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An Eye for Art: Focusing on Great Artists and Their Work

An Eye for Art: Focusing on Great Artists and Their Work by the National Gallery of Art. Chicago Review Press, 2014, 176 pages. Reading Level: Middle grade, ages 10-12 Maturity Level: 3 (8 and up) This book is a collection of “Inside Scoop” newsletters, a family quarterly published by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, […]

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Listen to the Birds: An Introductions to Classical Music by Ana Garhard

Listen to the Birds, by Ana Garhard. The Secret Mountain, 2013, 48 pages each (CD included). Reading level: Picture Books, ages 9-12 Maturity Level: 3 (8-10) and up There are lots of ways to introduce classical music, depending on the age of the child. Ms. Garhard’s way is to group musical excerpts around a theme […]

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Through Middle-Eastern Eyes: I Am Malala and Hidden Girl

Two real-life memoirs of girls living in a turbulent time and place: Hidden Girl: the True Story of a Modern-Day Child Slave, by Shyima Hall, with Lisa Wysocky. Simon & Shuster, 2014, 232 pages.  Age/interest level: 12-up When we are young, it is often the emotion of an experience that stays with us the longest. […]

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Beach Books! (Librarians’ List)

Of course a professional book reviewer and librarian takes books with her to the beach–for herself AND her family. In case you’re of like mind, here are some beach-related books and Dewey numbers to check out before you head to the coast this summer. Kids enjoy both fiction and nonfiction, so this list is a […]

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It’s Summertime! Let’s Learn Something!

While we’re gearing up for our summer reading challenge (still time to sign up!) the kids may be looking around for something to read. Fiction comes to mind—what a great time to catch up with Percy Jackson or Greg Heffley! Or not. Though lighthearted fantasy or humor seems right for summer, don’t neglect nonfiction. Kids […]

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Digging in the Dirt

Due to the loooong winter experienced by those of us in the Midwest and eastern United State, we’ve been slow to get our garden in. Also a bit tardy to look around and notice the new gardening books that always start popping up in March. But better late than never: here’s one nice addition to […]

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Shakespeare: life, theater and historical context

Here are some resources that weave together the life of the bard with the world he lived in, how the plays were produced, and what became of his second-best bed after he died. All of these resources cover pretty much the same material, the primary difference being the age of the intended audience. I have […]

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Ukraine: Lessons in Liberty and Compassion, Pt. 2

Last week, we began our Ukrainian series with a personal reflection from our executive assistant, Hayley.  Having recently visited orphans in Ukraine, Hayley gave us insight into their situation, which is only made more tenuous by the current political upheaval.  And most importantly, she gave us a detailed look at how we (and our kids!) […]

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Presidents Day–What the Hay?

There didn’t used to be a Presidents Day; instead, Americans observed Lincoln (Feb. 12) and Washington (Feb. 22) separately.  But since those two had thoughtfully arranged to be born in the same month, and achieve the rank of Best President, and we didn’t want to slight the other 42 (I guess)—why not just slide them […]

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Award-Winning Science Picture Books

The Animal Book: a Collection of the Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest—and Most Surprising—Animals on Earth, by Steve Jenkins.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013, 208 pages.  Age/interest level: 6-up. Steve Jenkins has made a name for himself writing about specified corners of the animal kingdom (see our review of The Beetle Book) and illustrating them with […]

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A Quick Trip around the World

Maps, by Eleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski.  Candlewick, 2013, 107 pages.  Age/interest level: 4-up You like maps?  We’ve got maps!  After a view of the whole world, followed by a political map of Europe, the fun begins: big, double-page spreads of each country, lavishly illustrated with folk-arty, idiosyncratic icons of flora, fauna, geographical features, local […]

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