Stories We Shared

  In this article we reviewed Doug McKelvey and Jamin Still’s beautiful picture book, The Wishes of the Fish King. In that article we explained that the picture book was published because of a Kickstarter campaign. In the middle of their Kickstarter campaign, Doug asked our Potato Peel Pie Facebook book club what other interesting…

The Scarlet Pimpernel

The movie is better. Much better, in fact. In 1903, Baroness Orczy wrote a successful stage play about a foppish English noble who mastered the art of “disguise and redirect” in order to save the lives of French royals destined for the Madame Guillotine during the Reign of Terror. Building on the success of The…

My Sisters the Saints

“A beautiful and inspiring story of a woman’s deep faith and the saints who became her sisters along the path to her answered prayers.” -Mary Higgins Clark In October 2014, I was struggling under the weight of a heavy cross to bear. I had lost three babies in miscarriage, was struggling against a neurological disease,…

Danny Dunn and the Anti Gravity Paint

In 1956, Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams published their first young reader science fiction book: Danny Dunn and the Anti Gravity Paint. Penned almost fifteen years before Neil Armstrong took mankind’s first steps on the moon, the science in this series is dated but still magical and full of wonder. Nearly seventy-five years after H.G….

The Miracle of St. Nicholas

“Why can’t we celebrate Christmas tomorrow in St. Nicholas?” Set in a small Russian village, young Alexi asks his babushka (grandma) why they cannot celebrate Christmas in their village church of St. Nicholas. In the wake of the Bolshevik revolution, the communists vigorously worked to eradicate religion because it threatened the Russian people’s dependence on…

An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving

We are big fans of Louisa May Alcott here at Plumfield and Paideia. The “Plumfield” portion of our name comes from her iconic Jo March books. While Alcott notably wrote many full length novels for children and young readers, she also wrote many endearing short stories. An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving is one of them. Thanks…

Burgess Readers

Title Dover Librivox Audible 1 Old Mother West Wind Dover Set Librivox 2 Mother West Wind’s Children Dover Set Librivox 3 Mother West Wind’s Animal Friends Dover Set Librivox 4 Mother West Wind’s Neighbors Dover Set 5 Reddy Fox Dover Set Librivox 6 Johnny Chuck Dover Set Librivox Audible 7 Peter Cottontail Dover Set Librivox…

Creed in Slow Motion

“Authors Note: The sermons of which this book is composed were delivered to the girls at the Assumption Convent (now at Exton, Rutland) when they were being evacuated to Aldenham Park, Bridgnorth, during the late war.” In 1855, the bishops of England had suggested to John Henry Newman that he should translate the Vulgate Bible…

What If: Serious Scientific Answers

A few years ago some friends recommended What If: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe because I have a very science-minded little boy who loves “what if” type questions. Munroe started his career by building robots for NASA. He is the author of a very popular webcomic and science Q&A blog:…

Wisdom and Innocence

Like a great wind after a night of thunder He rocked the sodden marches of the soul And ripped the mists of cowardice asunder With laughter vivid as an aureole. He does not need to knock against the Gate Who every action like a prayer ascended And beat upon the panels. Trumpets, wait For a…

Roverandom

“In 1925, four-year-old Michael Tolkien lost his beloved toy dog on the beach. To console him, his father, J.R.R. Tolkien, improvised a story about Rover, a real dog who is magically transformed into a toy and is forced to seek out the wizard who wronged him in order to be returned to normal. This charming…

Letters From Father Christmas

Several years ago I discovered this beautiful book. Published posthumously by Christopher Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien never really meant these for public consumption. Written annually to his children in the guise of Father Christmas or Polar Bear, Tolkien regaled his children with tales from the North Pole and the challenges that old Father Christmas had in…