Confession: picture books have all but fallen off my radar here at the House of Hope. I still read occasionally to the DLM and Benny (when he’ll let me), yes, and we have quite a collection of picture books here at home to pull from. Still, though, it’s something I want to be more intentional about this summer. As I’m beginning this post, Benny is napping and the other children are having quiet rest time. The DLM is listening to picture books on CD, which is something I intended to start with him most of the school year. I brought these home from the library a couple of weeks ago now, but only today have I managed to educate the DLM on how these things work. (He’s listened to plenty of audiobooks with the girls, but very few times has he had the opportunity listen and follow along in the book. So far, so good!) So today I am sharing a picture book that I read to go along with the girls’ history studies. Many of the picture books listed in the SotW activity guide are good ones, but I think this one deserves special attention.
William’s House by Ginger Howard is one of those narrative informational picture books that captivates its listener and teaches the listener something quite painlessly, even enjoyably. It’s the story of William and his family, newcomers to the New England wilderness in 1637. William sets out to build a house “like the house he grew up in, his father’s house, in England.” He makes it with a thatch roof, clapboards, wooden pegs, and a window made from scraped animal horn. William is quite satisfied with his home, with its corner fireplace and cornhusk-mattress beds. However, over time the New England environment and weather force William to make changes to his home: a root cellar must be dug, a clearing must be made due to the wind, cedar shingles replace the thatch, etc. When William’s cousin Samuel and his family arrive from England months later, Samuel remarks on how unusual the house looks. William introduces it as his “new” house. I love the gentle way this story introduces the impact environment has on one’s way of life. Larry Day’s illustrations communicate emotion and do much to enhance the story. Highly Recommended. (Millbrook, 2001)
We don’t read many picture books nowadays (sigh), but we have done a lot of reading since last month’s RAT. Here are the books we’ve read and I’ve reviewed:
- Tour America: A Journey Through Pictures and Art by Diane Siebert–This is the last in my weekly posts for National Poetry Month
- The Old Man Mad About Drawing by François Place–We enjoyed this quick chapter book, and it inspired us to do some pretty neat artwork.
- Shoe Dog by Megan MacDonald and Maple by Lori Nichols–It turns out I did review a pair of 2014 picture books this month, after all.
- Taran Wanderer by Lloyd Alexander–Need I say more?
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll–We read this one because of an exhibit at the Huntsville Botanical Garden. I share pictures of the exhibit (as well as my thoughts on the book) in this post.
I’ve tried to do a better job of checking out audiobooks and keeping up with the chapter books the girls listen to. I know this month they’ve listened to a couple of American Girl collections, Julie and Felicity, over and over (and over and over) again. We also listened to part of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. One big discovery for me this month was OneClickdigital, a service one of our libraries offers. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for audiobook enjoyment! 🙂
I don’t want to end this post without mentioning again the Read Aloud Revival podcasts that Sarah from Amongst Lovely Things is producing each week (?). It probably is just so much preaching to the choir as far as we are all concerned, but sometimes it helps to have your instincts and practices validated, right?
Please leave a link to your Read Aloud Thursday blog post(s) below, or share what you’re reading in the comments.
Happy Read Aloud Thursday!