Thursday, October 24, 2013

Stories of Italy

When we went to the library a couple of weeks ago to pick up books for our "Tour of Italy", there were two that I was absolutely certain that I wanted to look for. The first being part of The Cultures Of The World series. We always borrow books from this collection and they are super informative and really well written for children to be able to understand. 

The second, was part of another series that we have borrowed before as well. This series is what I can assume would be called the "Favorite Fairy Tales" series. We borrowed a Favorite Fairy Tales book when we learned about Scotland and we really enjoyed reading the tales that have been handed down through generations and modified as time passes. Once we had those two books, we started browsing for other books that would be fun to read and learn more about Italy and it's culture. 

I really wanted to start this book review out with some stellar review about "Favorite Fairy Tales Told In Italy" Retold by Virginia Haviland. My littles and I sat down with the book and snuggled in close to each other under a blanket (really, those moments are the best aren't they???) and opened the book. I started reading the first story and it was a variation of a Cinderella Story. I thought it was interesting because last year, I participated in a "Cinderella Around The World" book review with several other bloggers and I reviewed a Caribbean Cinderella Story. At that point we did read several of the other Cinderella stories that other bloggers reviewed, so we decided to skip to the next story. 

The next story was about a King whose three daughters went missing and as he was so tormented with worry, he asked for help finding his daughters, the reward being one of his daughters' hand in marriage. When I got to that part, my skin began to crawl and then my quick witted Eliana said, "Hey! I don't like that!" "Why not?", I asked. "I wouldn't want someone telling me who I had to marry." (Have I mentioned how much I adore this kid?) So, collectively we agreed to skip that story as well, when the third story we read started out with a man trying to find a missing woman to win the reward of her hand in marriage (yes, this is another story all together), we decided to stop reading the book. So, I apologize that I am unable to offer any real kind of review on that book, though if you're into the fairy tales where a man rescues a woman and her dad forces her to marry the hero, you should check out this book. 

After that, I was thrilled to open another book that we found while at the library, Days of The Blackbird by Tomie dePaola. This book is a fictional story based on a true tale that is told in Northern Italy. Aiden was really excited about this book, because at school a couple of years ago, his class learned about Tomie dePaola, so now whenever Aiden sees anything by him, he acts like he is his best friend. BFFs til the end my friends ;)

The tale of the blackbird is that the birds started out white, but when winter came it was so cold that they would hide in the chimneys to stay warm, thus turning black. In Tomie dePaola's story, there is a man who lives with his daughter and they enjoy sitting and listening to the bird songs. Especially that of the white songbird. When the cold weather moves in and the birds start to leave for warmer weather, the father falls very ill and the daughter begs the white bird to stay through the winter so that it may sing to her father help his health. 

This story was a delightful story and the father didn't even make the daughter marry the bird after they saved his life, so that made me even happier ;) All in all, I give this book the honor of being my favorite Italy book that we borrowed from the library. Of course, I am still very fond of the Cultures of the World series, but Days of The Blackbird is nice little story that was enjoyed by all three of us. 

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

A New Adventure. A Fresh Start.

Here we are again. Making a fresh start. There are a lot of changes happening here and we are pretty excited to be back to our cultural exploration. Last week we went to the library and picked up some new books to start learning about a new "destination". I know that many of you have been waiting for a new post from me and I apologize for being so absent in the blogosphere. I have missed this immensely. 

Now, to give you a brief intro intro to some of the new changes happening. Both of my kids have greatly enjoyed learning about the world and all of the various cultures that this wonderful world hosts, but they also have many other interests. I have been trying to figure out a way to work in some of their other interests so that I can continue to share our adventures. One of the things that has been a really big interest for Aiden as he is getting older is that he loves to read. He loves to read about history and he loves science as well. So, I have figured out a way to meet his interests and still keep us in the hands on learning mode, while connecting all of that to our global studies. There will be a full post soon about that, but in the mean time, I hope that you'll be able to sense my optimism and feel as eager to see what's next as we are. 

With all of that said, I posted yesterday on my facebook page a picture of some construction paper, announcing that we were making a flag and suggested that people try to guess which country we are focusing on now. Many of you guessed it right, and I got a lot of other guesses that I think I will add to our list for future adventures. If you guessed that the new country is Italy. You were right. We're pretty eager to learn about Italy and I have a few potential aces up my sleeve to make this an exciting tour (though these potential aces could just be jokers and that would be a bummer, so I'm not sharing that yet ;) ). 

Here is a photo of the littles with the flag. Some flags we have made have been very detailed and time consuming. Italy is not one of them. The flag of Italy was a quick one to make. Since I knew it wouldn't take too long to make, we also read some books about Italy which I will share with you in an upcoming post. 

The little bonus here is that my kids actually look like they love each other in this pic (and I didn't have to take 85 shots to get it). 

If you're still reading my blog, if you have been patiently waiting while I work through some real world stuff, thank you for being here. Thank you for reading. A big thank you to those who have hounded me looking for me to post something new. I hope you all enjoy following along as we embark on yet another new journey. 

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