Thursday, September 30, 2010

Reading with the Kids


We're out of our slump, and back in the flow of good children's literature. Here's what we've enjoyed recently:

Klimt and His Cat tells the story of the painter from the point of view of his cat. The illustrations are lush, just like his paintings.

Degas and the Little Dancer imagines the possible backstory of Degas' famous sculpture, of a young girl who wants to be a famous dancer but lacks the money for lessons. And then, through the sculpture modeled after her, she does become famous in a way.

Both of these books were good for art study, and we discussed the artists and their art.

Science Verse was popular enough that we had to read it two nights in a row. The book says "this is why scientists don't write poetry", but the verses are really quite clever. The kids enjoyed recognizing certain poems and songs such as "I've been working on the railroad" turned into "I'm in the foodchain".

What's a Wise Bird Like You Doing in a Silly Tale Like This? was a bit too silly for me, but the kids loved it and giggled like crazy. It makes no sense, so I cannot really describe it.

The Humblebee Hunter is another tale about Darwin, this time focusing on his family life and how he involved his children in his experiments. It inspired an evening of playing scientist.

The Capture is the first book in the Ga'Hoole series (now a major motion picture!). Not too much action, really, but the author really shows a love of owls and Carbon loved it. When we finished it, we had to buy the next one on the Kindle so we could just keep on going. :)

101 African American Read-Aloud Stories - we didn't read all 101, though. I picked it out because we have had some recent conversations about how Africans first came to America, and I wanted to follow that up with some reading about slavery and African American culture. Carbon has heard many African folktales both at home and at church, and then I got him the audio CD of The Tales of Uncle Remus, and he picked out the similarities. That sparked a conversation about the flow of story and culture from Africa to African Americans.

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