Wednesday, December 15, 2010

An Assortment of Books

I recently came across a box of books I had bought at a book sale. Somehow it had not gotten put away and so I thought I'd share a couple treasures from it.

When I was a child, a few years ago, my grandparents got Ideal magazine. It was made with heavy paper and no ads. It was composed of beautiful photos and paintings, short stories and poems. I could sit and look at them for a long time. Then they disappeared. I didn't see them for a long time. Now I pick them up whenever I come across them. Each issue is themed to a holiday or season. This one is a Christmas one. It was fun for me to see Elizabeth sitting and enjoying it also.
As the Christmas season is upon us, I wanted to share about another book I found. It is called 'The Great Story' published by Harcourt, Brace and Company. It is the story of the life of Jesus. It is the words from the KJV Bible. Each page has a little bit to read and then they have a famous painting. It tells the story of Christ's life simply and gives an excellent exposure to great works of art. If you find a copy, pick it up. You will be glad you did.

'The Matchlock Gun' is a classic story. It is short enough to read in one sitting, yet it is an exciting, and true tale. It is the story of a boy who's father goes off to fight the Indians, but while he is gone the Indians attack their home and the boy must fire the gun to save his family. He behaves manfully and fully obeys his other's instructions and thus is able to save her life. It may be a little intense for a 4 or 5 year old, so pre-read. The artwork is great and draws you in. Walter Edmonds has written some other good stories for younger readers. The ones for young adults should be pre-read by parents. I do not have them on my shelf.

This is one of those books I picked up just because, and I am really glad I did. It is all about how animals communicate. It has a wide variety of critters that it talks about also, the usual insects (ants,bees, etc) but also penguins, deer, chimps, wolves and even alligators! I would put the reading level at about 3rd grade, but it is jam packed full of information and has lots of illustrations. It is one I am planning to read to all the children for nature.

Every family has to come to their own philosophical position on fairy stories. We like them and feel they have value. Andrew Lang has a number of Fairy Books that have the classic fairy tales in them. Ambleside uses a number of them in their curriculum. He has a very rich vocabulary and tells the old tales well. I pick up his books whenever I find them. There is also a whole series of 'Umbrella' books. They have all different kinds of classic stories in them. I remember reading them as a child. We had a number of them on our bookshelves when I was growing up.

This is the Walter Piper version of 'Famous Fairy Tales'. If the name is familiar to you, it is because he wrote 'The Little Engine that Could' . This book is lavishly illustrated in the typical Piper fashion. Elizabeth really enjoys having this book read to her.

This book is called 'American Songbag' by the noted American writer and historian Carl Sandburg. The copyright is 1927. He goes through a number of classic American Folk Songs. He gives all the verses he can find and gives a brief history of each song and author. You really should make folk songs a part of your family culture. They are a lot of fun and teach a lot about American thought, politics and history. It is also a lot of fun to learn to sing as a family. We spend time on hymns, folk songs, and classical music. We are trying to develop a rich musical palate for the children. The world will expose them to the junk food soon enough.

This was a real find at the last sale I was at. I got a whole boxful of Happy Hollisters for 25 cents each. All with an intact dust jacket. They would resale on eBay or Amazon for at least $5 each. I will hold on to them for my children and grandchildren though. This is another one of those classic series from the 30's and 40's. I remember reading them when I was growing up. They are sweet. I also like the fact that the family has more than two children. This series fits in well for that second or third grader who is on a reading tear and isn't ready for the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew. There is a little mystery in them, but nothing scary. This another one of those old series that you should pick up when you see them. Under the cover the books are a brick red hardback. You can kin of see it at the top of the book where the cover has slid down.

The Book House is another old series of story books. Some have fairy tales and some have history stories. They were produced originally in Great Britain in the early 1920s. It was edited by Olive Beaupre Miller. There is also a series of 12 volumes of 'My Bookhouse'. 3 volumes of 'My Travelship' and 6 volumes of 'My Book of History'. I like the fact that the covers feel good in your hands. They are beautiful and are embossed deeply. I guess I am a tactile person.
I am trying to stay away from book sales for now. I am totally out of bookshelf space. A friend gave me a number of boxes of books and I still have to process and digest them. There is no such thing as to many books, just insufficient space. "Read on Macbeth!"

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