Walking On Water is a classic book by Madeleine L'Engle, author of timeless treasures like A Wrinkle in Time, A Ring of Endless Light and others. Though I was familiar with her fiction I had never read any of her spiritual classics.
Convergent/ Penguin Random House, LLC has presented a beautiful reprint featuring a modern and (though understated) artistic cover. This updated version also contains a very well written preface by Sara Zarr who places the work in context and emphasizes its value in today's world. Don't skip it!
Christian Artists in all areas are still asking the same questions: How do we balance our faith and art? L'Engle attempts to answer this mountain of a question and, I believe, in her own way she succeeded.
Apart from the Bible, no book has impacted me as deeply as Walking On Water. I couldn't put it down. I felt like I was having a great conversation with the author herself as she not only spoke to me, but understood me. She grasps the rich tangle of an artistic mind and the layers of questions and fears we wrestle with. She also shouts with literary elegance the great responsibility and opportunity we have as artists to create with God and heal our world through the act of obedience and willing participation. She explains in brilliant language things I think our souls already know on some level, but couldn't accept.
My book is all marked up with underlining and notes in the margins. Everything spoke to me on a deep level I can't even fully explain.
This book reached me where I'm at. It gave a sort of marching orders to be excellent, not create bad religion. To create in union with the Creator. To guard the dreamers, the children, the places of fairy tales and unicorns and art. To be who and what I am with no divisions.
I needed this message and I believe others do as well.
I highly recommend this book for artists, those who value art and for anyone that teaches children.
I was given this book by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.
It is my sincere honor to give this book 5 stars and, if I could, I'd give it a galaxy.
Here are just some of the wonderful lines I've highlighted in my copy. . .
Ashley Spires has written and illustrated an adorable, simple book with big impact and a message that matters.
Who doesn't experience feelings of failure, frustration and insurmountable obstacles?
The author knows this is a universal feeling and she does something amazing by not naming her main character but instead introduces her as "a regular girl". She could be any of us. We can all relate. This simple detail makes us root for her and (in rooting for her) we root for ourselves and subtly learn a life lesson in innovation.
The main character just wants to build the most Magnificent thing. She makes plans. Her dog assists. However, when her plans go awry she has a decision to make. Will she quit her goal or succeed against all odds?
This is an excellent book for children and sets an exceptional example especially for young girls.
Take a minute to watch the book trailer:
Aren't the characters just precious? I love her spunk. I have classified this book under both character and life skills categories because I believe it teaches the importance of perseverance, a crucial character trait that is very valuable in life. Perseverance and flexibility are life skills worth teaching at a young age and The Most Magnificent Thing is a sweet way of doing it.
Order your copy on Amazon ($4.49 Kindle/ $15.18 Hardcover) and then be sure to check out the free Teaching Guide that uses the book to teach students (grades 1-12) how to identify and organize their goals, observe social barriers and push through, apply perseverance strategies, think creatively and operate like engineers. Assignments are created at different age levels and vary in difficulty. It's a very good resource for expanding the learning opportunity of this book.
The author also encourages children to create something of their own and invites them to use #makesomething to show off their creations.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of The Most Magnificent Thing from Kids Can Press via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
I give this book five stars
Are you looking for a fun way to teach a tricky topic like dangling participles? Don’t Dangle Your Participle by Vanita Oelschlager delivers laughs and educational value in a 42 page book designed to teach children ages 6-10.
The book opens with a rundown on what a participle is and a few examples which serve to explain the importance of correctly placing the participle.
The academic tone of the first two-page section made my children squirm a little as they began to think that this book was going to be too much like a text book with a couple cute images thrown in to tease them.
Then we turned the page.
Beautiful, full-page illustrations popped with color, bringing to life some goofy sentences with participles placed all wrong. Even my youngest was catching on to the silliness.
Each goofy page was followed by a corrected sentence and an illustration to express the change.
The contrast was obvious and the problems were more quickly noticed as we progressed through the book.
Each participle is written in italics which helps the kids to spot them faster.
I thought this book was clever and educational. After their initial scare, my children were very pleasantly surprised that this book really was fun. Listening as they giggled and shouted out the correct sentences before I could flip the page, was all the confirmation I need that they were enjoying this unexpected lesson in grammar.
The website provides some neat ideas for using this book in a homeschool setting. I especially like this suggestion:
I’m sure we’ll revisit the book in the future, both for reviewing the concept of dangling participles and for a hilarious moment together.
I give this book five stars.
Order your copy on Amazon or Barnes&Noble.Disclosure: I received a free copy of Don’t Dangle Your Participle from Vanita Books via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
I am trying to add a bit more poetry into our homeschool. Ivy in Bloom is a perfect resource in reaching that goal.
Ivy in Bloom by Vanita Oelschlager is a clever, out-of-the-box story that infuses famous lines written by well known poets of the past with a modern children’s story written in poetic verse.
At the surface, the book appears to be a poetic story of little Ivy Van Alsberg’s deep desire for spring.
Sick of the gloom, she begins to describe the chilly March day and imagine the changes on their way when April arrives.
Within her descriptions are familiar lines borrowed from poems of the past.
Here’s an example:
In the story there is a line which reads . . .
“She wore her yellow sun-bonnet
She wore her greenest gown;”
This is a segment of a poem by A.A Milne, but the story continues without quoting anymore of that poem. The full poem is in the back of Ivy in Bloom along with other poems whose lines were borrowed. Poets referenced include:
If you are using this in conjunction with your homeschool, don’t miss the extras provided here including a word search, word scramble, coloring pages and more.
The author and illustrator went out of their way to provide a truly usable tool for exciting children about the value, legacy and unfading message of poetry.
I give this book five stars and wish I could give more. It’s brilliant!
Order your copy of Ivy in Bloom on Amazon or Barnes&Noble.
I received a free copy of Ivy in Bloom from Vanita Books via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
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