I have one bookcase reserved for the books we're currently using for Danny's homeschooling. I thought it might be fun, and possibly helpful to offer a look at some of them. I'm in the process of compiling running bibliographies on a number of subjects, so this also serves as a good reminder to myself for titles I might otherwise overlook.
The Art Teacher, Pedro Lemos (1933)
Really, everything you could possibly want to know about teaching art to children. It assumes the teacher didn't study art, and offers helpful project ideas as well as simple guides to drawing basic figures.
Golden Book Tales from the Ballet, Louis Untermeyer, and A and M Provensen
Seriously, the best writers and illustrators did Golden Books in the 60's. This volume is really lovely.
Danny's particularly enchanted by The Rite of Spring. I suppose, were he in a public school I'd be getting a call to come in and meet with a team of specialists because he really seems to delight in the idea of a little girl dancing herself to death. Seems normal enough to me, though I understand the ballet was considered quite offensive when it was initially staged. I'd love to see this performed at Carhenge. Someone really ought to do it.
Are We To Be A Nation? Bernstein, Rice
You never know when you might find yourself faced with teaching the Articles of Confederation to a five year old. You'll want to be prepared, and have nice facsimiles of original documents to make it more interesting (oh, like the Articles of Confederation need to be made more interesting. What's wrong with you people?). Where most books focus on the Constitution, this volume explores what it took to get the Constitution. A great tool for teaching complicated material to children.
Birds in Our Lives.
Self-explanatory, I suppose. Nice volume though-lovely illustrations.
Anthology of Children's Literature
Anything illustrated by N.C. Wyeth is worth purchasing, but this volume also has a well-selected collection of stories, and poems for a range of reading abilities. Mostly the classics, a few oddball selections, and of course, amazing illustrations. If you happen upon this book-grab it.
Winged Chariot, Walter de la Mare
I am unable to pass up anything written by de la Mare. I have most of his books. This one is, like all the others, just lovely.
The Story Book of Foods From The Fields
a 1930's look at agriculture.
Art and Architecture of the Ancient Orient, Henri Frankfort
Look, you never know when you'll need to explain the difference between a statue of Gudea and Ashurbanipal. Sometimes it comes up (no, really). At any rate, this is a classic on the subject, and the next time you're standing in line at the grocery store and someone remarks, "Dang, I sure do wish I knew of a decent book with pictures of the Stellae of Hamurab"i..well, you'll just casually remark that Frankfort did a perfectly terrific job with the subject. You don't want to be caught off guard, standing there with your thumb up your arse trying to think of a good art book. I know I wouldn't.
How To Know The Insects.
Published by the University of Iowa in 1936. Danny loves this book, and carries it along most of the time.
Sometimes, I could just cry at the things the library will sell for .50 at the book sale. This really ought to be one of those things in the library's permanent collection. Honestly, I'm pleased to own this book, but it makes me sort of sad that it can't be enjoyed by more people. I'm probably being sentimental-it likely ended up in the sale bin because it hadn't been checked out in thirty years.
The Great Chain of Life, Joseph Wood Krutch
You really can't go wrong having children read Krutch.
Complete Stories of the Great Operas, Milton Cross
I asked Danny what he thought the best way to learn how to enjoy opera was, and he responded, "By turning it off."
I can't say I disagree with the sentiment-but he has to learn about it anyway. This nifty little book comes to the rescue-read all the stories without listening to a single aria! Perfect for the opera hater in your life that still needs the cultural knowledge. I spent too many Saturdays listening to the opera broadcast from New York. Thanks, Texaco for ruining every Saturday afternoon of my childhood.
The Ring, retold by John Updike
OK look, I never liked anything else Updike wrote, but this is at least tolerable (and better than actually listening to The Ring Cycle). The illustrations are nice.
History of Ancient Art, Wincklemann
When I picked this crumbling edition up some twenty five years ago in a crummy bookshop on Belmont in Chicago, I never imagined my five year old son would be as fascinated with it as he is. I think it cost about ten dollars, which I thought was a rip-off, but I ended up paying anyway. It really does fall apart a bit more each time it is opened. Some day, I'll harvest the decent prints for framing and finally toss it, but for now, it provides endless hours of fascinating browsing for a curious kindergartener with an interest in art.
This is Mr. ETB's book (there is a second volume as well). Another treasure he never could have imagined would be so well enjoyed by a child someday.
That's all for now, but let me know if you find this sort of thing interesting, or helpful and I can try to do a similar run down from time to time.