One of my greatest joys as a mother is cuddling up with my children and reading to them. For each of our read-alouds, I plan to post a book review. We also have some favorites that I will include a review for as well.
Seven Silly Eaters has been a favorite of my daughter since she was 2 years old. She still asks to have it read aloud to her even though she is 7 years old now and reading on her own.
The story follows a family as they grow from one to seven children. However, as the children grow they each continue to only eat their one favorite food. Their poor mother is worn out trying to cater to their picky eating habits. At the end of the story, the children stumble upon a way to show their mother how much they love her while also solving their eating problem.
In this book, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Kate DiCamillo takes on tough topics such as separation, sickness, and death and weaves them throughout the story in a gentle way that children can understand and identify with.
Edward is a prim and proper bunny brought home as a gift for a rich little girl. He becomes the little girl's best friend who she talks to incessantly and confides in completely. On one fateful day they are suddenly and completely separated. Throughout the rest of the story, Edward travels from one home to another in hopes of finding his very first loving little girl. He meets people in all ages and stages of life. With each interaction, Edward is transformed. By the end of his journey, he has learned what it means to truly love someone just because with no strings attached. His final destination is a wonderful surprise that thrilled his gentle bunny heart and will thrill the readers alike.
Hansi: The Girl Who Left the Swastika
In the fall of 1938, German soldiers of the Third Reich marched into her small village and announced that they had come to free the German people from oppression of the Czech government. The soldiers marched in and brought with them food, jobs, and books. Hansi loved books! Soon, she was tested and found to be intellectually intelligent enough to join Hitler’s Youth program. It seemed to be a great honor, and she felt great pride in being chosen. As an orphan being raised by Czech foster parents, this was her great opportunity at a better life. She and her foster mother walked together to the train station. As Hansi’s train pulled away to transport her to the glorious city of Prague, her mother called to her, “Marichen, don’t ever forget Jesus!”
Hansi’s pride in being a part of the Third Reich and her confidence in Hitler lingered. The war lingered. Food became scarce. Her friends were being killed. She became ill. She recovered. She faced certain death and survived over and over again. Why? Why should she survive when so many others did not?
Hansi: The Girl Who Left the Swastika is the story of Maria Anne Hirschmann, affectionately known as Hansi. It is her story of survival against impossible odds. It is the story of how she was protected by an unseen power that she did not know and could not explain. And, it is the story of how she came to know that power through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Maria Anne Hirschmann developed a great love for the American people through the kindness of American soldiers she met while escaping a Russian labor camp at the end of WWII. She also developed a great love for Jesus and a desire to share His message with as many people as possible.
We were privileged to be able to meet Grandma Hansi and to hear her share a part of her story. It is a pleasure to be able to share her story with you. If you would like to order her book, you can find it here. We plan to add this book to our reading list when we get to WWII in our American History studies this coming school year.
Next UP: Charlotte's Web & Tom Sawyer