Thursday, March 10, 2011


Last Friday, after school, I surprised my kids with warm gingerbread for lunch, topped with fresh whipped cream (which Grace says is way better than whipped cream from a store), and we joined it with clementines, and french vanilla steamers with extra foam- and of course, more whipped cream on top.

I love how very, very simple things can fill an ordinary day with extra goodness.  It doesn't take much, it keeps you loving to be in your home and with the people in it, it keeps life simple, and you spend less money- and I think these are the things that stay with us for good.

While they ate, I read another 2 chapters of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which we've been reading through at lunch. 

To be honest, I hate that book.  I generally can't stand nonsensical literature

How is a raven like a writing desk?  I have no idea- but my children love it.

But there it is- a simple lunch, a simple book.  But so much goodness.

Sometimes people ask me for book ideas- books they can read with their children.  

Here's my short list (for elementary-aged children):

Peter Pan (J.M. Barrie)
The Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame)
The Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
The Tales of Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne)
Anything by Beatrix Potter
The Anne Series (L.M. Montgomery)
Little Women etc. (Louisa May Alcott)
Kidnapped (Robert Louis Stevenson)
Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson)
Heidi (Johanna Spyri)
Because of Winn Dixie (Kate DiCamillo)
Black Beauty (Anna Sewell)
Sarah, Plain and Tall (Patricia MacLachlan)
The Little House Series (Laura Ingalls Wilder)
Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
Stuart Little (E.B. White)
The Trumpet of the Swan (E.B. White)
The Light Princess- and the scores of other fairy tales written by George MacDonald
The Shiloh Trilogy (Phyllis Reynolds Naylor)
Ballet Shoes (Noel Streatfeild)
The Pilgrim's Progress (John Bunyan)
Aesop's Fables
The Narnia Series (C.S. Lewis)
Where the Red Fern Grows (Wilson Rawls)

And as for poetry- try some Stevenson, or a compilation, like:
A Child's Garden of Verses (Robert Louis Stevenson)
The Oxford Illustrated Book of American Children's Poems

My kids have also liked poems from William Blake, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, etc. 

Also, I'd recommend the book Everyday Graces, by Karen Santorum.  It's a great compilation of stories and poetry centered around topics and life lessons (manners, friendship, death, etc).

Just remember there's room for all kinds of books, not just the classics as listed here.  It's amazing the fun, great stuff we find at the library, either books to read, or books that inspire creativity, non-fiction books about science, animals, history, "just fun" stuff, etc.  (Well, some library books are just terrible, but that's why we have brains and free wills for discernment.)  Enjoy.


Lisa said...

Love this list of classic books for kids. Bella has read probably half the the list (she's read abridged versions of some) and we're reading Little Women aloud right now. And the gingerbread looks scrumptious!

Danielle said...

I love many of these, although never read Stevenson or Peter Pan. I'd add "The Yearling" to this list. SOOOO beautiful as a read aloud book.