outside; Telus Spark playground
*Give Your Child The World by Jamie C. Martin - This literary list book is for the parent eager to introduce different cultures to their family members. It's organized very well, by continent, and further, by age. The first section of this book is the author's family's journey of multiculturalism. They have two children adopted from outside the US, and her husband is from England. I bought this book (and I buy so few books) because I knew it'd last us for years of homeschooling, though I don't think you need to be homeschoolers to use and enjoy this--just passionate about reading with your kids.
*The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan by Ben Foss - This is the third (and last, for awhile) book I've read about dyslexia for research into a new chapter of our homeschool. I know that's very few details, but this book was helpful in understanding the specific strengths of your own child/self; and provided real-life stories of people who had those same strengths and what they're doing professionally. Foss is very creative, intelligent, and a product designer in his own right, and a large portion focused on adaptations. I chose not to read this portion (maybe 70 pages?) because we don't have that need yet, but I have seen some of these things organically already happen wtihin our own homeschool and thought this was a great book on the topic.
*Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo - DiCamillo is hands-down my favorite children's author. Her quick novels are always written beautifully and more importantly-believably-from a child's perspective, with the perfect analogies along the way to enhance the story. This is a middle grade novel about a girl whose father has just left their family, the friendship of two girls in her baton twirling class, and saving their little corner of the world. If you have never heard of DiCamillo, start with Because of Winn-Dixie, then The Tale of Despereaux, and after you've fallen completely head over heels, any other her others. She's been awarded or up for THREE Newbery awards (the highest award in children's publishing) and it's no surprise why. She can take very hard topics (this novel's happens to be abandonment, abuse, and suicide) and talk about them in ways that just make sense to children. It's heavy, but it's also worth it.
*The Case for Christ for Kids by Lee Strobel - This apologetics book is made for kids and is great for discussion. Edited from the original (The Case for Christ), this includes the major questions and arguments around the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, with a lot of built in historical facts and questions to get your kids thinking and talking. I think it's a great resource for younger kids who are interested in the topic, or older kids (tweens) who maybe have some questions.
*The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder - This story is quite a bit different from the famous Little House stories, because it's written in 134 pages (a solid 200 pages less than her others), and it's written over four years, from harvest to harvest. Most of the series covers 1-2 years max in Laura's childhood, but of course, now Laura's all grown up with a home and a family. We struggled to get through this one because the chapters range from 15-60 pages, and without a good stopping point, it's hard to just leave off and then pick it back up again. Die hards will want to finish this series with the book, but everyday Little House fans might not enjoy it as much. Decide which one you are, and either take it or leave it.
*Sophie Mouse: Looking for Winston by Poppy Green - These are sweet little books that first got me by their adorable (and a plethora of them, at that!) illustrations and I started reading them aloud to Ani and Lukka sneaks next to us nearly every time I pop it out. They are each about 100 pages, big letters, and short chapters with a cute storyline make these excellent early chapter books that I can usually finish in 1-2 sittings. This one is about Sophie's younger brother, Winston, and sibling relationships in good and bad. I highly recommend these for kids aged 4-8.
*Sophie Mouse: The Maple Festival by Poppy Green - This one is about Sophie's mother, Lily Mouse, ,who owns a bakery and has the huge job of making the treats for a vendor booth at the Maple Festival coming up. It's just another cute book in the Sophie Mouse series that both Ani and Lukka enjoyed, and I enjoyed the fact that it took me 2 20-minute sittings to read it in entirety!