Friday, 19 May 2017

The Day When GOD MADE CHURCH: A Child's First Book About Pentecost by Rebekah McLeod Hutto; Illustrated by Stephanie Haig

I've never seen a book about the Day of Pentecost for children so I was thrilled to see that Paraclete Press has published this one:
The Day When GOD MADE CHURCH: A Child's First Book About Pentecost by Rebekah McLeod Hutto; Illustrated by Stephanie Haig is a picture book for young children based on the second chapter of Acts in the New Testament.
The author of this book, Rebekah McLeod Hutto, is a gifted Christian educator and communicator, and Associate Pastor for Christian Education and Discipleship at Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City. She has written a simple but descriptive, joy-filled narrative that captures the significance of the Day of Pentecost and the effect it had on the followers of Jesus: men, women and children, who were waiting in Jerusalem for the promise He had given them to be fulfilled.
The vivid illustrations by Stephanie Haig are fitting and beautiful - a perfect match for the story.
I'd recommend this book for children around the ages of 3 to 8 years, for reading at home and/or children's ministry.
32 colourful and engaging pages.

The Day of Pentecost falls on Sunday the 4th of June this year, 50 days after Easter Sunday, and celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus' disciples after His ascension. It also marks the birth of the Christian Church. 

Pentecost, the Church's birthday, is an often-overlooked holiday. This book celebrates the miraculous events that occurred on Pentecost and the ways in which the Holy Spirit shaped and continues to shape who we are as God's Church. Children will learn the story of Pentecost: the sights, the sounds, and the people that began the community of the Church. They will discover who the Holy Spirit is and how God calls each of us to follow Jesus. 

The book includes a note to parents, educators and pastors, offering ideas for observing and celebrating God's gift of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the Church. The Paraclete Press website has a sample preview of the book you may view.

This is the second book from Paraclete Press on church traditions for young children that I've had the pleasure of reviewing this year and I hope the publication of books such as these will be a continuing trend. (See my review on Make Room: A Child's Guide to Lent and Easter)

Paraclete Press provided me with a complimentary copy of this book and they have generously offered some free copies to my readers. If you would like to win a copy of this book, please leave a comment here or on my Facebook page and let me know. Winners will be announced on the 25th of May.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Mum Heart Conference - Final Giveaways!

Patricia St. John has been called 'a poet of forgiveness,' and her books have been beloved by generations of children all over the world. These books make wonderful family read alouds and every one of the author's books focus on the Gospel message in a clear, non-preachy and realistic way. I first read her books as an adult and cried through quite a few of them. Nothing Else Matters is written to an older audience than the other two & I wrote about that book here.
The books below are the older non-revised editions - I don't understand why her books have been revised -maybe it's just code for dumbed down. Anyhow the older editions are getting hard to find but I have doubles of these titles for anyone who's going to the Mum Heart Conference at Newcastle next month. Let me know if you'd like any of these titles & leave a comment here or on my Facebook page. I'll be announcing winners of the books I've posted this month the week before the Conference and give them to the winners while I'm there.

The Wizard of Jenolan by Nuri Mass

Originally published in 1946, this book was forgotten for many years. In 1991, a young girl went on a school excursion to the Jenolan Caves and on her return home she told her father (advertising Creative Director, Harold Hughes) all about her wonderful adventures and he remembered the book he'd read when he was a child. He began to tell his daughter about Thel and her adventures but couldn't remember the whole story and was surprised that the book had been allowed to disappear. So he contacted the State Library, found the author Nuri Mass and she agreed to rewrite the story of Thel. This book was the result and was published in 1993.
A good book to read before visiting the Jenolan Caves. Nuri Mass has an old earth perspective & that's reflected in this book. Suitable as a read aloud for about ages 8 and up.

Bushland Stories by Amy Eleanor Mack

Published in 1925, this book, although old and discoloured on the outside, is very readable inside. There are 18 chapters, each containing an individual story. 248 pages all up. I used some of the stories in Year 3 for Natural History with my nine year old.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Keeping & a Serendipitous Moment

We had a family picnic at this park, one of our favourite spots, about a month ago and today Moozle & I went back to do some nature notebooking. We sat by the pond and she made a comment about not ever having seen the water lilies in flower. I suddenly remembered that I'd drawn one (or tried to) when they were in flower before she was born. Sure enough, I looked back in my nature notebook and there on the very first page, dated March, 2002, was recorded my first entry in my nature notebook. Em...I still use the same notebook, but I was reminded of how long my nature notebook Keeping has been in progress, even if it has been a slow process and that fifteen years ago I took the first step.


Lately Moozle has become more interested in using watercolour, keeping it separate from her notebook just in case it seeps through the pages. I posted an instructional video series she's enjoyed working through here along with some of her paintings of flowers. This one below is one of her favourites.

'No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face...'
John Donne

'Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves, and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn, that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness, that season which had drawn from every poet, worthy of being read, some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.'

Persuasion by Jane Austen, Ch 10 

Linking up with Celeste at Keeping Company

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Artistic Pursuits Giveaway

This is the first book in the Artistic Pursuits series and is recommended for students in K-3. I think you could easily stretch it to Year 4, especially if you're just starting to teach art, as it's not just art instruction but art appreciation. It's non-consumable and a list of easy to obtain materials is given at the beginning of the book (soft pastels, watercolour crayons, construction paper & self-hardening clay, for example). I found the key to using the Artistic Pursuit books is to have all your materials available before you start. I leant that the hard way - so frustrating to find you've run out of tin foil or you find the last person to use the paintbrushes didn't rinse them and they're now as hard as pig iron. 

I'd really like to give this book to a family who will get good use out of it, so if you have a couple or more children in the younger grades and would like this copy, please leave me a comment here and/or on my facebook page telling me why you'd like to win it or how you would use it.

You can see my original post about my May Giveaways here. I know not everyone is on Facebook but feel free to enter anyhow if you will be at the Mum Heart Conference in June.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Giveaway! Grammarland & Click Go the Shears

Grammarland by M.L. Nesbitt is an allegorical & pictorial introduction to the parts of speech. Best for ages 10 and up.

Click go the Shears is a traditional Australian bush ballad that had been passed down by word of mouth and so has a number of variations. This blog gives some history of the song.
The book below is illustrated by Robert Ingpen, who just has a way of capturing the heart of whatever he has painted. I love his artwork.

Attendees of the Mum Heart Conference at Newcastle in June are eligible to enter to win either book. Leave a comment here and/or on Journey & Destination's Facebook page.

Monday, 8 May 2017

A Miscellany

Miscellany: A group or collection of different items; a mixture

Here is a mixture of some things that have been going on at our place, mostly to do with art and appreciating what is good, beautiful and true...

We've found some very helpful watercolour videos on YouTube and I've posted some of what Moozle's done below after she watched them. There are oodles of them by the same artist & I've made a playlist of the videos we used. There are various levels but a good one to start with would be this one:

The Fifth Day Sea Creatures by Christopher E. Wade is a welcome addition to the area of children's picture books that 'explores some of the diverse ocean life that God created in the Biblical account of the 5th day of creation.' What is unique about this book is the author's beautiful and painstaking  illustrations. He uses a pointillism technique along with watercolours which he demonstrates on his blog here.
A review of the book is here and there is another book on winged creatures coming...

The American artist Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) isn't a well known artist here in Australia and I possibly would have passed her by if Moozle hadn't shown such an interest in painting flowers. We're using some of her paintings, including those below, for picture study for a few weeks in order for Moozle to take some time 'to see.'

'Nobody sees a flower - really - it is so small it takes time - we haven't time - and to see takes time, like having a friend takes time.' 

 Petunias, 1924

'When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.'  

Autumn Leaves, Lake George, 1924

'I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty.'

The only book I could find on the artist was the children's book below by Mike Venezia, which was written for younger children but it has a good selection of her paintings and Venezia's books are always fun to read.


I feel like I've been doing this forever - 1 inch hexagons using the English paper piecing method.

Larger hexagons - one and a half inch - i.e. each edge is 1 inch long - using up scraps. I'll wait until I have a good hundred basted before I attempt to put them together. I'll use tones, light, medium, dark to work out how the pieces will fit together. Moozle is helping me with this.

I use these pre-cut templates

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

May Giveaway: A Little Bush Maid & Mates at Billabong by Mary Grant Bruce

If you don't already know, Mary Grant Bruce (1875-1958) was one of the best known authors of Australian literature for children. Her Billabong series of fifteen books is probably foremost of all her works but there are other stand alone novels (e.g. Golden Fiddles) that are excellent also.
The 454 page hardback book pictured below published in 1981 by John Ferguson, Sydney, contains the first two books in the Billabong series that were first published in 1910 and 1911: A little Bush Maid and Mates at Billabong.

I wrote about A Little Bush Maid here.
Here is a short taste by 12 year old Moozle on the second book:

In Mates at Billabong, the Linton's city cousin, Cecil, comes to Billabong for a holiday. Obnoxious, spoilt and thoughtless, he looks down his nose at the life the Lintons lead. Cecil gets off to a bad start by falling off his horse into a clump of thorns, thus tearing his coat which is in the newest of fashions. He then sends a letter to his mother complaining about all the oddities of life at Billabong. He thinks he is the best at horse riding, and gets very upset when he is not allowed to ride Norah's pony, Bobs...

Both books make for great family read alouds and would appeal to confident readers from about age 9 years and up. As the series progress, they cover Norah's adventures during World War I and are more suitable for older readers - a lovely series to grow with your child. 
Be warned. Once you have a child interested in life at Billabong you will be badgered to find more in the series...just saying.

If you would like this book, see my original post Giveaways in the Merry Month of May about how you can enter to win.


Monday, 1 May 2017

Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made is told from the perspective of the pioneering researcher, world-reknowned hand surgeon and leprosy specialist, Dr. Paul Brand and is co-authored by Philip Yancey.
I wrote about how we used this book in a couple of different posts but this one will give you an idea of the unusual nature of this book.
The book is scheduled as a health option anywhere between Year 7 and 11 in the Ambleside Online curriculum. I've read it aloud to my 14 year old son while his 9 year old sister listened in and I did some editing on the run as it does have some mature themes. It's probably best as a read aloud for that reason, but also because it presents some wonderful opportunities for discussion.
It's a unique book in many respects as it explores the design and intricacies of the human body, its patterns and unity, and what happens when parts of the body malfunction, then and provides insights into the Body of Christ, the Church.

I have a spare copy of this book to give away to someone who will be at the Mum Heart Conference in Newcastle in June. For a chance to win this excellent book, check out my original Giveaways in the Merry Month of May post and leave a comment here and/or on my Facebook page.

Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering. 
Saint Augustine