Recently we read through three quite different books. They are Ancient Greece, Brown Bears and Tree of Wonder.
Navigators: Ancient Greece
My son surprised me with Ancient Greece. Normally when we read a book he rarely looks at it again. But this one he picked up more than once just looking through the pictures, reading captions, picking up on the details I skimmed over the first time I read the book with him. The book is filled with excellent images - some artistic, the others of actual images. There are internet links provided throughout the book to help with additional learning...though I have to admit, we didn't take the time to do so. :) Pages 24 -25 fit in really well with the archaeology unit we are doing right now, my lad was so intrigued it was neat to see.
Maps, sports, stories, hoplites, bravery, and yet a seen weakness in the people.
My lad didn't understand why weak children would be killed at birth. "What if they are really smart though mom? What if they are so smart they can figure out better ways to fight so people don't have to die? Why would they do that mom?" Sometimes I wish I had answers to these questions the lad asks.
My lad liked this book. It taught him a bit more about bears, even though it wasn't about the black bears we saw this summer. He was saddened to learn that they aren't known to live around here.
This book was filled with excellent images of brown bears: Syrian, Eurasian, Kamchatka, Ussuri and Grizzly from around the world. We learned the origin of them, some places where they are pictured, and a variety of interesting facts about them such as scientists thinking they hibernate because they can smell the changes in the air. We viewed images of bears painted in caves long ago, Ursa Major and scientists at work learning more about them. When he saw the picture of the bear with his head in the campers tent he just laughed.
It's hard to know how to describe this book. I loved looking through it. On the first page I searched for many of the animals found in the rest of the book. My son grabbed it from me and said "MOM.. there is no way I can find more than a 1000 ants in this picture!!!". Once he realized he wasn't supposed to he had fun looking at the rest of the book making comments such as "ooh.. look at all the baby snakes" and "agoutis look a lot like big guinea pigs".
Each page of the book has some portion of the Almendro Tree in it. All these different animals owe a good part of their lives due to this tree. There is ONE tree, Two parrots, 4 macaws and so forth all the way up to 1,024 leafcutters ants. The book is all about how "life multiplies again and again in this One Almendro Tree". As each animal multiplies a brief write up is given for it. Often times the picture for the animal includes some of the animals written about in the book, showing the inclusive community that they are part of because of the tree.
For fun at the end of the book, some rainforest math questions are given. They don't seem to be particularly easy questions but it's good to offer a challenge to folks now again isn't it? :)