For the past 2 weeks we are trying Five in a Row (FIAR) approach at home while continuing to read wide variety of books. Interestingly, I didn’t encounter as much resistance to this approach as I thought I would once Smarty realized that a FIAR book will be an “extra” book on top of our normal reading together time. Our choice this week was The Glorious Flight by Alice and Martin Provensen, and I will dedicate this edition of WMCIR to the books about flight.
I chose The Glorious Flight for FIAR study because it worked well with our virtual visit to France, but I admit that I was not taken by the book. The illustrations are muted and look like vaguely impressionistic portraits, and the language is kind of formal and pompous. However, the book did manage to tell the story of many tries, errors and eventual success in a few pages, so we kept going with it. Luckily, there were a few other books that livened up the topic.
Magic School Bus Taking Flight was Smarty's own choice for Five in a Row this week – she was reading it every day, and I read it to her twice. This is a book from our own bookshelves – I stocked up on MSB books during the last library book sales and gradually “release” them to her. She loves these series as books but not so much as movies – she finds the movie versions too intense. Her favorite character is “scaredy cat” Arnold (probably because he is most “deep” character in the series.
How People Learned to Fly was a nice non-fiction book about the science of flight. It didn’t mention Berliot’s flight, but talked briefly of Brothers Wright and their first powered flight. It was good that we already watched All About Flight movie before reading the book, since I think the movie explained lift and thrust forces better than the book did. Illustrations by True Kelly are as gorgeous as ever though, so it was a pleasant read.
Hot Air by Marjorie Priceman was my own favorite of the week even though many of its pages are wordless. The book tells the “almost real” story of the first balloon flight that conveniently for us also took place in France. Apparently, the tradition of sending up animals as test subjects originated way back when, and the facial expressions of reluctant animal crew are hilarious. This book can be appreciated both by younger and older kids, since illustrations are amazing.