October 9, 2013

Two Gold Star Books

You all know by now that I usually prefer reading silently to listening to an audio book.  Too many things can go wrong with an audio book and it takes forever to get through when you listen to every single word.  However, I wholeheartedly recommend that you check out the AUDIO version of the book Whittington by Alan Armstrong immediately.  The reader is amazing, fantastic, incredible.  He has this deep, raspy voice that is perfect for the story.  The children and I were riveted.

The book is "two books in one" as my son, Cowen, pointed out.  I'd say it is more like three books in one.  It is the story of the cat, Whittington, making friends and a place for himself in the barn.  It is a story about a young boy who struggles with reading.  It is also a story about Dick Whittington (yes, that Dick Whittington) and his cat.  I didn't know what the book was about when I picked it off the shelves, but it is works in beautifully to our Middle Ages unit.  The children were exposed to things like British woolens and trade with the East and Marco Polo.

This book is awesome.  I plan on buying it so I have it in my permanent collection but I can't decide whether to get the audio (it would be the only audio book I own) or novel form.  We just loved this book!

I judged this book by its cover.  I saw it on a library display shelf, thought the dog was cute, thought my son might like it, and grabbed it.  I've seen Eva Ibbotson's name around before but haven't read anything by her.  I'm rectifying that immediately.  I read One Dog and His Boy in one sitting--it is not long--and just loved it.  This is a story of benign neglect, selfishness, the need people (and dogs) have to be useful and wanted.  It is fantastic.

Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I recommended this book to my sister and she *gasp* didn't like it. She thought it was too cliche.  My daughter, Miriam, loved it, as did my sister's children.  I didn't find it cliche, obviously, but would LOVE for some other people to read it and tell me what they think.  That would be so fun!!  Do it now!!

What else have we been listening to?  Ah, yes, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.  My children loved it.  The reader was very good.  We started listening to Amos Fortune, Free Man and I couldn't handle the reader and turned it off.  Anyone read it?  Should I check out the novel and give it another chance?  We listened to the first three Harry Potter books to get ready for our Harry Potter themed family reunion.  The reader was superb and I enjoyed listening to them, but I don't want my younger kids hearing the other books so we're waiting on those.

Have any of you read anything great lately?


  1. OH! I love your book recommendations! I haven't read either of these books but they are going on my list now. (you know the huge list of recommendations I've already taken from your blog and goes to the library with me every week)
    I'm listening to The Sign of the Beaver at your recommendation and we like it so far.
    I'm currently reading A Little Princess (I loved Little Lord Fauntleroy by the same author)
    The last book I read and loved was The Scarlet Pimpernel. I've loved the movie version with Jane Seymour since I was a teenager but never read the book until now. Of course the book and movie are only slightly similar but I can say I still love the movie (at least the version I saw) and I love the book.
    Have you read it?
    (hope you don't mind long comments! ;) )

  2. We liked Little Lord Fauntleroy when we listened to it on tape (we always have a book going when we drive places). My only complaint was the author's tendency to talk about how pretty the boy was as though that made him a superior person. My children did not pick up on that though and thought the book was great. I liked it a lot too--I just had the one little complaint.

    No--I haven't read The Scarlet Pimpernel. I keep meaning to because I LOVE the movie. Someday soon I'll get to it!

  3. Andrea!!! I'm shocked!! YOU haven't read the Scarlet Pimpernel. Read it. Immediately.

  4. I have since read The Scarlet Pimpernel and loved it. Loved it so, so, so much.