Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I Just Love a Good Picture Book!

Today is National Children's Picture Book Day!  I just love a good picture book and there are so very many good ones out there.  I came across this list of Top 100 Children's Books of all Time.

I really enjoyed a walk down memory lane as I scrolled through the list.  Some, like Tikki Tikki Tembo and Are You My Mother, bring back powerful childhood memories.  I can still see my mother taking a huge long-drawn-out breath each time she said, "Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo has fallen into the well!"  And in our household, a crane was forever (yes, my mom and brothers still even now) referred to as a "snort".

Other books are cherished titles that I read with my own boys.  I adore I Love You Forever, and  Brown Bear Brown Bear.  The first I can never get through without getting choked up, and the second reminds me of those preschool/pre-reading days when the boys would memorize the text and think they were reading.

I also can't walk past a marvelous retold fairy tale.  A couple of my favorites in that category would be The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig.

A more recent find that made the top 100 list is a book I recently sent to my niece in Tennessee for her birthday.  It's called Press Here, and it's just an awesome little book.  It starts with a single yellow dot, and the simple instruction to press it. From there you are sent on a  magical journey that shows you things are not always what you think...

Yep, I just can't help myself.  Children's picture books just make me giddy!  Check out the list  and take your own trip down memory lane.  I'd love to have you share some of your favorites and the memories that go along with them!

Still in one peace,


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Trains, Planes & Automobiles

Infrastructure and communities have been the enrichment focus lately here at the Atlantic Home School Assistance Program.  Water, power, roads, bridges; boats, planes, trains, and automobiles!  It's really amazing when you realize that a mere 150 years ago there was hardly a road in the state of Iowa.  Take a look at a map now!  We have roads crisscrossing the entire state, and every one of them was built by someone.  The Romans taught us a lot about how to build roads.  They actually built them in layers, just as we do now.  Did you know the Roman empire had over 50,000 miles of roads, some of which (the Appian Way for example) are still in use today?

We are just starting to take a look at bridges.  Some of them are pretty amazing structures!  (Can you imagine going back to life without them?)  Beam bridges, arch bridges, truss bridges, cable bridges, suspension bridges, cable-stayed bridges and even bridge/tunnel combinations! (ever heard of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel?)  One of the country's oldest bridges is the Philippi Covered Bridge in western Virginia.  The double-barreled 286-foot long, covered truss was completed in 1852 by builder Henry Hartley and cost  just over twelve thousand dollars.   Another modern marvel is the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, (pictured above) one of the world's longest cable-stayed bridges, spanning the mouth of Tampa Bay.  It's a real beauty and has won numerous design awards since opening in 1987.

Well, we will be swimming in raw spaghetti and glue before long, as I attempt to mentor your kids in the building of bridges.  Hopefully I will have pictures to share in the future.  Until then...

Still in one peace,