As much as I love Christmas, I am glad to shelve all the Christmas titles for another year and get back to glorious randomness. 🙂
Although we do not live in a large city, we are blessed to have several libraries within a five mile radius of each other, and I am always pleasantly surprised when we deviate from our normal routine and visit one of the ones we don’t frequent as often. We did that at the end of last week, and I was so happy to learn that not only does one of our local libraries own the entire Road to Avonlea series (which doesn’t relate to Read Aloud Thursday, but I thought I’d mention it in honor of the L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge😉 ), it also has a wonderful and varied assortment of children’s audiobooks. The girls have already enjoyed listening to Heidi (unabridged!), as well as a few more that I might get around to posting about some day.
Of course, the point of this post is not to sing the praises of the library, but to mention a few picture books we’ve enjoyed together. I’m coming to that. 🙂
When I saw Mountain Dance and Cloud Dance on the shelf, I knew we had to have them. We’re no stranger to Thomas Locker’s beautiful artwork; we have read a companion title, Water Dance, before, as well as the beautiful book Sky Tree. Would that I had known about Cloud Dance earlier this year when we studied clouds! (You can read about that adventure here and here.) Cloud Dance does a beautiful job of gently pointing out the different types of clouds in a very inobtrusive way. This is not a science text book–as in all of Locker’s books, the illustrations take center stage and do most of the “talking.” However, there is a two-page spread at the back of the book which provides plenty of technical information. Mainly, though, I just love looking at the pictures. Similarly, Mountain Dance relies on gorgeous illustrations to discuss what I consider a very dry topic: the formation of mountains. This one’s actually a little over my girls’ heads (and maybe even over mine–earth science was never my best subject!), but the illustrations alone make it a worthwhile book to share. This one also contains four pages of explanatory material, so either of these books (or any of Locker’s, for that matter) would be entirely appropriate even up to high school, in my opinion.
The other book I have to share today is one of those fun-with-a-subtle-message books, but being the moralist that I am, I love those. 😉 I have unfortunately been unable to find a picture of the cover of The Amazing Felix by Emily Arnold McCully, but if you’re familiar with her Caldecott Award-winning Mirette on the High Wire, its illustrations will seem very familiar. The Amazing Felix is the story of a little boy named Felix who is traveling on board an early nineteenth century ship with his mother and sister to meet his father, a famous concert pianist. He and his sister have been commissioned by their father to practice their piano faithfully so that when they meet up again, he will be proud of their progress. Felix, however, doesn’t love the piano, so he does not practice faithfully. On board the ship, though, a magician catches his eye, and in the sleight of hand tricks that this fellow teaches him, Felix finds something he is willing to practice. The story ends well with Felix getting his sister out of a scrape through his level-headedness and then entertaining an audience not with this piano skills, but with his magic skills. His father is, of course, proud of his accomplishments and even admits that magic tricks are something he wishes he could perform. Lesson learned: find something you are passionate about and do it. A good lesson, right?
We’ve been busy this week reading about snow, too, since we’re supposed to have some early Thursday morning and where we live in the Deep South this is a rare occurrence indeed. Watch for a post later this afternoon if we do happen to hit the jackpot. Either way, look for a few posts about some snow-related books in the near future!
I’m really excited about what 2010 holds for Read Aloud Thursday . I’m looking forward to meeting new participants and getting to know returning participants even better, so let’s get the ball rolling with the first link-up! Click below to link your blog post, or simply leave a comment.
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Have a fantastic Read Aloud Thursday!