Grandmother’s Cabin

July 23, 2014 at 5:31 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Grandmother's CabinTitle: Grandmother’s Cabin
Author & Illustrator: Angela Rout (@mamacomic on twitter)
Genre: Children’s Picture Book

We received this book in the mail from the author right before I left on my book signing tour to San Antonio.  I was mean, I was so excited about it, I made kiddo wait until I got back from my trip.  Daddy was under strict orders that this book was not to be read while I was away.

I thought about it while I was away a lot.  All the colors of the front cover kept coming to mind while I was faced with all the colors of San Antonio.

It was worth the waP1020726it.  Grandmother’s Cabin lived up to my own mental hype.  Kiddo snuggled up in my lap last night and settled in for the new book to review, ready with opinions.

It seems to be a snugly sort of book in general, my favorite kind, as during story time today everyone was reaching for their mothers and trying to get into laps.  That’s not typically the case with other stories.  Instinctively, children know: this book is for families and heritage, and appreciation of the good things that calm our souls.

The front cover is simply one of many exciting illustrations.  The further into the story you get, the richer the images, and more vibrant the colors – or maybe it’s the story that makes me feel like they’re richer and more vibrant…

Rout maintains a splash of color on the right side of the page and ornate pencil sketches on the left side along with the text.

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It’s whimsical, magical, and even won a “Moonbeam” award.  If that doesn’t sound mysteriously romantic, I don’t know what does.

P1020722Dedicated to all things grandmothery and cozy, the book is about spiritual healing found by looking back to your ancestors, finding comfort in tea, and relaxing with a good book and favorite activity.

“I like to paint too!” My kiddo squealed when Grandmother revealed an easel and paint tray among the tropical forest.

When Grandmother did her super hero pose, Kiddo did hers too.  Later when we went over the discussion questions Rout provides on the last page, Kiddo answered that she wants to be like Grandmother.  “I can heal like Grandmother – by licking – like Helo.”  Helo is the dog.  Clearly, my child needs more grandmother interaction and less puppy play.

“When I’m happy I don’t fly high in the sky,” Kiddo lamented.  “And I get sad when I’m sick.  And I get upset when Dad plays with MY frisbees.”  Well, then.

Finally, I read the last question to my daughter:

Grandmother’s love makes Mother feel happy. How can we connect with our ancestors and our loved ones who have lived before us?  What can we do to help them be of service to us? As an example some people tell stories, remember them, pray for them, learn about them, or celebrate their accomplishments.  What does your family do?

“Walk in the woods.  I like to walk in the woods,” my child responded wisely.  Yes, my darling, we do.  And that’s why this book spoke to us from the front cover alone.  Coffee and Tea Cups, Books, Paint Brush, Foliage… what more could a gal need to feel restful and restored?

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Grandmother’s Cabin is lovely and enriching.  It opens up a topic of discussion many people believe to be beyond what children can handle, but it’s perfect, and the children I’ve read this book to today handled it with grace and curiosity.

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I read children’s books at the Half Price Books in Humble every Wednesday throughout the summer, starting at 10:30 am.  Many of these titles are plucked from the shelf and are available for purchase right then and there.  Some of what I read and share come from a publisher or an author and might not otherwise be readily discovered.  Like today, Grandmother’s Cabin was sent to me from an author in Calgary, Alberta.  If you have kiddos, live in the area and wish to join us, please do.

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Afternoons on the Amazon

March 30, 2013 at 3:52 am (Education, Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Our Magic Tree House Adventures

DSC02997As part of our Magic Tree House regimen, the kiddo and I read through everything and anything we could get our hands on regarding rainforests.  It’s been about a week, and every afternoon we’ve been diving into the magic of the Amazon River and its surrounding rainforests.

Last time we shared our Magic Tree House Adventures, we’d just finished our fourth set: Pirates Past Noon and Pirates! Fifth in line was Ninjas at Night, and I was searching high and low for a Research Guide (“Fact Tracker”) on Ninjas and could not find one.  It looks as though I may have dreamed that one up.  So we read the fictional adventure and moved on to Afternoon on the Amazon and Rainforests, the sixth set.  I couldn’t find Rainforests anywhere either!

So I built my own unit with out the help of Mary Pope Osborne, and found some pretty awesome books in our personal library the process…
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Ladybird Explorers Plus: Rainforests

The Ladybird Explorers Plus series are flip/tab books with tons of information.  They are great book to have if you have lots of different ages in the house.  Even though I can’t say that from the experience of having lots of various aged children, I can say it from the experience of being just as fascinated by this book as my toddler.  The pictures are lovely, the facts surprising (I didn’t know there were dolphins in the Amazon River, they must have skipped over that in my childhood rainforest studies), and the tabs and flaps were fun.  One of our favorite tabs makes an Asian elephant move a heavy log.  Another causes the monkeys to swing through the trees.  It includes detailed but simple charts with flaps that show the water cycle in a rain forest, and clear glossy photos that overlap pages like you would find for an overhead projector.  The chapter “Beauty in the Forest” lives up to its name and is indeed full of very beautiful illustrations of the trees, birds, and flowers.

Rainforests

Learn About Rainforests by Jen Green

The Learn About series is fantastic for the pictures now, but even more important for all the projects later.  This really spells out detailed activities to do with an older child when we tackle the rainforest more formally.   It shows you step by step how to plant your own canopy, how to make molds of animal tracks in the forest, and the basics of field studies.   It is only 63 short pages in length, but the pages are full of facts, gorgeous photography, and 24 projects geared toward 8-12 year olds. It is advertised as “a fascinating fact file and learn-it-yourself project book” which to me is the very definition of what you should have in a homeschooler’s library.  I’m not sure why they are priced so high on Amazon, but I got mine for a couple bucks at Half Price Books.

Usborne Living WorldThe Usborne Living World Encyclopedia

First, I love Usborne.  Second, the Living Encyclopedia will be making its way into many lessons, as it covers all living things all over the world.  Being that it covers so much, naturally there is a huge section on rain forests that made for some nice supplementary pictures to gaze at while reading our fiction.  The kiddo was really taken with the unrelated lady bug on the front cover, but also liked seeing the extra pictures of the dolphins and jaguars while we were reading Dora and Diego’s Adventures, where they travel through the rainforest, use a dolphin to pull them through the Amazon river, and save Baby Jaguar.

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