Do you know AVI? He is a contemporary writer and I do not know the quality of his lengthier books. But this one you see I found at the library and decided to give it a try. It is a very very sweet story, with different layers and levels of understanding, and with lovely humor. We are enjoying it as part of our weekly reads to replace one that we had finished, and I’m glad I picked it.
This is a title I saw while I was requesting books from on Van Gogh from the library to study him. It has a great deal of interesting and common questions answered, and it gives explanation of 30 pictures in the story of art. It does not tell you to lecture children on art, I find it a good “field guide” for us, parents.
I also read a few weeks ago The Read-Aloud Handbook, by Jim Trelease, and despite a few points of caution in the first part of the book, it is a good book to have if you do need great lists with reviews by age, and a good overview and understanding of the value of reading aloud. Very school oriented for the first half, it is also nice to hear examples of what some inspiring people and places that adopted reading aloud in their every day achieved. But when it speaks about the wonders of read aloud for children with learning disabilities or handicaps, I will give a word of warning. Reading aloud to children DOES NOT MAKE MIRACLES as some families have experienced. I do not question the truth in those examples, but it can be misleading to families who struggle with this. Also there is an example of a mom who read a lot to her toddler, and once it was snowing and the little girl who did not talk much yet, could go for The Snowmen book, and the mom says she has a great memory of them reading by the window and watching the snow fall. Although Trelease mentions the Finland case were students learn reading at seven and are way above Americans in the international comparisons, there is still many examples of the classic child who reads at three or four, chapter books at five, and much emphasis to reading without much talk about being outdoors in touch with the real thing, or immersed in life as Van Gogh says in the previous post.
Trelease doesn’t make judgments from these examples, he mentions cases in which families read, from birth, and the great things reading does, but I see that one can get that idea that reading aloud is sort of steroids for the children intellect. To be honest, he also speaks about the closeness that reading brings, and many of his stories are very moving and will bring up books that we all know and a lot of information of interest. It’s just a word of caution, that’s all. I got it for 35 cents, and two days later found another copy of an earlier edition that I gave to a good friend.