Friday, March 20, 2015

Some Fun (and Educational!) Books

We recently discovered a new author at our place: Holling Clancy Holling (can you imagine naming your child that!?) It started when I was looking around for books about the Mississippi. Now that we live next to that great river I really have been wanting to learn more about it - the history that transpired on it or it's shores, what life is and was like all along the Mississippi, the animals that live around it and so forth. It is my new area of interest so when we start thinking about a subject like that we start reading all that we can about it.

   When looking for books I read about one called "Minn of the Mississippi". It is the story of a snapper turtle that starting at the headwaters ends up going all the way down to the gulf in her years of life. It is fictional but has a pretty fun storyline along with all sorts of facts about snappers, facts about the Mississippi, history of the Mississippi and helps with geography (H. C. H. likes to use little memory joggers in his writings like showing you that the Mississippi river is shaped like a baited hook on a line. The top part is the baited hook with a few different lakes being the bait -you should look at a map and check it out- we live in the hook area). There are many illustrations in the books done by Holling and his wife and they are very well done and detailed and factual.
I do have a hesitation with these books as H. C. H. does not seem to have a biblical world view and so will talk about an old earth (billions of years!) and also seems to like to throw in a little bit about native religions at times. For our family I didn't find the problems worthy of not reading it- I just sometimes edited as I read aloud or we discussed it.

  I also read Pagoo aloud which follows the life of a hermit crab and in the book you learn a ton about sea life. Very interesting and well researched!

  My favorite that I read was "Paddle-to-the-Sea" which is about a little wooden boat with a wooden man carved in it that an Indian boy made and then put in a river that would go into lake Superior and then his hope was that it would make it all the way through the great lakes and to the Atlantic Ocean. So in the book you follow the little wooden boat on it's journey. In it we learn about currents, logging (a little), the geography of the Great Lakes and so forth. This one was the most entertaining of the ones that I read.

   I did not read the other two books but the kids did and enjoyed them. I guess Seabird is about whaling ships.

  These books are divided into quite a few very short chapters and there are pictures on every page. The content has something that every age group (including me!) can learn from.

  Have you ever read any of these books? What are your thoughts on them?


Jennifer said...

We used these books with the Beautiful Feet curriculum in our homeschool. We all really enjoyed them.

Nola said...

So far we've read Paddle to the Sea. We have been learning about Canada and I found it very helpful in my children's understanding of how the Great Lakes work. It was neat for me since I have been to many of the places. We have Minn of the Mississippi but we haven't read it yet. I keep meaning to. I haven't read the others since our library doesn't have them, but I was planning on inter library loans for them.

I agree Paddle to the Sea was worth reading regardless of the small parts that I don't agree with.

Abbi said...

Glad to hear that you all have enjoyed them too!


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