Children's Books We've Enjoyed This Summer

Are you looking for good children's literature?  This summer we have stumbled upon a few wonderful books, and I'm excited about sharing them with you!
First, per the suggestion of a friend, we fell in love with The Squire and the Scroll: A Tale of the Rewards of a Pure Heart written by Jennie Bishop.  It is a tale about the importance of guarding your heart from evil, and my oldest son was absolutely captivated by it.  It is a Christian allegory of sorts, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Also, if you have a child that's afraid of the dark or afraid at night, I encourage you to check out John Trent's book There's a Duck in My Closet!.  It's a wonderful story of a boy who finds that various friendly animals come out of his closet to spend the night with him, each animal making the night more silly.  We adore the ending of this book, when the boy wakes up in the morning and blames all those silly animals for messing up his hair something awful.

Next, we discovered the authors Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire.  They are such gifted, talented writers!  We have fallen in love with their rich stories and real accounts of history.  These are wonderful "living books" for children! We've read through three of their books and are now beginning on our fourth.

The first of the d'Aulaire's books that we read was Leif the Lucky.  It is the biography of Leif Erickson, who was an adventurous young Viking explorer, converted to Christianity, and first discovered North America.  The story was interesting, and the illustrations beautiful.  Very well done.

Next, we went on to read Columbus, which is the story of Christopher Columbus.  I love what the Amazon Editorial Review has to say about this book, "The d'Aulaires traveled to Spain, Portugal, and the Caribbean Islands to research original documents on the life of Columbus. Their text reflects many little- known facts not generally included in the typical biographies of Columbus. Readers will learn that it was the saga of Leif Erickson that was one of the inspirations for Columbus's voyage to the East."  Who knew that Leif the Lucky was the inspiration for Columbus making his famed journey?

Most recently, we finished Abraham Lincoln.  It chronicles Lincoln's life from his childhood through his presidency, briefly touching on the Civil War as well.  What I liked best about this book was the little tidbits shared and emphasis on his childhood that other authors may have overlooked.  Many others have loved this book, too; it was awarded the 1940 Caldecott Medal.

Next, we'll be reading through Benjamin Franklin and George Washington

We have fallen in love with these books; they are full of colorful illustrations and engaging stories, and the authors use rich, compelling language, which is a rarity in many children's books today.  I'm tempted to begin a collection!

What books have your children enjoyed this summer?

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  1. We've been reading the Percy Jackson books, but my son loves histories -- especially anything related to Lincoln. We may be looking into these at our next library visit.

  2. I'll have to check them out. Do you think a very smart 2.5 will like them? I do child book reviews every sunday over at my blog www.parentplanet.wordpress.com - I'd love if you found good books there too. :)

  3. @Nina, the biographies are a little long (it took us 2-3 nights to read each one) so I'm not confident they would keep the attention of a 2.5 year old, but it's certainly worth trying if you are a family that loves books!

  4. LOVE the Princess and the Kiss, the girl version of the squire and the scroll. We are doing the study that goes with it with my girls. It is an amazing tool for teaching pure hearts and bodies!

  5. We went through Island of the Blue Dolphins, Cheaper by the Dozen (the original story from the turn of the century about the Gilbreth family, Silas Marner, Billy Budd Sailor and are starting on Slave Dancer. The big kids love them, Lincoln is catching most of it and Baby G just tries to grab the pages!

  6. These are great recommendations! Sometimes going to the library is overwhelming - so many books, so little time. This will give a us some direction.

    I'm stopping by through Steady Mom's 30 Minute Challenge. I hope you'll do the same! You can find me @ http://sofiasideas.com/

  7. We've enjoyed that Abraham Lincoln book as well. Delightful illustrations! We go through so many books it's unbelievable.

    Right now we're reading Rascal.

  8. We love biographies too! I've been reading through some missionary ones I ordered through Vision Forum! Summer reading is the best!

  9. Thanks for the ideas! I love reading to my 5-year-old son. Right now we're enjoying The Moffats by Eleanor Estes, stories of childhood in the 1910s told in a way that gets right to the heart of how children really feel and experience things, 100 years ago or now--very sweet. There are 4 or 5 books in that series. Here are some other chapter books we love.

  10. I'll definitely have to check those out. My eldest (11) is very into anything to do w/ the American Revolution, so i really want to see the Benjamin Franklin and George Washington books for sure!

    I need to make reading a bigger priority this summer. It's just slipping away so fast! Lots of playing outside and late nights make reading take a back seat. Must schedule it into the DAY! Thanks for the reminder!


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