August 22, 2006

Late summer catching up

It's been another busy week, and besides the usual weeding of the thousand trees it's been dry enough to start watering the garden, because the beans and cucumbers keep coming, the tomatoes have started, and the corn is on its way. On Saturday we enjoyed a wonderful party celebrating the 50th anniversary of a dear couple we know, the parents of one of Tom's closest friends. To top it off, his close friend and family, who live in northern BC, brought us a freshly caught salmon, which we enjoyed last night, grilled, and with -- all from the garden -- dill, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, peas (via the freezer), and green and Royal Burgundy beans. The kids figured that the only storebought items were the olive oil, salt, and pepper. If I hadn't spent most of the day outdoors, I would have turned some of the bag of apples from Tom's cousin's girlfriend's tree into a cobbler or at least a compote, but everyone was happy with a dish of storebought ice cream. The apples will wait.

The latest Carnival of Homeschooling is up at The Common Room.

The Sixth Carnival of Children's Literature is up at Castle of the Immaculate. And, for you early planning types (don't look at me, I didn't submit anythingto any of the carnivals), Carnival number seven will be hosted by Wands and Worlds next month, with submissions due by September 15th; Sheila writes, "This 'Harvest of Children's Literature' will be celebrated on the equinox, September 23!" Not to be outdone, Michele at Scholar's Blog has already advised that she'll be hosting the Eighth Carnival on Halloween: "I invite you to start thinking about witches, pumpkins, vampires, ghosts and ghouls, and anything else that might be related to Hallowe'en." Submissions are due October 15th. Michele also provides a handy listing with links of all the previous kidlit carnivals.

The deadline for the latest Country Fair of Homeschooling was, aack, yesterdayday. I didn't submit anything, but I'm looking forward to reading everyone else's offerings shortly.

Dawn at By Sun and Candlelight is ready with the Late Summer Field Day, a carnival of nature study, bookended by just the right poems saying goodbye to August and hello to September.

Kelly at Big A little a is working on the August edition of the online kidlit magazine The Edge of the Forest, and it should be up on Wednesday.

Sherry at Semicolon, a homeschooling/writing/reading mother, has a fairly new feature, The Saturday Review of Books, a roundup of the week's book reviews, complete with its own easy auto-link form. Couldn't be any easier!

Another member on one of my Yahoo homeschooling groups mentioned the other week a new American history book for children (she had read about it in Parade Magazine), but on checking at Amazon discovered, of course, that it wasn't yet out. So I was very pleased to find Chris's glowing review, complete with list of links, of the book, The American Story: 100 True Tales from American History by Jennifer Armstrong (who has a blog and a website, though the latter is still under renovation). The blog in particular has some of the book's beautiful illustrations by Roger Roth. Very nice. Publication date for those of us who don't usually receive advance copies is -- ta-da -- today! Great good luck to Ms. Armstrong and Mr. Roth, and am very much looking forward to getting my mitts on a copy.

I'm so far behind that some of these titles reviewed by the prolific Fuse #8 predate her recent summer vacation. Worth noting is Fuse's review of Counting on Grace, historical fiction from Elizabeth Winthrop (the kids adored her Castle in the Attic when we studied the Middle Ages the other year), about young Grace who works in a New England cotton mill and meets photographer Lewis Hine. Fuse calls the novel "remarkable," which is good enough for me. A good companion book would be Russell Freedman's Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor.

Also recently reviewed by Fuse is what I think might be Albert Marrin's first picture book, Oh, Rats!: The Story of Rats and People. So now while you curl up with your copy of Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants by Robert Sullivan, Junior can snuggle up next to you with his own version. Much as we here at Farm School like to curl up en famille with our Mark Kurlansky fish books: Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World for Tom and me, and the picture book The Cod's Tale for the kiddies (both highly recommended, by the way).

A new blog, from children's author Anne Bustard. It's a birthday-by-birthday list of mostly picture book biographies (and some compilation books, such as those by Kathleen Krull). Definitely a fun way to learn history through the year. In a similar vein, I recently found Days to Celebrate: A Full Year of Poetry, People, Holidays, History, Fascinating Facts, and More by Lee Bennett Hopkins with illustrations by Stephen Alcorn, at BookCloseouts, as a fun addition to our schoolwork.

L. at Road SCHOLA, aka Suzy Homemaker, wrote about a new-to-me recipe blog, Bakingsheet. Yummy.

And to end with a laugh, Greg at GottaBook has been considering famous authors and the children's books they'd write. Don't miss my favorites, Coulter and Faulkner.

And now we've got to get ready for the "end of summer" swim at the pool, sponsored by our local homeschool support group. Everybody in the pool!

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