But Francois could not wait for the others to finish their evening meal...he stretched out before the hearth and with a piece of charred wood, began to copy the pictures that he found on [their Bible's] old worn pages.
Though we don't use a unit study approach in our homeschool there always seem to be plenty of natural connections and much to inspire us in our daily readings. A few of our recent favorites that had our boys and me busy when free time came around:
Without a doubt, Millet Tilled the Soil by Opal Wheeler and Sybil Deucher has been our favorite artist story-life to date. Millet lived through happy days and tragic days, laughter and suffering, and we are moved by both his life and art. If you love Opal Wheeler's composer series you won't be disappointed with her artist biographies and -- if you thought your children couldn't possibly spend any more time drawing -- they can.
Bone Button Borscht is a Hanukkah-inspired version of Stone Soup by Aubrey Davis. A hungry beggar is hard-pressed to receive a meal so plucks off the buttons from his coat to start a soup. Dusan Petricic' witty illustrations gradually change from black and white to color as a town's greed changes to generosity.
We used the borscht recipe from Oleg's grandmother and Luca lent us buttons from his collection. We were sure to add the beets last to see the soup change a vibrant color.
Now borscht, even the bone button variety, is quite easy to pull off in a Russian-American household but when the boys received Norman Lindsay's the Magic Pudding from our favorite Australian kidlit reviewer I was way out of my element. Not having either kidney or suet (not even a frozen pot-pie) in the house, I attempted to satisfy my pudding-demanding crew with a simple Yorkshire variety that night. Ah, the disappointment in finding that our puddng was not, in fact, magic.
Given the honor of introducing Lindsay's the Magic Pudding in the newest edition, Philip Pullman states, "This is the funniest children's book ever written" and this may be the only point on which I ever find myself agreeing with the man. Make no mistake, no matter where you are from on this great spinning blue marble you.will.laugh.out.loud. Belly laughs. Oh, and your children will begin to speak in non-stop rhyme. We're already on our third read through - now if I could only find a shop that sells suet.
Last comes mom's read as my lip-smacking summer issue of Donna Hay's magazine arrived in the mail. The irony of a 12-page-spread on popsicles while experiencing record snowfalls and ice storms leaves me no other choice than to show our friends in the southern hemisphere how we have adapted Donna's recipes...