Unschooling Resources: Great Books (Mostly Fiction)


Picture Books

Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor
Perhaps my favorite picture book. A girl presents her ten rules for finding a rock. The simple, sweet text, combined with Peter Parnall's graceful, flowing illustrations add up to a beautiful book that is much more than the sum of it's parts. Gorgeous.

Henry Hikes to Fitchburg by D. B. Johnson
From Johnson's website: "Inspired by a passage from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, this wonderfully appealing story follows two friends who have very different approaches to life. When the two agree to meet one evening in Fitchburg, which is thirty miles away, Henry decides to walk while his friend plans to work all day to earn the fare for the train. Playful pictures follow the progress of each, whether through a bustling small town or a countryside alive with curiosities for an inquisitive bear." Who are Henry's friend's employers? Mrs. Alcott, Mr. Hawthorne, Mr. Emerson, and Mrs. Thoreau. The illustrations are just superb! The best part about this book? Each bear is respectful of the other's choice. A beautiful picture book. Followed by Henry Builds a Cabin, Henry Climbs a Mountain, and Henry Works.

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback
Filled with gorgeous, colorful illustrations, this book tells the story of Joseph and his overcoat. After his overcoat becomes "old and worn," Joseph makes it into jacket, then into a vest, and eventually, into a button. What does he do when he loses the button? This book is cheerful and energetic, and a family favorite.


Books on Books

Eyewitness Classics
These books retell stories such as King Arthur, Robin Hood, Black Beauty, Oliver Twist, Little Women, Robinson Crusoe, etc. In the sidebars of each page are bits of history, art and trivia, as well as lots of wonderful illustrations. A great way to have fun with the classics.

The Usborne World of Shakespeare by Anna Claybourne and Rebecca Treays
Lots of fun! Learn about Shakespeare's life and the times in which he lived, the Globe Theatre, productions of his plays through the ages, the plays, themselves, his poems and songs, his characters, and much more. Filled with cool photos and illustrations, this book doesn't disappoint! Includes a synopsis of the plays' plots, a glossary of Shakespearean characters, a who's who of actors, directors and others involved with Shakespeare's works, and glossaries of terms and phrases. Also includes Internet links.


Websites

Lilypad Books
This online store offers handpicked books for children. This is especially recommended for girls, as their books "star strong girls - no sleeping beauties here!" Also, their "Fill-a-Bookshelf" service, in which they select one book per month based on a particular child's interests and reading level, is simply wonderful.

Literary Child
A delightful new book club for kids and families. Each month features a different book - sometimes a classic, sometimes a contemporary selection - and readers are presented with a diverse array of games and projects which accompany it. The projects accompanying Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth, for instance, include word puzzles, instructions for making a baking soda volcano, "uncoloring" pages (drawing prompts), cryptograms, recipes, learning how to say "hello" in various languages, logic puzzles, instructions for making a sundial, and more. The activities are unique and engaging, providing lots of hands-on fun. Started by an unschooling family, Literary Child is a blast and well worth the price. Highly recommended!

Scholastic.com Kids
Tons of games with Scholastic characters, including Harry Potter, Clifford, The Magic School Bus and others.

ShelSilverstein.com
A beautiful flash-intensive website. Highly recommended.

New Unschooling Resource Wizards' Wands
Make your own wizard's wand with paper, glue and paint. A very cool project for those in love with Harry Potter or other wizarding books.
These wands are simple to make and look absolutely amazing! (Post #2123)

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