  For those who are unfamiliar with this classic tale, it’s Marjorie Flack’s story of a little duck named Ping who lives with his large family on “a boat with two wise eyes on the Yangtze River” in China.  The ducks all leave their home during the day to hunt for food, but once the sun begins to set, the Master of the boat calls them back.  It is unfortunate, though, to be the last duck to return; this duck always receives a spank on the back.  One day, Ping is running late, and rather than be the one to get the spank, he decides to not return at all that night.  What follows is a short little series of adventures which end up with Ping almost becoming a duck dinner.  He learns his lesson, though, and decides that home’s best, spank or no spank.  Marjorie Flack (who also wrote and illustrated the Angus stories) first published this book in 1933, so it’s a real classic.  Kurt Wiese‘s illustrations are colorful and depict the action in the story very convincingly for the preschool set.  (As a side note, Kurt Wiese spent some time in China and later in Australia as a prisoner of war of the Japanese.  This is where he discovered and honed his talent for illustrations.  Interesting, huh?)  The Story About Ping is really too good to miss, which is why it’s included in the first volume of Five in a Row.

We didn’t “row” this book fully, and I decided to dispense with the lapbooking this time.  As much as I want to, I just can’t always make myself love lapbooking.  It’s a love-hate relationship, I guess.  I think that if my children were older and had the motor skills necessary for lots of writing, etc., I might like it more.  I’m not crossing it off the list yet, but I think it will be something we do sometimes instead of all the time.  What we did, though, is share several other books set in China, as well as celebrate Chinese New Year with the reading of The Story About Ping
The book I liked the most that we read is Arlene Mosel’s Tikki Tikki Tembo, a book which certainly deserves its own Friday’s Vintage Find post.  Tikki Tikki Tembo is a book I remember from my own childhood–I loved it!  It takes some practice (or familiarity, at least) to read it well, but the effect is worth it.  Another more recent book we enjoyed is The Moon Lady by Amy Tan.  I was curious to read something by an author I previously knew only as an author of adult fiction, and neither I nor the girls was disappointed.  This book, as well as the books I highlighted here, were perfect to go along with the Chinese New Year festival.  We read a few more, including some nonfiction titles to provide some visual images of the Yangtze River and life in China, etc., but these two were the best picks.

In addition to doing a lot of reading, we also incorporated an art activity into our “study.”  Storybook Art by MaryAnn F. Kohl and Jean Potter is a resource I often turn to for suggestions of art activities to really focus on some of the techniques of famous children’s book illustrators.  It’s chock full of good ideas.  One hundred illustrators are highlighted in this book, so in all likelihood, if it’s a classic story, it’s included in Storybook Art.  This is where we got the idea to make a duck template and repeat the pattern.  (Please excuse the glare and the shadow of my head, etc., on the pictures.  I took these in the afternoon, and while the afternoon sun streaming through our schoolroom windows is lovely, it makes it difficult to take good pictures.)

This first picture includes the one I made.  Until baby brother arrives and is old enough to participate, I suppose Mama will always have to create art, too, to fill up our three frames!  🙂 

 

Louise once gain had her own idea about how this art activity should go.  Her boat does have “wise eyes,” though.

Lulu included not only the ducks, but also a fishing bird that appears in the story.  (I think the birds are actually cormorants.)  Do you see the “wise eyes” on her boat?

Last, no study of another country is complete without at least looking at a map!  I’ve still yet to get our map up on our school room wall, but I did pull it out so we could find China and the Yangtze River.  The girls loved this! 

I’m linking this post to this week’s stART at A Mommy’s Adventures.  This is a great meme to which bloggers link their children’s literature-related art activities.  Won’t you consider joining in?

Chinese New Year

When I read about the Chinese New Year contest that Jimmie‘s hosting, I thought this week would be the perfect time to take a break from the human body study we’ve been working on for the past three or four weeks (and which I hope to post about in the near future) and add another Five in a Row title to our list:  The Story About Ping.  The obvious connection here is the setting, since Ping is set in China.  However, I’ll save my thoughts and our activities pertaining to the prodigal duck for another post.  This post is about how we “celebrated” the Chinese New Year on Monday here at the House of Hope.  I thought a day spent in celebration would be a good way to introduce Ping, and, well, I can’t pass up a contest.  😉

For us, of course, it is all about the books.  I have very little knowledge about China and its customs myself, so I hied me to the library and brought home all the resources I could find.  I checked out the requisite nonfiction series titles about China, none of which are stand-outs.  However, I find that such books provide as much background information as we need (I pick and choose what to read), and they also often provide excellent pictures to provide a landscape for what we learn.

Two books, though, really did the job of “showing” us what a Chinese New Year celebration might look like.  The first one is an oldie–Moy Moy by Leo Politi, first published fifty years ago, in 1960.  Granted, this is a story set not in China, but in Chinatown, Los Angeles.  It’s the story of a little girl named Lily (called Moy Moy, or “Little Sister,” by everyone in her neighborhood) and her four brothers and the preparations and time period leading up to Chinese Near Year.  This story does a great job of putting a face on the celebration–namely, Moy Moy’s face.  This is perfect, since my own little girls are close in age to her.  We learned about many Chinese New Year traditions, but the ones that made the biggest impression on my girls are the lion and dragon parades.  This story is very engagingly told, and the illustrations are colorful (in that 1950’s way 😉 ) and interesting.  This is one that I think my girls would listen to over and over again. 


The other book is one I just used as a resource, but I wanted to mention it because it’s a good one.  Moonbeams, Dumplings, and Dragon Boats:  A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities, and Recipes is a book written by Nina Simonds and Leslie Swartz with the help of The Children’s Museum of Boston.  It is just what it says it is:  a book which contains all kinds of fun things to read, do, and eat that center around Chinese festivals and holidays.  The only thing I actually used out of this book this week is the instructions on how to make a paper lantern, but if a study of China is something you plan for your children, I think this would be an almost indispensible aide.  The craft activities and recipes are interspersed among folktales, etc., so it’s a book that could be useful in many ways.

Okay, so what did we do, besides read?  🙂

First, we made paper lanterns.

After this, the girls were inspired to create their own illustrations based on the Chinese calendar.  I mistakenly told them that this new year is the Year of the Dragon (sorry, Jimmie!), hence Lulu’s dragon:

Louise’s started out to be a dragon, but she changed it mid-drawing into an octopus (“with ears”):

We spent a few moments looking at Jimmie’s own Happy New Year post.  Best of all, we had lunch from our favorite Chinese restaurant, thanks to Steady Eddie and yet another snow day that kept him home from work.  🙂

Thanks, Jimmie, for the inspiration to do this!  It was a lot of fun!

Author/Illustrator Spotlight::Robert McCloskey

I’m probably coming a little late to the party for this particular author and illustrator, but my only exposure to him as a child that I recall is Make Way for Ducklings.  It is certainly a charming book in its own right (not to mention that it’s a Caldecott Medal winner!), but I must’ve been a little too old (or something?) for it to make a huge impression on me.  (Either that, or now I’m reverting back to my second childhood.)  When I discovered One Morning in Maine, I positively fell in love.  I’m not sure what it is about this book–the relationship we’ve already established with the younger Sal through Blueberries for Sal, the fact that my girls are just about the age that Sal is in One Morning in Maine, or just the simple fact that this somewhat lengthy picture book has so many interesting details about life in coastal Maine.  (An island, even!) Sal’s delight over losing a tooth; her consternation over losing (as in misplacing) that tooth while going clam digging with her father; and her fastidious care for her little sister while they travel by boat across the bay to do some shopping are just perfect–McCloskey really nailed the age, I think.   This one’s definitely going on my Best Picture Books list.


I was interested to note that McCloskey only wrote eight books.  To quote Eleanor Blau, the author of McCloskey’s NY Times obituary, “It had to be right, and it often was.”  My girls and I have also enjoyed Time of Wonder, another book for which McCloskey won the Caldecott Medal.  It didn’t grab me quite as much as One Morning in Maine, but it also doesn’t have such an endearing heroine.  I also think I prefer the black-and-white illustrations of his earlier works over the color ones in Time of Wonder.

I would really like to read McCloskey’s Homer Price and its sequel, Centerburg Tales: More Adventures of Homer Price.  His obituary states that these are full of tall tales; I’m not sure if this means they are tall tales or if they contain tall tales.  Something I’ve read before about them makes me think the latter.  Has anyone read these?

If you haven’t introduced your children to the wonder of Robert McCloskey, don’t wait.  I’m planning to “Row” Lentil some time this spring.  I can’t wait!  (For more on Lentil, check out Lisa’s post.)

Katy and the Big Snow::Lapbook and Related Activities

 

In this last installment of the Katy and the Big Snow series here at Hope Is the Word, I wanted to share a few pictures of the lapbooks we made and the artwork we did, all inspired by Katy.  Let me admit up front that I am NO lapbooking expert, as you will soon see.  😉  In fact, after a few attempts last year, I had all but sworn them off.  My girls didn’t seem to get it, or to care one way or another.  I didn’t really get it, either, in fact.  Now I see more value in them, especially after perusing such blogs as Jimmie’s Collage (see her lapbooking category, specifically, but don’t miss her living in China posts, either–some of them are very funny!).  Obviously, her student is much older than mine are, but now I see just what potential is contained in these little projects.  I also really like the fact that Jimmie employs the Charlotte Mason method in her homeschool.  I’m currently having a philosophical crisis as to which direction we should take next year in our homeschool, and there may or may not be a post about that in the future.  🙂

Anyway, back to lapbooking.  For Katy and the Big Snow, I almost exclusively used ideas and resources from Homeschool Share.  (The direct link for the Katy resources is here.)  Honestly, a hodgepodge of activities with no rhyme or reason behind them is not exactly how I like to do things, but for students as young as my girls, I think it’s probably okay.  (I admit that at this point in our home educating journey, I need some hand-holding.)  Besides, that’s how Five in  a Row works; it’s a collection of such varied titles that there really is no theme at all.  (As a side note, this issue is one reason I like Jimmie’s Collage so much–her lapbooks are used primarily for narration, etc., and I like that.  I can see the purpose in it–I just have to remind myself that her daughter is older than mine!)  I think the activities I chose for us to use for our Katy lapbook, though, were meaningful for my girls.

I had the girls draw a picture of Katy for the cover of their lapbooks.  Unfortunately, I chose manila-colored (is manila a color?) drawing paper, which made for a rather visually boring project (minus the girls’ drawings, of course).  The first one is Lulu’s, age 5.  Louise, age 4, liked her drawing of Katy so well that she didn’t want me to cut it, so we ended up putting her first drawing on the back and she made another picture for the front.  Thus, the next two pictures are her handiwork.

(This is a picture of the “bacry” (bakery) in Geoppolis.   That’s Katy drawn in pencil in the upper left-hand corner.)

Next is the inside of Lulu’s lapbook.  Louise’s looks the same, except for the fact that almost all of the activities required more fine motor skills (and patience!) than she currently possesses, so she was essentially along for the ride.  Her drawing skills, though, are par excellence!  🙂  The inside of lapbook itself is where things look a little rough from the teacher end.  (Why, oh why must I be a perfectionist?)  When I look at it, though, we covered a lot of territory:

  • math:  addition word problems made up from the story, counting by fives, and patterns
  • science:  a week-long weather log and compass/compass rose introduction (with daddy)
  • character development:  the meaning of the word responsibility and personal application
  • handwriting
  • vocbulary:  lots of discussion about horsepower and compass/compass rose

The little math worksheets are part/whole circles for addition.  We use RightStart Math, and this is one of the ways addition is introduced.  I was quite proud of myself for figuring out how to make those worksheets in Word, and then I promptly forgot to save the document.  Ah, well–at least I’ll get lots of practice in making them!  😉

We also spent some quality time with our watercolors in some Katy-inspired artwork.  I even got in on the action–that’s my picture (copied straight out of the book!) at the top of the post.  (In addition to being a novice at lapbooking, I am also quite unskilled as an artist.  But I do enjoy it!)  After we got started, I realized that watercolors were probably not the best medium for this type of project, but we were already too far in to turn back.  It’s difficult to read, but Lulu’s piece is a building (the highway department, maybe) with “Geoppolis” on the front. 

I feel like the whole idea of lapbooking and studying different topics based on a common story came together with this Katy and the Big Snow experience. Our study was punctuated by Lulu’s sickness, but I still think she got something out of it.  One thing that we didn’t include in our lapbook that related to this story was our Bible memory work.  Before Christmas we had been working on Psalm 34 , but that sort of fizzled out with all the Christmas activities, etc.  (I believe we got down to about verse 14 or 15.)  However, once we got back into our normal morning routine, I decided to go with something shorter.  Candace’s use of the hymn “Whiter Than Snow” in her snow unit inspired me to come up with a snow-related verse, so we learned Isaiah 1:18:

“Come now, let us reason together,”
       says the LORD. 
 “Though your sins are like scarlet,
       they shall be as white as snow;
       though they are red as crimson,
       they shall be like wool.”

This turned out to be the perfect short memory passage since we actually had a little bit of snow!

If you’re interested in backtracking and reading all of my Katy and the Big Snow related posts, here are the links:

Before I end this marathon of a post, I wanted to share a little piece of our schoolroom.  Back in September, Steady Eddie and I made a dash over to Atlanta to purchase some things for our room.  This marked our inaugural visit to IKEA (!!!), and I brought back these little red frames from there, among lots of other goodies.  These frames are sized 8.5″ x 11″, so they’re made for artwork. 

I hope to one day soon give you a tour of our schoolroom.  We use it every day, and we’re thoroughly enjoying having our own space.  I just need to tidy it up a bit (and keep it tidy long enough to photograph it!) and finish up a few little projects.  Stay tuned!  🙂

Friday’s Vintage Find::The Big Snow by Berta and Elmer Hader

Just in case I haven’t shared enough books about show this week, I thought I’d share one more.  (You can read my other posts here and here.)  😉  The Big Snow by Berta and Elmer Hader was published in 1948 and won the 1949 Caldecott Medal.  (Newsflash:  I just realized that I usually refer to this as the Caldecott Award, when its title is actually the Caldecott Medal.  I stand corrected.)  This book is as deserving of this medal as any I’ve seen; reading this book is like looking through an artist’s nature sketchbook.  The illustrations alternate between color and black and white.  It’s very vintage-y, as one would expect from a book over fifty years old.  It was probably just that familiar musty smell, but our borrowed library copy reminds me of something (old encyclopedias, I think) that I used to read at my grandparents’ house.  The story itself is very simple–a huge variety of animals get ready for a big snow.  In the end, many of them depend on humans to feed them.  Reading this book made me want to get out in the freezing (for Alabama, anyway) cold weather and finally put up those bird feeders we bought back in October. 

I give this one a Highly Recommended.

Read Aloud Thursday::Katy and the Big Snow Go-Alongs

I generally prefer for my Read Aloud Thursday posts to be all nice and random, but life, with all its requisite nightly activities, has begun in earnest at the House of Hope this week.  The girls have resumed their music classes, and I, alas, must hie me to the local community college twice weekly for instructing students in reading skills.  (Appropriate, huh?)  I wanted to make the books we’ve enjoyed as a part of our Five in a Row unit on Katy and the Big Snow all its own post, but I’m killing two birds with one stone here for sake of time.


I’ve highlighted Ezra Jack Keats before here at Hope Is the Word, but I only mentioned The Snowy Day briefly in that post.  However, no sharing of books about snow would be complete without this Caldecott Award-winning book!  The Snowy Day is about Keats’ most famous (only?) character, Peter, and the fun he has out-of-doors on an unexpected snowy day.  With simple, colorful illustrations and a story line that capitalizes on the fun even a city boy can have when his world turns white with snow, this is a perfect example of how good a simple picture book can be.  Highly, highly recommended, and I’m adding it to my Best Picture Books list to prove it!  🙂


This next one is pure silliness, but I like it.  There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow! by Lucille Colandro is my favorite of the ones of read of her “Old Lady Who” series, and I’ll admit that it took a second reading for me to even get that in this book she isn’t the “old” lady, but the “cold” lady.  Cute, huh?  More perceptive readers than I will probably recognize what it is, exactly, that’s percolating in that cavernous stomach of hers (based on what she swallows), but I thought it was very clever.  My girls like this one a lot, too, and the illustrations by Jared Lee are just as appropriately colorful and silly.


I don’t usually like wordless picture books, but I do like Emily Arnold McCully’s illustrations (and her writing, too, for that matter), and this one works for us.   (Ironically enough, we inadvertently ended up with two McCully books from one library run, and they’ve both made Read Aloud Thursday!)  I’m beginning to suspect it’s because Louise is much more willing to narrate the story for us, and now that she’s old enough, Lulu’s predilections don’t have as much sway over what we read, etc.  Anyway, First Snow is a sweet, sweet picture book about a family of mice who take a day to go sledding, and one little girl mouse overcomes her fright of going down the big hill to have the best time of all.  One good thing about wordless picture books is that they force you to really stop and inspect each page.  I have such respect and admiration for children’s book illustrators that this is always a good thing for me.

This last book really deserves a post all its own, but as you know, I’m trying to kill the proverbial two (or three or four) birds with one stone here. 
I’ve been on a quest to purchase all of Robert Sabuda’s pop-up books ever since the fateful day I ran across his Narnia book at my local Tuesday Morning.  Since then we’ve added Peter Pan: A Classic Collectible Pop-Up, and just before Christmas I ran across a banged up copy of Winter’s Tale at T.J. Maxx.  I paid more than I should’ve for it, given its condition (some of the pop-ups are a little crumpled; some feature, I suspect musical, at the end of the book just doesn’t work), but I couldn’t resist.  I’d already given the book a place of honor on our shelf, next to our other pop-up titles, when I happened to remember it.  I’m so glad I did!  The girls really enjoyed this 3-D version of a world covered in snow, and we all marvelled at Sabuda’s ability to create such intricate likenesses of snow-bound creatures like an owl, a family of deer, and a moose.  This would make a great companion to any book that focuses on snow and its effects on the animal world.  One bonus for me was that since the book is already less-than-perfect, it was easier for me to give in and let the girls really look at it.  If you’re unfamiliar with Robert Sabuda, be sure to visit his website for a taste of what this amazing paper engineer has to offer.  You’ll be hooked, too!   🙂


One last title that I want to share in detail here is another Caldecott Award winner.  Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrated by Mary Azarian actually appears in a later volume of Five in a Row (we’re currently in volume one), but I couldn’t resist sharing it with my girls this time through.  It is the true story of Wilson Bentley, a Vermont farmer whose passion in life was collecting and photographing snowflakes.  The story is all about his determination to follow his dream, despite the hard work and sacrifice.  My girls enjoyed this book tremendously, and while I didn’t read every detail about his life to them (there is more information in the “sidebars” of the story), they liked it enough to request it twice in a row.  The illustrations truly are worthy of their Caldecott distinction–woodcuts with watercolors–beautiful!  I’m pretty sure there’s no shortage of resources out there for this book, but I did want to link the Original Wilson Bentley images website for those of you who are unfamiliar with this remarkable story. 

We did read a few more titles, of course, which I’ll  list here:

Some other titles which we’ve read before would’ve made a great addition to this unit, if only I’d had the foresight to borrow them again from the library:

I had planned to read The Long Winter for our next chapter book selection (Louise having declared that she’s afraid of the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which was my other choice), but it turns out that I no longer own this book, or at least I can’t find it.  I settled on Farmer Boy instead; since it is set in New York, I figured that much of the book has to take place in a winter time decidedly more winter-ish than ours. 

I was inspired by Candace’s Winter Nature Study post at His Mercy Is New, also. 

Whew!  That’s an unusually long Read Aloud Thursday post, and if you’re still with me, thank you!  🙂  I actually have at least one more book to share, but it will wait for Friday since it’s actually a Vintage Find.  😉  I also hope to share some pictures of our lapbooks, but since we haven’t put them together, that will also have to wait for a future post.  Stay tuned!

What about your family?  Is it cold enough where you live for everyone to hunker down by the fireplace for some good, old-fashioned entertainment in the form of shared stories?  Please tell us about it by either leaving a comment or linking up you blog post below! 

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Have a terrific Read Aloud Thursday!