Literature

The Magic Tree House Series

Book cover: 'The Magic Tree House Series'
Author(s): 
Mary Pope Osborne

In this series, 8 year old Jack and his 7 year old sister Annie travel to a different time period in each installment. The series begins with Dinosaurs Before Dark in which Jack and Annie find a tree house that has mysteriously appeared near their home in Frog Creek, Pennsylvania. In the tree are lots of books. In one particular book, Jack and Annie see scenes of various places and time periods. At the page of the dinosaurs, they say they wish they could go there. Then, presto-magic, the tree house plops down in the middle of dinosaur time.

The Bears on Hemlock Mountain

Book cover: 'The Bears on Hemlock Mountain'
Author(s): 
Alice Dalgliesh

Jonathan must go over Hemlock Mountain alone to borrow a large iron cooking pot from Aunt Emma. Jonathan's mother is preparing a meal for a cousin's christening party, and his father is very busy with springtime chores on the farm. Jonathan is concerned that he will cross paths with a bear, but he is reassured that there are NO bears on Hemlock Mountain. His adventure includes a visit with small woodland animals on his way up the mountain, a snack and nap at Aunt Emma's house, and an encounter with some large woodland animals on his journey back down the mountain.

Along the Paths of the Gospel Series

Book cover: 'Along the Paths of the Gospel Series'

These little saint stories, beautifully illustrated by Augusta Curelli, are very appealing to children because of the nice hardcover format and the full-color pictures on each page. The moderate amount of text (about 4-10 lines per page) makes it fairly accessible to beginning or reluctant readers. We found this series to be an excellent help to our eight year old son who was struggling with reading. I was delighted at how much he enjoyed reading about the saints and he didn't even mind reading about the girl saints.

26 Fairmount Avenue Series

Book cover: '26 Fairmount Avenue Series'
Author(s): 
Tomie de Paola

See below for review of the first book in the series.

Individual Titles in Chronological Order:

  • 26 Fairmount Avenue
  • Here We All Are
  • On My Way
  • What a Year!
  • Things Will Never be the Same

These books also make delightful read-alouds.

Little House Country, A Photo Guide to the Home Sites of Laura Ingalls Wilder

Book cover: 'Little House Country, A Photo Guide to the Home Sites of Laura Ingalls Wilder'
Author(s): 
William T. Anderson
Illustrator(s): 
Leslie A. Kelly (photography)

My family and I may never be able to visit the "Little House" country in person, but this photo-filled book makes us feel as if we were there. This is a picture book in the most literal sense of the word! Each of the full-color, professional photographs has a caption of several sentences describing the photograph and some interesting details about the scenes in them.

The Little House Cookbook

Book cover: 'The Little House Cookbook'
Author(s): 
Barbara M. Walker

For all those of you whose mouths were watering at all the descriptions of food in the Little House Books (particularly Farmer Boy!), Barbara Walker (inspired by the requests of her own children) has done a great deal of research in compiling lots of recipes (over 100) and other background information on the meals from these books.

Frost on the Windowpane

Author(s): 
Christine Coley
Margot Davidson

"Art and Composition Activities for Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder"

This deceptively-simple supplement to Little House in the Big Woods packs a wallop of meaningful content into easy and fun art and writing assignments. Not only will it will help children understand the book better, but it provides full-fledged lessons in art appreciation and composition.

The bulk of this resource consists of "chapter activities" which generally include three segments:

The Legend of Odysseus

Author(s): 
Peter Connolly

The Legend of Odysseus, by British author Peter Connolly, was first published in 1986. It tells the legend of the Trojan War and of the homecoming of Odysseus. The Legend of Odysseus is a wonderful recounting of Homer's classic tales, The Iliad and The Odyessey. The most outstanding feature is the vivid, full-color drawings in every page. This book is suitable for most children, ages 10-16. There are additonal informative pages telling about life in Ancient Greece. My only caution is that it has some questionable pictures in it.

The Children's Homer

Book cover: 'The Children's Homer: The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy'
Author(s): 
Padraic Colum

The Children's Homer is an epic adventure about the Trojan War and the homecoming of Odysseus. The two famous tales, The Iliad and The Odyssey, were originally written by Homer, a renowned poet in Ancient Greece. Mr. Colum retells these stories for us. My family used this book as a read-aloud, and enjoyed it immensely. We were all thrilled by the gripping stories and the detailed pictures. It's an excellent book to use when studing Anciect Greece. I would give it five *****rating.

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