What We’re Reading (September 2016)
Is it too early to talk about Christmas? A couple of people on Instagram asked me for some book recommendations to add to their Christmas lists already so I’m going to say no. Also, I love Christmas so I am looking for any excuse to start getting excited already! Hurrah! Books are always ALWAYS on our list here!! You can never go wrong with books, right? Well, maybe you can, so here I am to give you some direction! We have been reading some super lovely books lately and I have been meaning to share them with you!
We always have a chapter book going but it can take us a while to finish them depending on what’s going on! Recently though, we joined a homeschool Book Club where we read two chapter books a month so that’s been great in motivating us to read more. The girl’s absolute favourite so far has to be Pippi Longstocking.
Maybe you read Pippi as a kid too? I’d forgotten how hilarious it is! There were so many giggles. The girls just love her and especially this edition beautifully illustrated by Lauren Child. And I also loved reading about a main character who doesn’t go to school with our little unschoolers.
“But don’t you understand that you have to go to school?” said the policeman.
“Why do I have to go to school?”
“To learn things, of course.”
“What sort of things?” asked Pippi.
“All kinds of things,” said the officer. “Lots of useful things, like the multiplication tables, for instance.”
“I’ve been fine for 9 years without any plutification tables,” said Pippi. “And I’m sure I can manage in the future, too.”
“Yes, but think how sad it will be for you to be so ignorant. What happens when you grow up and somebody happens to ask you what the capital of Portugal is and you can’t answer?”
“Of course I can answer,” said Pippi. “I’ll just answer like this: if you’re so desperately anxious to know what the capital of Portugal is, then by all means write a letter to Portugal and ask them!”
“But don’t you think you’d feel silly that you couldn’t answer the question yourself?”
“That’s possible. Occasionally I might lie awake at night and wonder over and over: what on earth is the capital of Portugal? But you can’t expect that things will always be fun.”
Other recent chapter books we’ve enjoyed:
Fantastic Mr Fox (I didn’t really like it but for some reason the girls loved it)
The BFG (Now I want to take them to the movie! Anyone know if it’s very scary? They’re not keen on scary!)
Big Girls Favourites
Now that the younger girls are getting more into books and I can clearly see their preferences, I’ll divide my recommendations into two categories! First up, what the big girls (7 and 5 years) have been enjoying…
Ok these two books are gorgeous!! You can tell just from the covers can’t you? Both by Elin Kelsey who I only just discovered. I love love love the pictures in them which are actually made from intricate dioramas. They’ve inspired Miss 7 to have a go at making her own diorama too.
You Are Stardust
This beauty is all about how we are all connected with the Earth and each other. It’s filled with amazing and magical facts that will wow everyone.
“Inside your brain, electricity stronger than lightening powers your every thought.”
Just as lovely as You Are Stardust, Wild Ideas focusses on what we can learn from animals.
More amazing facts that will evoke a sense of wonder. I can’t get enough of these books! Did you know that dung beetles find their way by looking at the stars? Amazing right?
Ada Twist, Scientist
We’ve been waiting for this one! We are big fans of Iggy Peck and Rosie Revere, and Ada Twist lived up to our expectations. You can never have too many books with strong female characters. Plus, it rhymes! I can’t resist a rhyming book.
Where Did They Go?
All of my kids love animals, and a good spotting book too! Miss 7 in particular is passionate about saving endangered animals so this was right up her alley.
Each page has some rhyming text about an endangered animal and then you have to search for them hidden somewhere on the page. At the back there’s also some information on each animal.
Jeannie Baker’s newest book is such a beautiful addition to our collection. We just love her books and beautiful collages. We spend ages looking over each page and wondering about what materials were used to make it.
Circle tells the story of the Godwits 11,000km migration around the world, and we found it really fascinating.
A Patch From Scratch
This one was recommended to me by a follower on Instagram. Thank you! If your kids are into gardening, or you would like to start growing more of your own food, it’s a great story! It’s written from the perspective of a child in a family who are starting their own veggie garden and all that they are learning. Lots of helpful facts are woven throughout the story and there’s a section at the back with more information and some other ideas like recipes you can make with food you have grown. Great inspiration for little gardeners.
Little Girl’s Favourites
And now for the little girl’s (2 and 1) favourites! We’ve been loving some great interactive books lately.
In My Heart
I just think this book is beautiful. And it has also been really helpful! A simple introduction for kids into different types of emotions. Miss 2 really likes it and since we’ve been reading it I’ve noticed her being able to name how she’s feeling much more often. She will say ‘I feel frustrated’ or ‘My heart is sad’ and even interpret the feelings of her sisters too. I know the book has definitely helped with this because it uses the phrase ‘my heart feels x’ and I don’t! So she’s been able to think about feelings and then apply them to real life situations. I love that!
Tap The Magic Tree
This is a hit with the little kids, and honestly, the big kids too. It’s interactive in that each page asks you to ‘do’ something to the book. Everyone loves it.
It’s also a great introduction to seasons and the changes we see in nature.
Another interactive one! Lots of pressing and shaking and tipping the book. Who needs apps hey? Our iPad’s broken anyway. But we have books! This is another really fun one.
That’s all from me this time! It was quite a big list! I’m trying to refrain from buying any books now until Christmas time. My wish list is super long though. Nevertheless, I’d love to know your favourites too in case I NEED them! haha.
If you’d like to discover more wonderful books, you can find the rest of the posts in this series here. Happy reading!
We recently borrowed “Press Here” from the library, and loved it! Our one year-old, and three year-old had a particularly great time with it.
We’re looking forward to reading historical cartoonist Kate Beaton’s “King Baby”, and Sam Maggs’ “Wonder Women”. “Wonder Women” chronicles the achievements of 25 women scientists! We’re a big science house, so it should be fun!
My two unschoolers (also 5 and 7) also loved the BFG (book). But I went and saw the new movie alone. Those giants are huge and really graphically scary. Wouldn’t take mine to see it for a good few years!!! I’ve found out there’s a cartoon version made in the late 80s I think, which apparently Roald Dahl himself saw and approved of (in contrast to other adaptations of his work like the Gene Wilder Willy Wonka movie that he reportedly disliked). We are going to try and get hold of that one. 🙂
Thanks for these recommendations! I love hearing/reading about good-quality children’s books. I’ll definitely gift some of these to my three little nieces (4 and under) come Christmas! 🙂
PS. I’ve only seen the cartoon version of the BFG that someone else mentioned, and I LOVED that one as a kid.
We just read Wild Child by Jeanne Willis and Lorna Freytag and it made me think of your tribe – I think they would like it.
Can you tell us more about your homeschool book club, or have you already written about that elsewhere? I can’t imagine the kids in our homeschool group all sitting quietly to listen to a book, so I’m really curious how that works.
Hi Kevin! We just pick one or two novels to read each month and do that as a family at home. Then we get together monthly and have a chat about each one. The kids also bring some picture books they like and share them with each other. So we don’t read the novels together, but most of them do sit and listen to the picture books others have bought. They are free to come and go as they please though.
That sounds great. Maybe we can give it a try. Thanks for the details!