Book Bits~September 7

Have I mentioned how much we love our library?? I'm actually planning a whole *library love* post soon. I don't want to steal any thunder from that post, but several recent updates to our library system have made it easier and more convenient than ever to find all kinds of wonderful reading (and watching and listening :)) material.

Here are a couple of our recent finds:

I used to hear seasoned homeschool moms say that one thing they loved about homeschooling was the chance to learn things they hadn't learned in school themselves. I never really thought I would say that myself...but I catch myself thinking it more and more often these days! I have never been a big poetry buff...I wrote a bit years ago, but wasn't ever terribly excited about reading what others wrote. In the past few years, though, I've grown to enjoy poetry more and more as I've shared some with my children.

The Bill Martin Jr Big Book of Poetry
has been a fun resource for doing that. Children's book author Bill Martin, Jr. (Brown Bear, Brown Bear) selected almost 200 of his favorite poems, which are accompanied by artwork from a number of award-winning children's book illustrators.

We have enjoyed the artwork as much as the poetry, and have had some fun discussions about art and creativity as we have poured through this book. After we finish our group time, the kids vie for who gets to take the book first to "draw with". This book has inspired some incredibly creative and fun art projects in my children. It's one we've added to our "to be purchased" list.

As an aside...did you know that Bill Martin, Jr., didn't learn to read until *college*?? He went on to earn a doctorate in education and write over 300 books. What an encouragement to struggling readers and their parents!

Geography is another subject that I was never particularly fond of when I was in school...perhaps because other than a bit of map-reading skills, I was never taught it. However, a love for missions has given me a new fascination for geography. Our homeschooling has become very mission-focused in the last year or so, and a good part of our morning group time is spent on a combined missions/geography study. (I'm hoping to post a bit more about that later this week as well. :))

I posted back in March about our baby steps back into "creative frugality" in order to be able to sponsor a child through Compassion International. We've slipped up this summer in not being as frugal as we need/intend to be, and with the beginning of the new school year, we are trying to "get back on the wagon". We're also trying to focus more on nutrition, and will be doing some study in that area this year.

What the World Eats
, by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio, has been a great eye-opener and discussion-generator for us in the past couple of weeks. It's an in-depth look at exactly what it's title implies. The authors travelled all over the world visiting families observing and photographing what they eat during the course of a week. The reader is given facts and statistics about each country represented, particularly those relating to eating habits, economics, and population. There is a full-page photo for each country showing the family profiled with a typical week's worth of food. The photos show very striking, graphic contrasts between the eating habits of various countries...not only in the amounts of food consumed and its cost, but also in the nutrition involved. There are, of course, countries in which malnutrition is a sobering and heartbreaking fact, due to food scarcity and economics; however, in some cases, the less developed countries are actually eating healthier than many Americans, due to the prevalence of junk foods and empty calories here.

There are sample photos from the book here. Hungry Planet, from which What the World Eats is adapted, can be viewed in Google Reader here.

If you are looking for more good children's reads, visit "A Path Made Straight" for Children's Book Mondays. She has wonderful taste in books, and I often find myself heading straight from her blog to our library website to reserve books she has suggested. While you're there, stop and browse her other posts...I've really been enjoying her blog lately.

ETA: Since I posted this, it has been brought to my attention that some editions of this book contain a photo that is very inappropriate for children. I have been through the copy we have from the library 4 times and have not found that particular photo included. (This is the 2008 red book.) PLEASE be cautious if you decide to read this with your children and preview carefully first! For more information, see this post.

No comments: