New book finds

One of the reasons for this blog is to have a space to celebrate homeschooling successes, however small.  And I have a lot to be happy about today in that department.

Yesterday I spent the ENTIRE day at the library.  They opened at 10am and closed at 6pm, and except for a brief lunch break, I was there the whole time.  Alone.  All day.  (Well, alone in that my husband and kids weren’t there, I mean.)

Believe me, I worked every single minute of that time.  Even during the lunch break when I went over old notes and lists.  I have so desperately wanted to get a long period alone in order to get some planning done that I didn’t let a single distraction throw off my focus.  Not even the ukulele class that took place in the children’s wing just a few feet from my work station!  Nothing was going to stop me from taking advantage of this rare and brief opportunity and a lot of progress was made in respect to scheduling plans, curriculum, matching up with grade standards (more on why I did that in a future post) and generally having a better sense of my goals for the year.

The children’s section of the library has an excellent selection of related books, and quite a large number of non-fiction resources, though their computer catalog is a little tricky to navigate and re-shelving is not always carefully done.  Finding high quality ocean-themed fiction is pretty hard anyway, even without the search obstacles.  But I found some new picture books that I would classify as either good or excellent, and I will now share a few with you in case you can find them at your local library.

Blue Claws, by Walter Krudop

blue claws

This will fall under “Fishing–Recreation” and “Resources from the Sea” in my categorizing system and is a really lovely book about a boy who goes crabbing with his grandfather one day. 

Riptide, by Frances Ward Weller

Riptide is a sometimes-naughty golden retriever whose love for the beach is greater than his desire to obey the chastisements of his owners or the lifeguards.  He runs away from home routinely and is always found at the beach which is irritating to everyone until a riptide pulls swimmers out to sea and the dog is the only one who can reach them.  Lovely illustrations.

We will be using this as supplementary fiction reading during our lesson on “Tides & Currents” and “Water Force.”  Also: just plain old love of the ocean!

Kermit the Hermit, by Bill Peet

This rhyming book is just too cute.  Kermit is a very cranky old hermit crab until someone does him a good turn and he decides to do some kindness in return.  (For our tidal pool explorations and case study on hermit crabs.) 

Life in the Ocean, The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle, by Claire Nivola

The passion of Sylvia Earle for deep water exploration is contagious in this book with its beautiful illustrations. (Filed under “People Who Make Their Living From the Sea”)

Gramma’s Walk, by Anna Grossnickle Hines

No one actually goes for a walk on the beach in this book, except in their imagination.  It is both sweet and inspiring, and it might just make you cry.

Honu, by Marion Coste

This is fiction that is an excuse to talk about the declining state of Hawaii’s formerly pristine beaches and reefs.  We will use it to spark conversation about Conservation efforts and what is at stake if something does not change soon.

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