Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Ambleside Online Year 4 - a review of our year

My original plan for covering Ambleside Online Year 4 which included substitutions to fit in with the Australian History of the time period covered is here:

An Educational Manifesto

We followed the schedule as shown in that post except for the short biography of James Ruse. About 3 chapters into the book it suddenly went missing - and I still haven't found it. Grrr...
So what did Moozle think of her books for this year?

Well these were her favourites:

The Incredible Journey
Our Sunburnt Country
History of Australia
How Did we Find Out About Numbers?
Karrawingi the Emu
Monarch of the Western Skies
The Story Book of Science

Probably the only books she complained about were George Finkel's James Cook, which she read herself and had no trouble narrating but thought was 'boring,' and Trial & Triumph, from which I only assigned selected chapters.

A few thoughts & ideas...

History of Australia - I read this aloud & edited slightly at times. It covers the same events as Our Sunburnt Country. Using both books isn't necessary because of this overlap but I preferred the first as I think it's written at a higher level and as I'm planning to continue with this book for years 5 & 6 it made sense to do it this way. Having said that, each book focusses a little differently to the other and I was happy for Moozle to read Our Sunburnt Country in her own time. If I needed my child to read independently and was short on time I'd give them OSC. 

Madame How & Lady Why - I posted the resources and rabbit trails we used with each chapter. It's not an easy book for children because it's not an easy book for a lot of adults, myself included, but I learnt so much with the reading & researching I did in making it accessible to Moozle. It connected well in places with the Story Book of Science which was helpful also as Moozle loved that book.

Story Book of Science - post & my Pinterest board with links of interest.

Reviews and Links to Resources:

Karrawingi the Emu
Monarch of the Western Skies
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow


We listened to the Arkangel audio books for All's Well That Ends Well and Macbeth, and we watched productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth. 
I think I still prefer the Naxos productions (e.g. The Tempest) that we've listened to over the Arkangel audios. The narrators are just as good and they usually cost less.

Age of Fable - the Preface was the hardest part of this book, and not just for my 10 year old. We both listened to that chapter on Librivox and then I read to Moozle after that. We've recently started Year 5 and she has started to read this book on her own.

Pandora's Box by Odilon Redon (1910-1912)

Picture Study

Edgar Degas, John William Waterhouse, J.M.W. Turner. Waterhouse is a great artist to look at alongside Age of Fable.

Music Appreciation

This year we concentrated on Handel &  Antonín Dvořák. See A Peek at a Week.

Read Alouds

I Can Jump Puddles
The Winged Watchman
A Fortunate Life


Timoleon was the only Plutarch life we managed to do this year and I must say I missed the old fella. We started the life of Themistocles today and there were some names I recognised from The Spartan (AO Year 12) that I read recently.

Robinson Crusoe - we listened to this Blackstone Audio book which I borrowed from the library & it  was very good

Friday, 25 September 2015

Aussie Author Challenge 2015

Just making it in by the skin of my teeth...another 2015 Challenge, and this time it's all about Australian authors. This challenge is hosted by Book Lover Books and there are three different challenge levels to pick from. I've chosen the second level: 


– Read and review 6 titles written by Australian authors, of which at least 2 of those authors are female, at least 2 of those authors are male, and at least 2 of those authors are new to you;
– Fiction or non-fiction, at least 2 genres.

I already had some books chosen to read this year so even though I'm coming in very late, I have at least one finished book plus a review and have started two others. All three below are by male authors, two of whom were new to me, and they are all basically autobiographies:

I Can Jump Puddles by Alan Marshall
A Fortunate Life by Albert Facey
I Find Australia by William Hatfield - the author was born in England and emigrated to Australia when he was about 20 years old. He served in the Australian Forces during WW2 so I think he would be classified as an Aussie. He wrote a few books about his experiences while travelling throughout Australia.

So I need to come up with two female Australian authors, and choose another genre and as I haven't read any modern books for quite some time, I'll possibly choose something more recent for at least one of those. 
I'd better get cracking.

Updated to add:

The Secret River by Kate Grenville (2005)
My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin (female author; fiction)
The Silver Brumby by Elyne Mitchell (1958; female author; children's fiction)

Completed on the 28th December 2015


Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Books in a Series for Early & Late Beginning Readers

Some children jump quickly from the beginning stage of reading to where they can read more challenging books. Most of mine made the leap fairly quickly within a short space of time but a couple needed a longer period to transition. One of them took a few years to get to this stage.
During this stage children can be inspired to read more if they connect with characters in a story and know that there are more books with those same characters. Books in a series are really helpful for any child who has got the idea of reading but isn't yet reading fluently and confidently.

Books for Younger Children

Billy & Blaze by C.W.Anderson (1891-1971)

There are at least eight books in this series in print and Billy & Blaze is the first one. Sensitive stories about the adventures of a boy and his beloved horse and written by someone who knew a good deal about horses and how to care for them. Blaze Shows the Way is a sweet story where Billy & Blaze get alongside Tommy & Dusty and teach them the teamwork needed for jumping. Approximate age of interest - 8 years and under.

The Spindles books by Barry Chant

These have an Australian setting and suit readers aged about 8 to 10 years. I've written about them here.

The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner (1890-1979)

This is the first book in a series of nineteen and is available online at Project Gutenberg.
The books contain about 150 pages in good size print and they are great for younger readers. There's a list of the books and dates written here but it's best to read this book first and (I prefer to) stick to the books that were published during the author's lifetime:

Illustrations from the original book in the series:


When the fluency stage is taking a while...

I wanted to also mention books for older children who are not reading confidently yet. 
One of our children was a late reader and it took a few years for him to read fluently. He needed books appropriate for his age. Books such as Billy & Blaze just weren't suitable, but he was inspired to keep reading when we gave him books in a series that were complex enough to interest him, but had characters that were familiar to him. The familiarity, knowing a little of what was to be expected, removed the barrier of starting a new book because he had already 'made friends' with its inhabitants.  

The other day I asked my son, Hoggy, who spent the longest time gaining reading fluency, what books had helped him the most during this time. Dare I say his answer was the Tintin series??
Tintin by Hergé started out in 1929 and the author continued to write about Tintin and his adventures  for over 50 years. His work portrays a great variety of geographical locations, political content and cultural situations. 

All my children loved these books (which I don't think are in the same category as comics) but for Hoggy they weren't just entertainment. The illustrations made him curious enough to want to put an effort in to try to read the text, plus the stories were adventurous and interesting enough in their own right to keep him persistent in his reading.
Some of the Tintin books are better than others & here is a list from someone at Amazon because my children can't agree on their favourites. Hoggy reckons The Adventures of Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, the first in the series was his favourite, which was placed second last on the link above. Moozle said she likes them all but mentioned the one above. Adults enjoy Tintin but are quick to point out the author's 'incorrectness.' Children just read them and enjoy the stories without taking on the views and prejudices of a different generation - that's been our experience, at least.

These hardback copies have three books in one volume. 

Some other books in a series that have enough substance for slightly older readers who are still working on fluency:

The Sugar Creek Gang series by Paul Hutchens

These books have been around for many years and my boys loved them around the ages of 8 to 10 years but they would be suitable even up to around age 12 or even older for a later reader. The first book was published in 1940 and the last in 1970 and there are 36 books in the series (see here for a list of them). Each book features the 'gang' and my boys became familiar with the characters and they each had their favourites. 
The books were re-printed around 1995 and some changes were made to make them more 'acceptable' to the present day (I think some references to 'getting a licking' etc were taken out). We have some of the books from the pre-politically correct days but the later versions still have some merit, I think, although the older books would be my preference.
Just be aware that there's a series called 'The New Sugar Creek Gang' which are not by Paul Hutchens. 
Sugar Creek is a real location in Indiana, USA.

 The books below are Moody Press editions published in 1967 & 1973:

 The Indian Cemetry below is one of the revised editions published in 1998 with changes ('minor' according to the website I linked to above) made by the author's daughter, Pauline Hutchens.

Childhood of Famous Americans are a series of books by various authors about different people but the series is consistent in the way the subjects are approached and in the level of writing, which is tartgetted to ages 8 to 12 years of age.

These fictionalised biographies are about the childhoods of famous Americans or people who eventually identified with America. Albert Einstein, for instance, who fled Hitler's Germany as an adult and later became an American citizen.There's a legion of books in this series, and although some of them would be more interesting for children in America, there are many individuals who have universal appeal. The books are around 190 pages in length and are printed in a largish font which makes for easy on the eyes reading. Black & white illustrations throughout.
Some of my children's favourites in this series are:

Thomas A. Edison, Neil Armstrong, Clara Barton, Henry Ford, Buffalo Bill, Daniel Boone, Benjamin Franklin, Harriet Tubman, Wilbur and Orville Wright and Albert Einstein.

Viking Quest series by Lois Walfrid Johnson - exciting stories of Viking times by a Christian author. These books are recommended for readers up to about 12 years of age but reluctant older readers would enjoy them also. There are five that I am aware of.

The Redwall Series by Brian Jacques

Warning! These books are highly addictive.  "Wot,wot!'  I just couldn't read them aloud but Dad read one to the boys when they were younger (he also had a good laugh over a couple he read on his own) and Hoggy liked them so much he got stuck into them all. Even though they are quite challenging for children who are not yet fluent readers they were a wonderful incentive for our son to be drawn into a higher level of reading. Filled with all the stuff boys like - food, feasting, songs, more food, quirky language, humour, fights and adventure.

I was very interested to read the author's background and his introduction to classic poetry at the age of fourteen. As a child growing up under the shadow of the second World War in Great Britain, he went through the food shortages and nightly air raids and his stories remedied those concerns he had as a young lad. Filled with elaborate feasting and song, the triumph of good over evil is a strong element running through his books.


According to my resident Redwall experts, the following six books lay a foundation for the Redwall series. You can then read the other books to fill in all the details as they all branch off from the these.

1) Martin the Warrior
2) Mossflower
3) Redwall
4) Mattimeo

5) Salamandstrom
6) The Long Patrol

We have The Redwall Cookbook also and the recipes are not too bad and it actually got our less interested boys into the kitchen experimenting.

Some suggestions to those who have older reluctant or struggling readers:

* Don't despair 

* Check out Dianne Craft's Website especially Smart Kids Who Don't Want to Read
and Can Learning Difficulties be Prevented? We didn't have any access to information such as this when Hoggy was learning to read but I think part of his difficulty was visual. 

*  I've mentioned The Spalding Method in a previous post (scroll down the page a bit) and highly recommend this. It can be used with any child and is also very good for children who have lousy spelling.

* Read aloud books that are beyond their ability - every day. If you're not able to do this, get some quality audio books. Hoggy listened to Treasure Island when he was recovering from being sick and a few days later he took the book off the shelf and slowly worked his way through it. This was a significant shift for him.

* Make sure you require regular oral narration after you read to them. This was a powerful tool for us and although it is often difficult to begin with, it yields great returns over a period of time.

* Let them hear beautiful language from various types of literature - classic books, poetry, Bible. I've always made a point of reading aloud books that would be a challenge for my children to read independently, books they probably wouldn't have chosen themselves, or those which are high quality but need a little editing here and there.

* Play board games such as Articulate, Boggle and others that connect to language.

* This is just something I've thought about in regards to my son when I think back. It may not be applicable to your child but if they are embarrassed about reading aloud & there are younger siblings who read more fluently than they do, their reading aloud will probably not be a true reflection of their reading ability.

Coming up soon...books for the insatiable book gobblers 10 years and under.

Friday, 18 September 2015

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

The classic tales Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow first appeared in Washington Irving's Sketch Book in 1819-1820. I read both of these short stories for the first time this year. As with many other classics, I had a vague idea of the story line but had never actually read them for myself. Both books are included in the AmblesideOnline curriculum for Year 4, which is the year my daughter has just completed so I ended up reading them aloud to her. She enjoyed them both but really appreciated the humour contained in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
This book is a mix of both satire and humour and as I needed to choose something in that very category for the Back to the Classics Challenge I've been doing this year, I decided it would be my choice for this category. (Thanks to Nancy for suggesting this book to me earlier this year)

The same spirit of playful satire and protest against the restless energy and over wakeful enterprise of most of his fellow-countrymen around him seems to have inspired the author of the "Sketch Book" in selecting the title of this story.
Preface by the Illustrator, George H. Boughton.

The people of Sleepy Hollow, located on the eastern shore of the Hudson River, were given to all kinds of superstitious beliefs and fancies, but the belief in the legend of The Headless Horseman was the most pre-dominant.
Into this rustic area of the Hudson came the worthy schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane, a native of Connecticut:

...a state which supplies the Union with pioneers for the mind as well as for the forest, and sends forth yearly its legions if frontier woodmen and country schoolmasters.

The revenue arising from his school was small, and would have been scarcely sufficient to furnish him with daily bread, for he was a huge feeder, and though lank, had the dilating powers of an anaconda...

Ichabod's appetite for tales of ghosts, goblins and the supernatural was equal to his appetite for food, and this propensity had been increased by his residency in the area. Although looked up to by the residents of the area as a man of learning and elegance, he was totally gullible when it came to the superstitious. 
'No tale was too gross or monstrous for his capacious swallow.'

One of his pleasures was to pass long winter evenings listening to tales of haunted houses, goblins and of course, the headless horseman. He in turn would tell his own anecdotes of witchcraft and omens.
But it was one thing for Ichabod to tell his haunting tales sitting by the glow of a cosy fire but quite another to face his own shadowy spectres as he walked home by night.

Before long, Ichabod set his eyes upon pretty Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter of a substantial Dutch farmer, and decided to visit her father, Baltus. Upon entering the farmer's house and laying his eyes on the delights it contained, Ichabod had made up his mind that he would gain her affection. However, he was up against a formidable rival, the young Tartar, Brom Bones.
Brom was chivalrous in a rough sort of way and would have settled the matter by open combat but Ichabod knew his opponent was physically superior and he made sure there was no opportunity for this.

One afternoon an invitation came to attend a 'merrymaking' at the Van Tassel's. Ichabod allowed his scholars to leave early and he spent extra time attending to his appearance before setting off. When he arrived at Van Tassel's his gaze was absorbed not by the beautiful young ladies present but the sumptuous array of food at the banquet, to which he did ample justice.

He was a kind and thankful toad whose heart dilated in proportion as his skin was filled with good cheer; whose spirit rose with eating, as some men's do with drink. He could not help, too, rolling his large eyes round him as he ate, and chuckling with the possibility that he might one day be lord of all this scene of almost imaginable luxury and splendour. Then, he thought, how soon he'd turn his back upon the old school- house; snap his fingers in the face of Hans Van Ripper, and every other niggardly patron; and kick any itinerant pedagogue out of doors that should dare to call him comrade!

Ichabod was in his element that evening as he danced with Katrina, but the lovesick Brom Bones sat jealously in a corner by himself, brooding.
As the evening advanced, the supernatural stories began and various hair-raising tales were narrated with zest. Brom Bones rose to the occasion, matching the various stories by the vivid account of his adventure with the Galloping Hessian, the headless horseman of legend.
At the end of the evening, Ichabod lingered behind to speak to Katrina of his intentions, but he was repulsed and left the farm crestfallen. In desolation he made his way towards the very place where many of the scenes of the ghost stories had been set...
His rival had taken the measure of the gullible school master and had laid his plans accordingly.

An interesting connection with this story: What "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" Tells us About Contagion, Fear and Epidemics.

Back to the Classics 2015: Humourous or Satirical Classic

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Nature Notebook - signs of spring

For, lo, the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone;
the flowers appear on the earth;
the time of the singing of birds is come,
and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land...

Song of Solomon 2:11-12 

We've been enjoying the first signs of spring: flowers appearing, magpies singing, the return of birds and lizards we haven't seen for a while. In the first week of September we went to a spot where we could see the wildflowers coming out because we live in a valley and the signs of spring down here take a little longer to appear.

Australian Wildflowers

Introduced flowering plants

Wisteria budding - this is the blue Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) which has a magnificent show of flowers when it gets going.

Wisteria beginning to flower

Freesias growing freely at the edge of the road, beautiful perfume...these are one of the first spring flowers that we see in our neighbourhood. Originally it was a native to parts of Southern Africa.

 Cultivated freesias in a garden...pretty but no scent

 A Male King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis) - our favourite bird. It is the only Australian parrot that have a completely red head - the females have a completely green head and breast so it's easy to tell them apart. September is their breeding season and we had a group of them eating the purple berries from one of our lilly pilly trees.

We're almost at the end of our Insect Studies using William Gillies' very good little book, First Studies in Insect Life in Australasia.  If you're looking for a book that you can just pick up and use each week then I'd recommend this one. I've really appreciated using these older books in our nature study as they take a literary or narrative approach, as opposed to a more clinical way of presenting the natural world. A literary approach helps to foster that vital aspect of wonder which is often neglected with older children. I'm looking forward to working through another of his books I have on the shelf for our next focussed/special study.

The facts are important, classification is important, and correct naming is of great value; but far more important than all these is the eye that observes, the mind that admires, and the heart that rejoices in the wonder and beauty of Life. 

W. Gillies

Friday, 11 September 2015

Madame How & Lady Why: Chapter 7 - The Chalk-Carts

Chalk-carts, like mice, and dead leaves, and most other matters in the universe are very curious and odd things in the eyes of wise and reasonable people. 

The White Cliffs of Dover

I couldn't find a definition of 'chalk-carts' anywhere although it's obvious Kingsley was referring to the carts that carried chalk from the area where it was cut. From what I've read (here, for example) it appears the carts were part of a horse-drawn industrial tramway, something that was introduced at the beginning of the nineteenth century. This chapter was fascinating once I understood the gist of what Kingsley was getting, at which wasn't obvious to me until after I'd done some digging around.

Come, let us find out something about the chalk before we talk about the caves. The chalk is here, and the caves are not; and "Learn from the thing that lies nearest you" is as good a rule as "Do the duty which lies nearest you."

Chalk, limestone and marble are all forms of calcium carbonate. Chalk and limestone are formed in marine environments while marble is metamorphosed limestone.
This page explains the difference between limestone & marble.
Marl - a mixture of clay and calcium carbonate.

Many of these (chalk) pits are located near farms and settlements where one principal use of the chalk was for the production of lime which was used to ‘fertilise’ or ‘lighten’ heavier clay soils and also to improve drainage and make it more easy to cultivate.

The South Downs area of England is a series of chalk hills in the Hampshire, East Sussex, West Sussex counties. The chalk landscape acts like a giant sponge, and stores water. A huge underground reservoir provides fresh drinking water for over 1 million people living in the area.

Karst Landscape - Kingsley didn't use this phrase probably because it wasn't in use until the late nineteenth century, but it refers to a limestone region where most or all of the drainage is by underground channels and where erosion has produced fissures, sinkholes, underground streams, and caverns. Some photos and more information here.
I've travelled across the Nullarbor Plain many times but it was only when I was reading though Madame How & Lady Why that I discovered that it is the world's largest limestone karst.

Page 126 - The 'silver Itchen' - one of the most famous chalk streams of Hampshire in England which attracts anglers from all over the world.

Page 126 - invisible chalk  in the water causes it to be 'hard.' A written narration from 10 year old Moozle:

 "Chalk is many different things. Limestone is a harder form of chalk, and marble is chalk heated up. There is lots of chalk in England, the White cliffs of Dover are made of chalk, and lots of other things are made of chalk, not just in England, but in some other countries.  The chalk runs out of caves made by the water in little streams, and thus deposits it in the rivers. If you drink water out of one of these rivers, it’ll taste kind of hard. That’s the chalk in the river that’s making it taste hard." 

Page 130 - Caves

Cave fomations (Speleothems) - some good photos here of Jenolan Caves in NSW.

How Stalactites & Stalagmites form - stalaCtites (form on the Ceiling) and stalaGmites (form on the Ground)

We've done this experiment a few times with varying degrees of success: Make stalactites & stalagmites.

Page 131: Breccia (Italian) - rock consisting of angular fragments cemented together in a matrix.


Page 132: Sink hole - a basin in limestone areas down which water disappears. Other names include swallow hole, swallet or doline.

 Water Sinks...North Yorkshire, UK

Page 135 - the dropping-well at Knaresborough showing various articles in various stages of petrification. It will take about 3 to 5 months to petrify a teddy bear:


Pg 135 - the Proteus or cave salamander. Photos and descriptions here.

Lake Cerknisko (Cercnika, Czirknitz) - the lake that vanishes. Found on a karst landscape in Slovenia

See The Mysterious Lake Cerknica - just beautiful!
And some more photos of the lake.

Page 136 - Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, USA


Page 137 - Caripe, Venezeula.

'In Humboldt's Footsteps' - The Guacharo Cave
Another name for the Guacharo bird is the oilbird - Kingsley mentions that 'The Indians kill and eat them for their fat.'
Some more information on the birds here
Wonderful gallery of photos of these birds here.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Church History for Children

We've used these books to introduce some Church History to our children when they were about 8  years old and up. Some of them I read aloud but they are all suitable for children to read on their own. Moozle (10 years old) has just finished going through all the Louise Vernon titles again recently. Vernon's books are fictional but they are mostly set in the time of the Reformation and introduce the great events and people of Church History in a way children can understand and relate to. There are twelve books that I know of, illustrated every now and then with black ink, and they are on average about 125 pages in length. Here are a few that have been well read in our home:

Ink on His Fingers

An exciting story centred around the printing of the first Bible after Johann Gutenberg's invention of moveable type in the 1450's.

The Man Who Laid the Egg

The story of Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) who has been called the intellectual father of the Reformation, seen through the eyes of a young apprentice.

'Erasmus laid the egg, and Luther hatched it.'

Thunderstorm in the Church

Martin Luther seen through the eyes of his son. 'Through Han's eyes you will learn to know Martin Luther - not only as the great Reformer-preacher, but also as a father with a sense of humor and as a friend.'

A Heart Strangely Warmed

Young Robert Upton was peddling his father's goods when he meets John Wesley, a fiery little man who is preaching on the streets of London. Heend Wesley's meetings and gradually Robert begins to understand Wesley's message and feels like Wesley described in his Journal below, that his heart is strangely warmed.'

In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.

Other books by Louise Vernon which are all good and cover some lesser known aspects of Church History are:

The Beggar's Bible (JohnWycliffe)
The Bible Smuggler (William Tyndale)
 Key to the Prison (George Fox & the Quakers)
The King's Book ( The King James Bible translation)
Peter & the Pilgrims (English Separatists & Pilgrims)
Night Preacher (Menno Simons)
The Secret Church (Anabaptists)
Strangers in the Land (Huguenots)
And one which we haven't read, and don't have - Doctor in Rags (Paracelsus & the Hutterites) 

The River of Grace by Joyce McPherson 

Published by Greenleaf Press and 171 pages, this is one of the rare biographies of John Calvin written for young people. I've read a couple of the author's other books and thought they were very well written and I appreciate that McPherson brings history alive but also illustrates how Western Civilization has been influenced by the Christian worldview. I also like the quotes at the beginning of each chapter:

'Ambition deludes men so much that by its sweetness it not only intoxicates but drives them mad.'
John Calvin

Augustine: The Farmer Boy of Tagaste by P. De Zeeuw 

A short, engaging biography of Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354-430) this little book (93 pages) would be interesting for anyone, adult or child, to learn about the wonderful story of Augustine's conversion to Christianity and the faithfulness of a mother who never gave up praying for her reprobate son. 

In the farthest corner under a fig tree he fell to his face, and panting, full of hesitation, Augustine uttered his first real prayer: "How long? Oh, how long? Tomorrow? Always tomorrow, why not right away? Why can I not put a stop to this sinful life right away?"

But listen-what was that? The garden next door was separated from him by a wall, and from behind that wall came the voice of a girl singing, "Tolle, lege," which meant "Take, read!'

...He jumped up from the ground and went to the bench...There were the Epistles of Paul, which Alypius had taken with him into the garden. Augustine picked them up, and the first words he read hit him like lightning.