Give Your Child the World: Week 4 – North America
See this post for an explanation of this Summer Book Club. Follow week 4’s post at Simple Homeschool.
As I mentioned in my last post, I’m a bit behind due to being out of town. I figured this week (North America) is probably a good one to not spend as much time on. However, I would have liked to spend some time on the minorities of North America – we’ll have to make sure we revisit that in the future.
(All italic descriptions from Amazon.com, and asterisks mark my own thoughts on the book.)
Little House in the Big Woods
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Pioneer life is sometimes hard for the family, since they must grow or catch all their own food as they get ready for the cold winter. But it is also exciting as Laura and her family celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do the spring planting, bring in the harvest, and make their first trip into town. And every night they are safe and warm in their little house, with the happy sound of Pa’s fiddle sending Laura and her sisters off to sleep.
And so begins Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved story of a pioneer girl and her family. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers as both a unique glimpse into America’s frontier history and a heartwarming, unforgettable story.
** We actually read this book a few months ago as part of our curriculum this year. It’s still one of my favorite series. It’s such a great look at frontier life in the mid 1800s, and also in homesteading. It opened some great conversations about where our food comes from; about farming and butchering, and how we keep things during the winter. It really makes you realize how easy we have it in regards to food! Savannah really enjoyed the book (especially the fact that it’s about three sisters!) and is bugging me to read the next one. Hopefully soon. :-)
Make Way for Ducklings
by Robert McCloskey
Mrs. Mallard was sure that the pond in the Boston Public Gardens would be a perfect place for her and her eight ducklings to live. The problem was how to get them there through the busy streets of Boston. But with a little help from the Boston police, Mrs. Mallard and Jack, Kack, Lack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack arive safely at their new home. This brilliantly illustrated, amusingly observed tale of Mallards on the move has won the hearts of generations of readers.
** This book isn’t in the “Give Your Child the World” book, but it fit with the theme and we were just visiting Boston with the kids so I’m including it. :-) I grew up listening to this story, because it’s one of my mom’s favorites. I have really loved passing on the love to my kids. It’s a short but really sweet story set in Boston of a mama duck who braves cars and bikes to cross the streets with her 8 ducklings in toe. The kind Boston policemen stopped traffic for her to make sure no ducklings were harmed as they made their way to Boston’s Public Gardens. Of course, Robert McCloskey’s illustrations make the story, in my opinion. Now, there are statues of Mrs. Mallard and her 8 ducklings in the Public Gardens that are delightful to visit. We first visited the “Make Way for Ducklings” statue with them 3 years ago, when Savannah was 4 and Caroline was 1.
This year we visited with all three kids and they had a great time. We actually sat on the grass in the Public Garden for a while as we had a snack and watched the swan boats and the ducks. It was so pleasant – the weather was wonderful. If I had remembered the route Mrs. Mallard had taken with her ducklings, I would have tried to recreate that, but it didn’t occur to me. Perhaps next time. :-)
One Morning in Maine
by Robert McCloskey
Today is a special day for Sal because she gets to go to Buck’s Harbor with her dad. But when she wakes up to brush her teeth with her baby sister, she discovers something shocking… Her tooth is loose! And that’s just the start of a huge day!
** This book is on the booklist, and fit well with “Make Way for Ducklings” and spending a week at the beach. I actually am not sure I have ever read this one. Savannah enjoyed the fact that Sal has a loose tooth just like her, and we all enjoyed the fact that her little sister Jane looked to be about Elizabeth’s age. We enjoyed learning a little more about clams and mussels, and taking a boat to the harbor. And again, I just love Robert McCloskey’s illustrations – they make the books, in my opinion. Definitely one we’ll be reading again.
Reflections on this week: While these books are good and I’m glad I shared them with my girls, they were more focused on history rather than on a culture that is different from our own. The point of this book club is to expand my girls’ horizons and introduce them to other countries and cultures. I do think it’s important to show them how North America isn’t just white people in the United States. There are many suggestions in the booklist, so I do think it’s important I touch on those as well.
One thought on “Give Your Child the World: Week 4 – North America”
Love it! We just listened to Big Woods on audio earlier this month. The narrator and fiddle were so good, I just don’t know that I could do it justice if I tried to read it myself.
We are reading Paddle-to-the-Sea right now (western Ontario and Great Lakes areas). I am such a fan.
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