Monday, August 1, 2011

Library Finds

Two books this week that caught my eye...

First, Perfect Square by Michael Hall is a colorful, engaging little picture book that takes a perfect square of paper through a metamorphosis in order to create a lovely visual story. The front cover flap says, "A perfect square is transformed in this adventure story that will transport you far beyond the four equal sides of this square book." What I loved about this book is that my first thought was... what a great artistic opportunity this could be for a young child! After defining what a square is (can you say math lesson?) the story goes that on Monday, the perfectly happy square was cut and poked so that it wasn't a perfect square anymore.

So it made itself into a fountain...

...that babbled and giggled and clapped.
BigBoy's fountain
Even some of my big kids wanted to take a turn at making the fountain! I plan on adding this to our personal library soon only because I want to figure out how to make all of the transformations that come later. Some are going to be a little tricky but what fun for an early elementary "curriculum" idea. Although, let me state if I haven't already, that I am of the opinion that formal pre-school and kindergarten are not something homeschoolers really need to worry about. Teach your kids to read and everything else they need to know can be learned in the course of daily family life. This article that I saw linked to on FB pretty much sums it up. You can't mess up preschool or Kindergarten!

Library find #2:

Hummingbirds: Fact and Folklore from the Americas by Jeannette Larson

The girls are studying Zoology I this year after thoroughly enjoying Botany last year. It starts out with a bird study which we plan to spend the entire fall on. This book is an excellent complement! Lots of great scientific facts interspersed with legend and folklore. Who knew there was so much hummingbird mythology? Although the pictures are just beautiful, it's not really a picture book for young kids. I think the upper elementary age is probably their target audience although younger children would certainly love having the folk tales read to them! Speaking of the pictures, Adrienne Yorinks' illustrations are gorgeous works of fabric art with a beautiful quilt like quality to them that makes you want to swoon and pick up a needle. (Swoon first, then grab the needle. The other way around could be dangerous!) I highly recommend this to all my birding friends, even my quilting friends!

BTW... Ms. Larson lives in Pflugerville, Texas! Stalking is bad, right?


  1. I look forward to reading that article about preschool - thanks for the link!

  2. That square thing is COOL! My kids would love that!

  3. Both of those look great. I know Bella will love the hummingbird book. (She had my mom reading to her from Peterson's guide book tonight as I was putting Anthony to bed.)

    Do you think the square book is too old for Bella?

  4. Melanie,
    I'm not sure why your comment got stuck in the moderation file! Crazy Blogger! Anyway, the square book says it's for ages 4-8. I think as a picture book to have read to her, it would be fine. It's not really meant as an early reader, so I don't think she could handle reading it on her own.

  5. Oh good. I'll see if our library has it. She's not to the early reader stage yet. I think she's almost ready. She's started picking out some letters on boxes etc. I think this fall we're going to start doing a bit of focus on the alphabet maybe even a modified Serendipity.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yourself!