Saturday, January 2, 2016

Handicrafts & Good Reads :: Christmas Edition

The holiday season is coming to a close and now I have time to sit down and report a few goodies from the yuletide. 

Back when the Christmas season was a near-distant future, the children and I began intentionally preparing some gifts to give our family members. 

These uber-cute felt ornaments were such a pleasure to create. Quite a selection of free patterns this kind lady has offered over at Downeast Thunder Farm! Look for Susan's Bird Patterns and Susan's Critter Patterns on her sidebar :-) 

Many of these are appropriate for beginner sewists. My 7-year-old did great, especially on the repetitive blanket stitches around the edges. My 9-year-old required less help, but I still had to be around for some of the slightly more difficult technical parts. I did pre-cut the patterns for both of them.

All in all, we completed the following birds, although they are not all pictured here:

The children received some "new" books to add to our home library as well:

Almanzo (age 3):

  • Look for a Bird, Edith Thacher Hurd - actually an I Can Read book, but a cute introductory bird guide for some basic flying friends with watercolor illustrations
  • The Big Snow, Berta & Elmer Hader - lots of furry critters in this one
  • The Little Engine that Could, Watty Piper - I think I may record myself reading this one because it is a fast favorite!
  • Ox-Cart Man, Donald Hall - a charming book which also gives a good peek into life in the 1800s
  • The Biggest Bear, Lynd Ward - lots of great hand-drawn illustrations (think Robert McCloskey) and would also serve as a good book for reading practice in Year 1/Year 2.

Alice (age 7, Year 2):

  • The Year of Miss Agnes, Kirkpatrick Hill - set in Alaska, a nice little chapter book. The blurb on the back cover about Miss Agnes:
...Miss Agnes is different - she doesn't get frustrated with her students, and she throws away old textbooks and reads "Robin Hood" instead! For the first time, Fred and her classmates begin to enjoy their lessons and learn to read and write... 
(sounds very much like I imagine Miss Mason would be) 

  • A Kiss for Little Bear, Else Holmelund Minarik - very short, but Alice loves Little Bear! 
  • Mary on Horseback, Three Mountain Stories, Rosemary Wells - set in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky, Mary was a real person and former of the Frontier Nursing Service. These are three accounts of her experiences as a back-country nurse in the early 1900s.
  • Ballet Shoes, Noel Streatfeild - looking forward to reading this with Alice. I've heard great things about the "shoe" books :-)
  • Lion, William Pène Du Bois - an imaginative tale of animal creation by heavenly artists in a palace called the Animal Factory.
  • The Story of Holly & Ivy, Rumer Godden - something to add to our Christmas story collection

Royal (age 9, Year 4):

  • The Alamo, Margaret Cousins - another good Davy Crockett/Alamo book
  • Wolf Hunt, Walter Edmonds - set in the 1700s, this is the author of The Matchlock Gun, which Royal loved.
  • Trail Through Danger, William O. Steele - Royal loves Steele's stories of frontier adventures
  • The Sword in the Tree, Clyde Robert Bulla - set in the times of Camelot and King Arthur
  • The Apple and the Arrow, The Legend of William Tell, Mary & Conrad Buff - I had been wanting to get this one for awhile. Royal was super excited when he opened it :-)
  • The Story of the Pony Express, R. Conrad Stein - We have a whole set of these Cornerstones of Freedom books on different topics. Not written as narratives, but great for those youngsters who enjoy historical texts.

1 comment :

  1. Your book stacks look a LOT like ours. :) My son is a Steele fan also, and The Year of Miss Agnes sounds pretty great!