Sunday, August 18, 2013

New Books for 8/18/13

This is the best book to read for Pioneer Day! I am sorry I didn't post a review in June or July so you could find it before the holiday. Hopefully you will get it for next year! It is a touching, tear-jerker of a story that can open up many discussions, such as, what is a real man? what does it mean to honor a name? how do you deal when you lose something? What does it mean to be part of a family with grandparents? I lucked out and brought it with me to a family reunion where we were staying for a few nights at a lodge, all 8 of us sleeping in one room with two sets of bunk beds. Can you say, "jungle-gym time at night for 4 little children?" It was a great bedtime story to forget about climbing and settle my littles down to sleep. 5 out of 5 stars.

Another lucky find at the library. This is story based on a real person, Wu Daozi, China's most famous painter, who lived during the Tang Dynasty. The ending is not real of course and it may confuse some children. You might want to point out that the story is not real but it is fun to think about being able to paint images that are so lifelike. 4 out of 5 stars, just because I think the ending maybe should have been different. It's a calming bedtime story, and I am always on the look-out for those.

I might have already reviewed this previous summers. I can't remember, it's just such a beautiful book that it keeps grabbing me at the library. I think I will be getting it every summer. It follows the life cycle of plants from seed to harvest. I love the gorgeous illustrations. 5 out of 5 stars.

Now that I have two children who I am encouraging to be independent readers in the past year I go to the Beginner Reader section a lot at the library. I have found the above author to dependably provide me with engaging stories set in American history, loosely or completely based on real people. The author has a series of beginning readers that tells of a Swedish family immigrating to America. I really liked those stories and now I feel equally delighted to find another of her books. This story is based on a true story about a man who takes a letter through a snowstorm to deliver it to the father of a little boy he knows, through the Sierra Nevada mountains, to get the dad home for Christmas. 5 out of 5 stars!

This one was definitely fun to read! I love finding picture books about real people. This tells the story of the friendship between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. They started out as friends, then had a falling out and didn't speak to each other for 12 years, then forgave each other and became pen pals, ultimately dying on the same day, which in case you aren't up on your American history, was the 50th anniversary of the first Independence Day. Charming story! 5 out of 5 stars!

I met the author of this one at the recent Moms' Retreat held in Utah annually. My friends have raved about this book. It's Carol Tuttle's energy typing system applied to kids. My friends have said it helped them parent their kids better. So I bought it for only $10 on sale at the Retreat and have started in. Although I don't like to categorize people into neat boxes, if it helps me avert some tantrums and get more cooperation, I am all for it. We'll see how it works soon!