Thursday, July 1, 2010

To Read or Not to Read - Literature

She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain. -- Louisa May Alcott

This was a frustrating post to write because I want to mention all the wonderful books we read.  I will have to highlight just a few.  At least half of our literature came from the historic time period we studied (The Middle Ages).  Again, the idea is to read the stories in context.  Also to familiarize children with great literary works so they will not be intimidated by them when they encounter them later.  Here are a few favorites from that category:

Saint George and the Dragon is a child's version of Spenser's The Faerie Queen.
From the author of The Wind in the Willow, The Reluctant Dragon, gives lots of great details about life in the middle ages, through the eyes of a friendly dragon.
In Marguerite Makes a Book, a little girl, as her father's apprentice, takes you through the painstaking process of making a book in the middle ages:
In Castle Diary a little boy keeps a diary of his adventures from training as a squire to knighthood:
Aesop's Fables are such classics.  I remember these so well from when I was a kid.  The girls also reenacted quite a few of them for me in partial costume.
We read three of Shakespeare's plays. Macbeth, 12th Night and A Midsummer Night's Dream.  I was not interested in A Midsummer Night's Dream.  I always thought that one was kind of dumb.  But PK1 saw that it had fairies and a donkey and begged to read it.  Now I love it!  Maybe I never understood it before?  We used two different series...Shakespeare Can Be Fun and Tales from Shakespeare.  
Then for just plain literature PK1 read, mostly on her own, some aloud by me, The Boxcar Children, Magic Treehouse, Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, Grandma's Attic, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, The Dangerous Journey (a child's version of Pilgrim's Progress...HIGHLY recommended), Just So Stories, Dr. Doolittle, B is for Betsy and too many others to name.  


Kelli said...

I want you to teach me!

chicago_mom said...

I need those shakespeare ones. But are they the exact plays or are they simplified for kids or what? I'm afraid I wouldn't even understand the language perfectly if I got them for Claire.

Mamarazzi said...

your girls would love Kenny and the's a novel version of the Reluctant dragon...we LOVED it!