Grades K-2

Marguerite

Author(s): 
Sr. St. Stephen, G.N.S.H.

First copyrighted in 1955, this cute booklet tells the story of St. Marguerite d'Youville, of Canada, founder of the Grey Nuns. The chapters portray brief vignettes of her childhood and growing ups years brushing through the many, many sorrows and crosses of her life. This will serve as a delightful read-aloud as the language is very suitable for young children.

Emily's Everyday Manners

Author(s): 
Peggy Post
Cindy Post Senning
Illustrator(s): 
Steve Bjorkman

I just love it when people we have just met compliment the children and report on their good, polite behavior. We have received compliments at restaurants, family homes and church. (Of course, I am purposely disregarding here those other times... .) I believe most homeschool families find it a priority to teach the children good manners from their tenderest years. I too have enjoyed purchasing the preschool books on manners from catalogs, as well as finding picture books on this subject from the local library. Alas, they are usually a disappointment.

Betsy-Tacy

Author(s): 
by Maud Hart Lovelace

Upper Level Books Newly Reprinted!!!

I first read Betsy-Tacy to my eldest daughters when they were about five and eight years old. How I skipped over this charming book when I was a child I shall never know, but it was as new and delightful to me as it was to them.

As the book opens, Betsy Ray is almost five years old, and is longing for a friend.

“Well, for Pete’s sake!” said Betsy’s father. “Hill Street is so full of children now that Old Mag has to watch where she puts her feet down.”

An Egg is Quiet

Author(s): 
Dianna Aston
Illustrator(s): 
Sylvia Long

Truly a "living book" in the fullest sense, An Egg is Quiet is a visual delight, full of soft, gentle colors and beautiful pages that manages to incorporate a great deal of scientific information without looking like a science book at all. This is a field guide to eggs for the youngest scientists, perhaps through the early elementary grades, that also feels like a story book with a surprise, but not wholly unexpected, ending.

Christmas Turtles

Author(s): 
Sara Ann Denson

This is a simple, charming and true story, from the author's own childhood, of a grandmother and her four grandchildren, for whom she makes Christmas Turtles each year with the pecans from her own yard.

The children discover the real "magic" that goes into making these favorite treats and how very much their grandmother really loves them. A recipe for the turtles is included in the back!

Caves and Caverns

Author(s): 
Gail Gibbons

This is a terrific children's picture books, with lots of details about different parts and features of caves, how caves form and plants and creatures that can live inside of caves. Gail Gibbons has a nice balance of real information that is presented in an easy-to-understand format.

Here's a little sample of the style and content:

"Next, the cavers carefully enter the variable temperature zone. The temperature doesn't change as much here as it does in the twilight zone. Mushrooms, molds, and other fungi grow here. It is dark!"

Right Track Reading Lessons

Author(s): 
Miscese R. Gagen

Can you believe there is another reading program that promises proficiency? Well, Right Track Reading Lessons, by Miscese R. Gagen looks pretty good as an option. At $25.00 a book, it’s not necessarily a cheap option, but I like the way Ms. Gagen keeps it simple. It’s all text with no colored pictures or glitzy-ness – what you see is what you get. She recommends home-made or inexpensive manipulatives to teach the sounds – the 44 smallest unit sounds that must be mastered for reading proficiency.

The Legend of the Poinsettia

Book cover: 'The Legend of the Poinsettia'
Author(s): 
Tomie de Paola
Illustrator(s): 
Tomie de Paola

This lovely retelling of an old Mexican legend transports us to the mountains of Mexico, where a young girl, Lucida, prepares for Christmas with her family. Her mother is a fine weaver, and the Padre asks her to make a new blanket for the Baby Jesus. When her mother falls ill, she longs to help finish the blanket, but only seems to make a mess of things. With no gift for the Baby Jesus, Lucida hides and watches the procession from afar.

The Friendly Beasts

Book cover: 'The Friendly Beasts: An Old English Christmas Carol'
Illustrator(s): 
Tomie de Paola

"The Friendly Beasts" is a lovely old English Christmas carol (the words and music are included in their entirety on the last page). Tomie de Paola has drawn beautiful pictures, in his signature style, to accompany the words to this song. (We didn't know the song before we came across the book. Now we tend to sing it, rather than read it, to the children.) It has been a favorite in our family partly because of it's beautiful simplicity and is frequently requested (even when it's nowhere near Christmastime) by our younger children.

The Angel's Alphabet

Book cover: 'The Angel's Alphabet'
Author(s): 
Hilda Van Stockum

A charming book of religious poems for young children - one for each letter of the alphabet. The simple, rhyming poems have been favorites with my little ones and provide a nice introduction to the Saints and Angels, Our Lady, God's love for us, important virtues... Some titles include: C is for Cherubim, F is for Father, G is for Gabriel, L is for Lamb of God, M is for Saint Michael, O is for Obedience, Q is for Queen of the Angels.

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