Friday, February 17, 2006

Monet in March, Bjork in February

I'm preparing a unit for the littles on Monet as our artist for March. Top on the list of living books about Monet is of course, Linnea in Monet's Garden by Swedish author, Christina Bjork. I had bought this book last year for String Bean as she just fell in love with the story, the little girl and Monet's work.

In searching on Amazon's page (which I should REALLY make my home page!) I found some other books by Bjork and -- oh happy day -- my library actually had these in their system. Today, we read these delightful books and I'd like to share them with you. [Be forewarned -- Bjork has kids as characters, with kindly older folks helping them, but there is NEVER mention of parents. The kids are left alone and the older characters help them -- but her books are very child-centered, no-parental supervision type of books.]

  • Elliot's Extraordinary Cookbook -- well worth seeking as it's unfortunately OOP. A boy comes home and has forgotten his apartment key. Stella, an elderly widow who lives upstairs brings him in and shows him how to cook potato pancakes. The story/cookbook takes off from there as Elliot learns to cook many different things and at the same time learns the importance of good eating habits, a bit about the food chart and other important facts. Recipes of healthy foods are scattered throughout as are health tidbits. And more information about potatoes than you could possibly ever need!
  • Linnea's Windowsill Garden -- is also OOP, but if you have a child that loves gardening -- this is for them! Linnea lives in an apartment and doesn't have much space to garden. But, with the help of Mr. Bloom (a retired gardener and the man who takes her to see Monet's garden in the Linnea in Monet's Garden book) she learns to plant fruit and vegetable seeds, create container gardens and generally take care of indoor plants. Lots of great detail of taking care of plants -- pruning, transplanting, ridding the plants of pests, etc -- and a recipe for watercress cheese and the old two-toned flower trick are all included. This is a delightful book that really makes gardening accessible to young ones.
  • Linnea's Almanac -- the third of the Linnea books (and, also sadly OOP) is a wonderful trip through Linnea's year with activities for each month: January -- feeding the birds; February, transplanting pot-bound plants and other houseplants issues; March, naming of wild flowers and bringing them home to root; April, container garden; May, flower pressing, nettle soup and a kite to make; June, flower crowns from clover flowers and rhubarb compote; July, plants at the beach and hunting for treasures in the waves; August, harvesting and preserving foods from the garden; September, leaf identification and stars in the sky; October, fall leaves and a maple leaf crown; November, bulbs and decorating with things from outdoors; December, making presents for friends including Swedish heart baskets and a bit about nuts. A full-year's worth of nature journaling at your fingertips -- Charlotte Mason would have loved this book!

It's always such a shame to find great books at the library that are OOP; but I guess that's why we have used books stores. All three of these are well-worth the hunt!

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Hi Mary, We loved Linnea in Monet's Garden...will have to check out our library and see whether the other two are on the shelves. Thanks for the tip!