Sunday, May 25, 2014

Good Reads


I love the library, especially children's book. I've had a library card for more than 40 years.  When I was a little girl growing up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, I used to walk with my sister for 3 miles to spend the entire day at the library.  I have tried in my own way to pass this love on to my boys.  They enjoy going to the library, but for different reasons.  Today libraries are full of life - programs, poetry readings, chess, computers and more.  But my rule is they have to find some books before they do anything else.  I usually check about 50-60 books a month.  Each child has a crate to store books from the library and each child has required readings.  Every now and again I come across books that are so funny, clever, poignant or creative, that they earn a place on my Amazon Wish List.

Since I love to share resources, I thought why not share our good reads.I still read to my children. For my older son it may be a really great magazine article that he wouldn't pick up on his own, or a book that may be over his head.  We read together, or I read it aloud to pique his interest.  I believe that reading to your children should never end, no matter the age of the child.  What you read  and how it's approached may change, but the act of reading aloud is a timeless joy according to Jim Trelease, the author the million copy best-selling book The Read Aloud Handbook. After reading Art from the Heart, I was so inspired by the message--dreams don't have to wait.  Clementine worked as a laborer on a plantation and didn't have art training or supplies, but never let that impede her desire to create art.  She used whatever she had.  An old lampshade became a canvas.  She even held art exhibits in her cabin, charging .25 cents for entry! She became the first African-American to exhibit art in the New Orleans Museum of Art.


Talk about delightful! As I was reading The Little Red Pen to LionHeart, my older son started chuckling and soon found himself lying next to his little brother as I read.  As homeschoolers we spend so much time using all of these supplies that to hear hear how an eraser, a paper clip or a little red pen thinks was hilarious.  This book made it to the Amazon Wish List.  The criteria is whether or not LionHeart will ask for me to read it again, and again, and again.  In this case, that's a yes!


 The Peterson's Project Map gets a workout in my house.  I have strategically placed it in the hallway leading to the bathroom, so my children have to pass it often.  Every so often I'll catch LionHeart pause and point at a country on the map.  Whenever we read a book from the library that mentions a geographic location, we locate the places on the map.  This book was a true geography lesson.  At The Same Moment Around The World takes the reader around the world at 6:00 a.m. in the morning to see what happens in Australia, San Francisco, Russia and Senegal - just to name a few.

KingMan loves graphic novels.  My aim is to cultivate a love of reading, so I find what he likes.  I would prefer that he love the library as much as I do and treasure hunt the shelves.  Since that is not the case yet, I continue planting the seeds by filling up his "required reading library crate" with books that I know will keep him in the pages.  A Biography of Malcolm X got a thumbs up and a "mom that books was pretty good."  Mission accomplished!

The Story of Roberto Clemente - a graphic novel - was a no brainer! KingMan is deep into baseball, and takes his position as a first baseman very seriously.  In fact, he has a doubleheader today and I'll be at the field for 4 long hours.  Whoops, I digress.  Anyway, when this title showed up in his required reading bin the response was, "cool!"

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