It never ceases to amaze us how many books we finish in a month. The lists we share here are merely books we’ve used in a homeschooling/parenting capacity; there are many more which we read on our own! May’s list has a ton of incredible finds from our local library. Everything on this month’s list was completely new to us, which is always fun. All of them were used in our learning to some capacity. Most of them are now on a book wish list.
- Ordinary People Change the World (Series by Brad Meltzer) – WE CAN ALL BE HEROES. That’s the inspiring message of this lively, collectible picture book biography series from New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer.
A friend on Instagram shared this incredible series. We immediately pulled every available book in the set. My son is in love. So am I.
- Make: Magazine (Maker Media) – As the leading voice of the maker movement, Make: publishes tested projects, skill-building tutorials, in-depth reviews and inspirational stories, accessible by all ages and skill ranges.
I happened across this publication while perusing for other periodicals. This is an amazing resource for learning! Each issue is filled with tons of incredible projects to make with detailed instructions. Check them out… Make:
- The Beauty of the Beast, Poems from the Animal Kingdom (Selected by Jack Prelutsky) – A stunning collection of poems celebrating “the beauty and wonder of the animal kingdom.” Poet and anthologist Jack Prelutsky has chosen 200 works by 123 poets from Carl Sandburg to Seamus Heaney, with a tip of the hat to his own “The Multilingual Mynah Bird.”
An incredibly fun book to explore with the kids. Many animals were covered, and all of the poems lovely.
- The Curious Garden (Peter Brown) – While out exploring one day, a little boy named Liam discovers a struggling garden and decides to take care of it. As time passes, the garden spreads throughout the dark, gray city, transforming it into a lush, green world.
It was the art which drew us in, but the story which kept us coming back for multiple readings. The Curious Garden is a wonderful story and quite inspiring.
- Art & Max (David Weisner) – Max and Arthur are friends who share an interest in painting. Arthur is an accomplished painter; Max is a beginner. Max’s first attempt at using a paintbrush sends the two friends on a whirlwind trip through various artistic media, which turn out to have unexpected pitfalls.
An adorable read, through and through. We loved how this story explored the fun and adventurous aspect of art.
- What To Do With a Box (Jane Yolen & Chris Sheban) – If you give a child a box, who can tell what will happen next? It may become a library or a boat. It could set the scene for a fairy tale or a wild expedition. The most wonderful thing is its seemingly endless capacity for magical adventure…
We’re continually on the lookout for books which encourage children to think creatively. In this case, outside the box. Mission accomplished!
- The Little Island (Margaret Wise Brown and Leonard Weisgard) – There is a little island in the ocean—and this book is about how it is on that little island, how the seasons and the storm and the day and night change it, how the lobsters and seals and gulls and everything else live on it, and what the kitten who comes to visit finds out about it.
Suggested by an online acquaintance, this charming story helped us focus on our nature studies; learning to experience God’s creation through all of our senses.
- A Child of Books (Oliver Jeffers) – A little girl sails her raft across a sea of words, arriving at the house of a small boy. She invites him to go away with her on an adventure into the world of stories… where, with only a little imagination, anything at all can happen.
I confess, the cover caught my attention. It went in my basket without further thought. Was opened in the quiet of my home. And devoured entirely, from beginning to end. We loved the clever illustrations and thoughtfulness of the story.
- Finding Wild (Megan Wagner Lloyd) – There are so many places that wild can exist, if only you know where to look! Can you find it? Two kids set off on an adventure away from their urban home and discover all the beauty of the natural world. From the bark on the trees to the sudden storm that moves across the sky to fire and flowers, and snowflakes and fresh fruit. As the children make their way through the woods and back to the paved and noisy streets, they discover that wild exists not just off in some distant place, but right in their own backyard.
Another nature study find by Mom. I appreciated the thoughtfulness of the story without the tendency of some books towards glorifying nature to the point of considering man an evil.
- The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs (Tristan Gooley) – Gooley has compiled more than 850 outdoor tips—many not found in any other book in the world—that will open readers’ eyes to nature’s hidden logic. He shares techniques for forecasting and tracking, and for walking in the country or city, along the coast, and by night. This is the ultimate resource on what the land, sun, moon, stars, plants, animals, and clouds can reveal—if you only know how to look!
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. It came highly recommended so we gave it a chance and were pleasantly surprised. We learned so much from just the first chapters, we cannot imagine pushing through this book quickly. Even a single reading will not be enough to fully absorb its material. For nature explorers, this book is a wonderful guide and help!
We generally gather our reading materials from the library, but several of these have been added to our book wish list. Great reads are worth revisiting! We were so excited to find another incredible selection this month! A few of them were excellent aids in nature study. Join us again next month as we explore a world of literature and the adventure of reading.
Your Turn!: How do you know when a book is so good, you have to buy it?