Monday, November 26, 2012

For Your Christmas List: Books About Nature by Thornton Burgess

Hi friends!
It hasn't even been a month, and yet, here I am.
I'm hoping to get a few of these posts in before Christmas, but we'll see how that goes.
Most of the time I am an optimist, so I'll believe that those posts are going to get written.
I don't know about you, but I'm thinking about Christmas gifts.
I've even gotten a few.
And I have my list of the things I am making for people all written out.
In my head.
It's not even December, so I am waaaay ahead, right?
Ha!
I've never been one of those, "it's August and I'm already done with my Christmas shopping!" kind of people.
I'm more like, "it's Christmas eve and I'm still wrapping presents!  Ahhhh!"
We'll see where this Christmas eve finds me.
The optimist in me says I'll be watching the Christmas pageant and playing games with my family, not hiding in the back room wrapping gifts.
In an effort to help you give less plastic stuff that will only be donated to the Goodwill in a matter of months, I thought I'd share one of my favorite gifts to give every Christmas: BOOKS!
Each Christmas, I choose a special book for each one of my children.
The book is hardcover, and is meant to be a book they will keep forever.
I like to think that by the time they have their own kids, each one will have the start of a fabulous book collection.
The books are different each year.
Sometimes they reflect the current interest of the child, or reflect the child's personality at the time.
No matter what, I chose each book especially for each child.
I like books with beautiful illustrations, or great design, and good writing.
Some are new, some are vintage, but they are always timeless sort of books, not trendy.
No biographies of Justin Beiber here!
This past weekend, I was able to spend the night away in Palm Springs, all by myself!
It was such a nice break from my regular life.
I did quite a bit of napping and reading by the pool, and a bit of thrifting too.
Usually we go to Palm Springs in the summer, when it's a million degrees and no one else is there.
The thrifting is awesome then.
It's high season now, and the thrifting is considerably less awesome.
More competition.
But I did find a few treasures: a pink, J. Crew sundress for $4, a gorgeous, vintage green coat, and some books.
When I found this one, I gasped, and said, out loud, "Ohhh, treasure!"
A lady standing next to me looked at the book in my hands, and smiled at me like I was crazy.
I am crazy.
For good books.
Do you know Thornton Burgess?
He is one of our favorite authors.
I was unfamiliar with him until James' first year of school when The Burgess Bird Book was part of our curriculum.
The next year we read the Burgess Animal Book.
My kids loved them both.
If your child is an animal lover, or if you want to learn more about birds, I cannot recommend these books enough.
Because they are told as stories, and each animal or bird is a character, there is none of the dry, textbooky, feeling that so often accompanies non fiction reading.
Yet I still consider them part of our science curriculum because they are so full of information about all sorts of birds and animals.
Also, because they are stories, they can be reread and enjoyed each time.
It's funny that I never bothered to look at other books written by Thornton Burgess simply because they weren't on my curriculum list.
Hence the gasp when I found this one, Longlegs the Heron.
I had no idea that there were so many other books written by Thornton Burgess.
And now I have a whole lot more books to look for!

Interestingly enough, the kids are taking part in some presentations with our home school group tomorrow.
Each child chose a mammal that we might see out and about on our hikes, studied it, and is presenting on it to the group.
My kids have made dioramas of their mammal's habitat, and created little posters with interesting facts about the mammal.
James chose a bear, William an otter, and Lilly a rabbit.
What are the chances I can find those 3 books by Thorton Burgess for under the Christmas tree this year?
How perfect would that be?
Looks like I am off to search the world wide web!

If you're looking for some more books to give this Christmas, here are a few of our other favorites:
every book by M. Sasek, books by Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire,  books by Holling Clancy Holling, this book and others by Robert Mccloskey, The Secret Garden was a hit with all the kids and I just love it in this cover, and here are heaps of books written by Thornton Burgess.
What are some of your favorite children's books?
Happy Christmas, friends!
Love from,
Greta

3 comments:

Rachel Reeves said...

So many things about this post make me happy.
I'm sure you can guess which ones.

Glad to see you here, G.
I always love your words.

lauralou said...

There is a Thornton Burgess Society in Sandwich, Massachusetts. I live in a neighboring town. My boys have loved going to the Greenbriar Nature Center. I've posted the link. They may be able to assist you in obtaining more books. Good luck,
Lauralou
http://www.thorntonburgess.org/GreenBriarNatureCenter.htm

mandi said...

Oh we love Thronton Burgess as well! We have a box set of his books and then the Animal and Bird books. To find some vintage copies would be a dream! About giving books- I do the same thing, with the same intentions! Only beautiful, long standing books are given. We give the books on solstice-which is tomorrow!
One of our favorite authors is Astrid Lindgren- The Children of Noisy Village, Pippi Longstocking, etc.- they are all wonderful!