Saturday, December 29, 2012

SOTW CD1When I looked back at 2012 books that we read together, I realized that whether by choice or by chance, our reading selections were heavily slanted towards myths, legends and history books.  Our 6 year old loves listening to The Story of the World in the car and on her audio player, and it’s interesting to see how her appreciation of connection points between events develops over time. I chose not to follow a set curriculum and we were diving deeper into specific topics that struck her fancy. Here are some of the favorites:
Gods and Pharaohs
I know that I already wrote about this book a couple of times, but this was definitely one of highlights of the year and introduced us to wonderful works of Marcia Williams. I still think Ancient Egypt: Tales of Gods and Pharaohs is the best of her stories we read so far, but the one we are reading now comes close (to be reviewed soon). What I like about this one is that it elegantly combines myths and history in one book and covers most important pieces of Egyptian history – quite a feat for a picture book!
After Egypt the next big stop was in Greece when Smarty was absolutely charmed by Greek stories of Gods and Goddesses. For about a month she didn’t want to read anything else but more Greek myths progressing to more and more complex books and stories like this D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths. I joke sometimes that she could take and pass a college Greek mythology exam – her knowledge of Greek mythology is a bit scary for a 6 year old and she loves to discuss this with our adult friend who is a folklore buff and keeps presenting her with more books to read.
Alexander the Great
One person in history that captured Smarty's imagination this year was Alexander the Great. His life is covered in a lot of detail in The Story of the World, and, I think, Smarty was intrigued by his untimely and mysterious death. We read a few books on Alexander the Great, and I planned to write a separate post on them, but seeing how it was 2 months ago, I’d better just share our favorite – a graphic novel The Life of Alexander the Great by Nicholas Saunders. Smarty was holding on to this book for 2 months refusing to return it to the library, and I am considering adding it to our home library.
Right now we are reading stories from ancient India (a post is coming soon). Buddha was another person who really captured Smarty's imagination, and Demi’s Buddha book really took off from where The Story of the World left off and explained a lot more not only about Buddha’s life, but also about his teachings. I have to say that I found the story even more fascinating than Smarty and have a new respect for Buddhist teachings after reading this picture book.


Joyful Learner said...

We love SOTW! I like the pacing, not too slow, not too fast. This allows us to go deeper when we want to. Right now we are reading through Tales from the Odyssey by Mary Pope Osborne. She also loves writing using the Greek alphabet. I wish learning was this much fun when I was a kid!

Sarah said...

It's so interesting to hear which books Anna is into. I'll definitely add those to our list of books to get at the library.

Ticia said...

There's a great book I remember reading in 2nd grade called "The Cat Who Went to Heaven," and if I'm remembering correctly it's about an artist commissioned to paint the death of Buddha and how he was influenced by the cat that adopted him. It's been quite a few years since I read it, so I can't say for sure it was about Buddhism, I know it was an Eastern religion, but I could be wrong on Buddhism.

But there was a cat!