We try to read only Living Books in our homeschool. Why waste time reading the not so good stuff, when you can be reading the very best? (I feel the same way about music, too.) What is a Living Book? (click on the link for a great article about Living Books)
A living book is one that has been written by a single person who is very knowledgeable in the subject area that they are writing about. In this book the author expresses their love of the subject. As such the book has a personal tone and feel to it. This is why it touches your child's heart, emotions and intellect. The author of a living book addresses the reader in an intelligent manner because they truly believe that the reader is a capable thinker. Authors also use their creativity, in a manner that stimulates the readers' imagination.
My fondest childhood memories are those of my mother reading Tales of Peter Rabbit and His Friends. I have always read these aloud to my children (my ten year old still adores them!), but this week we will be focusing on two particular tales: The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin. All of the animals have such human characteristics - perhaps many characteristics my children can relate to - which is why I think these are such beautiful stories. Who can't relate to Peter Rabbit or Squirrel Nutkin's mischief?
Included in this free unit was information about nuts and trees, synonyms (based on the word "impertinent"!), and sequencing. He loves anything that is a "project" that involves organization and being precise. My first grader loved all of these activities in the free unit. In fact, we had to tape the completed sequencing project to the first flat surface my husband will see when he comes home from work!
We own several individual Beatrix Potter books, but my favorite is the treasury of all of the Tales of Peter Rabbit and His Friends - which are thirteen stories with her illustrations. I think every child's library should have this on the shelves!
I also keep track of our read alouds here - one can never have too many books!