101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith

Monday Morning School was the perfect excuse to read 101 Dalmatians again. Though the story-line was fuzzy in my memory, not so the nostalgia for the days home alone, missing school because of a cold; couch, blanket, box of Kleenex, reading and rereading this sweet tale. Because the feeling of reading this one stuck with … Continue reading 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith

Ox, House, Stick: The History of our Alphabet

By Don Robb Illustrated by AnneSmith I have plenty of books in my library on the history of the English language, most of which include bits of history about the alphabet. But, when I wanted to use a different approach with my spelling students, I decided to take them as far back as possible into … Continue reading Ox, House, Stick: The History of our Alphabet

Left by Themselves by Charles Paul May

Charles Paul May seems to have written a dozen or so informational books for children in the 1960s and 70s, but not even Wikipedia knows anything about him now. Left by Themselves was originally titled Stranger in the Storm. In this book, May is still teaching, but by means of a short work of fiction. … Continue reading Left by Themselves by Charles Paul May

Mustang, Wild Spirit of the West By Marguerite Henry

By the time the Marguerite Henry craze visited my grade school classmates in the early 70s, Henry had already published around 50 books about dogs and horses. Given my love of animal stories at the time, I’ve pondered my reasons for never joining my friends on the “Henry-Reading Train.” In fact, I didn’t read Misty … Continue reading Mustang, Wild Spirit of the West By Marguerite Henry

Brother Hugo and the Bear

I found inspiration for the figure of Brother Hugo himself in an Oxford manuscript. At the end of an eleventh-century copy of St. Jerome’s Commentary of Isaiah, now kept in the Bodleian Library, I came across the endearing self-portrait of a Benedictine monk who had labeled his picture Hugo pictor: “the painter Hugo.” Beebe built … Continue reading Brother Hugo and the Bear

Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc

This is part of Diane’s Literature For the Ages Series Each of the girls in my class has read Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, and last year we read Life on the Mississippi together. So they have had a good taste of Mark Twain’s usual style. This month we read Twain’s Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc. … Continue reading Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc