The Natural Storyteller:Wildlife Tales for Telling…..A Review

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The Natural Storyteller

Wildlife Tales for Telling

by Georgiana Keable

Published by Hawthorn Press

 

This beautiful new book, offers a vibrant invitation to embrace a world of stories about animals and plants-and our relationship with them’. Included are 48 stories from various parts of the world and cultures, each exploring themes such as sustainability and all including an element of fun! The chapters are entitled Story Heart; Story Mind,;Story Tree; Story Animal; Story Bird; Story Earth; Story Water; Story Weather, and The First Party

Written by Georgiana Keable, a storyteller pioneer who taught storytelling at Oslo university and launched the Norwegian Storytelling Festival, this book is designed to not only offer stories, but to also help the reader flex their storytelling muscles. To really feel into the stories and work with them deeply.  A great extra section entitled ‘Myths from the Land of You’ offers quizzes to help you remember key points in the story to help you with storytelling, offering inspiration for ways to work with the story in connection to your own life, story skeletons,  ideas for extending the story experience with games, activities such as making story maps from nature, riddles and more. There is even the idea to set yourself a challenge after reading the book…..to hold a story party at which you tell some of the tales yourself. This sounds like so much fun, and a  great idea for home ed groups and communities! 

I especially like how this book is more than just a collection of stories, it could be used that way if you wish, but there is so much scope here to really dive into the tales and to  experience and practice an ancient skill. The stories are timeless, appropriate for a wide age range, and offer an oasis of calm amidst the fast paced society of today, perfect for sharing and as a means of reconnecting with our environment. A very welcome addition to our bookshelves! 

Find your copy here

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‘An A-Z Collection of Behaviour Tales’….. A Review

Our friends at Hawthorn Press recently sent us some more goodies, including this new publication by Susan Perrow. We already have her previous book ‘Healing Stories for Challenging Behaviour’, which is such a great resource, so we were excited to try this new offering!

 

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An A-Z Collection of Behaviour Tales

From Angry Ant to Zestless Zebra

By Susan Perrow

Illustrated by Allmut ffrench

 

The idea behind this collection of tales is to offer ‘story medicine’, which I think is a lovely concept. In the book, you will find 42 stories, each focusing on an undesirable behaviour, through the story journey each particular behaviour is worked through and balance is restored. Also, at the back of the book there is a very informative section on ‘Ways to Use Story Medicine’ where you will find suggestions for extending the stories, as well as ideas for using the stories as a springboard for one’s own writing.

The stories move through the alphabet, with a specific character for each tale. Included are humorous tales and also some more serious stories. They can be read in alphabetical order, selected to meet a certain undesirable behaviour you wish to address, or older children can even read through the stories themselves. The tales are aimed at ages 3-9 years, and each has a suggested age clearly marked below the title, but really anyone can enjoy them! 

We found the tales we read interesting, engaging and humorous. Of course The Bundles wanted the stories with funny sounding titles, ‘Hurting, Biting Hippo’ was a definite hit! I particularly like ‘Zestless Zebra’

The simple illustrations work well to ignite the imagination, while still leaving space to wonder.

‘An A-Z Collection of Behaviour Tales, From Angry Ant to Zestless Zebra’ is a great addition to our library and we would highly recommend it to fellow home educators, parents, and anyone who loves stories! Find it here

 

 

 

 

‘Making the Children’s Year’……our review

 

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Making the Children’s Year

Seasonal Waldorf Crafts with Children

by Marije Rowling

Published by Hawthorn Press

 

We have (and love!) the previous version of this book  ‘The Children’s Year’. It was one of the first craft books we purchased when we first discovered Waldorf, and it has facilitated many a making session.  I was delighted to see that an update was coming, and our lovely friends at Hawthorn Press offered to send us a copy for review

This volume ‘Making the Children’s Year’ is an updated version of the previous book, put together by Marije Rowling (one of the original authors of the previous edition) It offers a brand new layout and more information for each season, including a very inspiring piece on colour throughout the year, the nature table, information on craft materials and where to source them, tips and abbreviations for sewing and knitting, information on fabric dyeing, pattern tips for tracing and transferring and much more. 

There’s a wealth of seasonal offerings within these pages, things to make for outdoor play, indoor play, cards, nature crafts, lanterns, decorations, dolls and doll’s clothes, children’s clothing and accessories and more.

I  especially like the knitting patterns because knitting is my favourite craft. I have previously made the mittens, hat and jumper from this book, actually, the first jumper I ever knitted was the one in this book, thanks to the easy to understand, yet thorough pattern instructions. Imagine my delight when I discovered that such well loved, familiar patterns now have beautiful colour illustrations! 

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Of course I paged through to the autumn portion first, because its my favourite season, and also because we are currently gearing up to begin Kindergarten again this autumn so this is perfect timing for some extra autumn craft inspiration. Much is included for festival crafts, as well as some lovely ideas for gifts and little play figures and even some creative and beautiful storage solutions. The Bundles delighted in looking at the illustrations and telling me which things we should have a go at making (so, basically everything!)

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This book is accessible for both those who are already crafty and seeking seasonal inspiration, and equally for those who would like to learn.  There are patterns offered for adults, older children and younger children, and the illustrations are captivating to all!  It is an Invaluable resource for Waldorf home educators, indeed for anyone wishing to bring rich, seasonal crafts to their family, group or community. 

Bringing seasonal delight and a reminder of the importance of creativity and handwork, this book is a real treasure and we most definitely recommend it!

Our friends at Hawthorn Press are so excited about this title that they have made it available early! Order your copy here 

 

Advent and Christmas Stories……our review

Today I am sharing another lovely book, sent to us for review by our friends at Hawthorn Press……

 

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Advent and Christmas Stories ‘A treasury of stories, verse and song’ takes the reader on a magical journey through the festive season.

Beginning with Advent and continuing through to Christmas, the book comprises mainly of stories, verses and songs focusing on the traditional Christmas story, but with the addition of tales which tell of the role of a selection of animals, which is a lovely touch. There are also some stories and songs with a less or non-religious focus, like the story of ‘The Too Little Fir Tree’ 

As an afterword, a chapter is included on ‘setting the mood for storytelling’ which is well worth a read, in fact I would suggest you read the entire book cover to cover before bringing the stories to children. Get a feel for what is included first and then set the scene for some festive storytelling, perhaps around the tree with a warm, festive drink and some gingerbread cookies?

Find your copy here

 

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Form Drawing and Colouring, For Fun, Healing and Wellbeing….a review

Our lovely friends at Hawthorn Press sent us this new title for review and we have been having lots of fun playing with it!

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Form Drawing and Colouring For Fun, Healing and Wellbeing

Fourfold patterns for Harmonising Body and Soul

by Angela Lord

This new title is a refreshingly different take on the ‘adult colouring book’ and mindfulness theme. Form drawing is a very important part of the Steiner Waldorf Curriculum and holds a magical appeal for both children and parents alike so it’s great to see a form drawing colouring book just for us grown ups ‘for Fun, Healing and Wellbeing’, encouraging us to slow down and enjoy a focused, relaxing yet will building activity.

Inside the book you will find a wealth of ‘fourfold patterns of increasing challenge and complexity’ which you can work through at your own pace, plenty of freedom to experiment and choose from a bit of relaxing drawing to something more taxing and involving a higher level of focus and concentration.

There is a handy introduction section and ‘how to use this book ‘ guide at the beginning of the book which we found very informative, part of this is written in a ‘question and answer’ fashion which is engaging and fun, an especially nice touch for someone in need of some healing and wellbeing to have a friendly voice there on the page.

So, us grown ups had a go at some form drawing, and it really is great fun. We used some of Bundle Number One’s special Kindergarten colouring pencils which were ideal for this, but you can use any coloured pencils of your own choosing.

These forms drawings are a fantastic will building exercise, and give a great sense of  achievement as there is plenty of space to get them a little wrong and then try again and improve.  Do take note of the title though, and allow yourself the space to give this your full attention. Do not try this while there are little ones around, its distracting. In fact, if you look closely at the drawings you can actually see wobbles where said distractions occured! Definitely keep this one for a quiet evening with a nice hot drink, and now that the nights are drawing in its an ideal activity to sit and immerse yourself in for a while

A few of the forms were a teeny bit tricky to follow due to the inside page creases but this was easily solved by my not being so precious about book spines, yes I am one of those people who like to keep books in pristine condition but this one needs and wants to be used 😉 

 We would definitely recommend giving this new book a try, and it also makes a lovely gift for anyone you know who is in need of something just for them, ‘for Fun, Healing and Wellbeing’.

So go on, find a copy here , wrap it up with a pack of new coloured pencils and make somebody smile 🙂

History Through Stories, our review…..

History Through Stories

Teaching Primary History with Storytelling

Chris SmithPhD, Adam Guilain and Nanette Noonan

Published by Hawthorn Press

 

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We were offered the opportunity to review the latest title in the Storytelling Schools Series which we have been following and reviewing since the first book in the series was published. This one is published on August 1st 2016 so we were very excited to have a preview!

 

This book focuses on History, which we won’t be covering for a while yet with The Bundles as we are taking a relaxed approach to academics until age 7. It does, however provide an ideal opportunity for me to get refreshed on all things History in order to bring it to them when we are ready!

I really like the storytelling approach to teaching, I’m a big story fan and I think this approach really engages children and brings the learning to life. If you are unfamiliar with the Storytelling Schools approach, this book has the first chapter dedicated to explaining the approach and a guide on how to use the book.

Each chapter in the book focuses on a different historical time/event and comes complete with a story, tips on telling the story, songs, ideas for ‘Ways to Work with the Story’ and extensive information on other areas of the curriculum that can be linked to the story.

This is a fantastic new resource which I would highly recommend to other families, it’s certainly an invaluable one for the home ed bookshelf. You can get your copy here  🙂

 

 

‘A Home Education Notebook’….

When we arrived back from our trip I was delighted to find a parcel on the doormat containing this…..

 

The newest book from much admired home education author, Ross Mountney published this week by Birds Nest Books

 

This is something I have really looked forward too, I love Ross’ writing, both in her books and on her blog and this particular publication looked especially interesting since it’s purpose is ‘…to encourage and inspire’ something I could definitely do with on many a home educating day, as I’m sure could many of my fellow ‘home eders’ 😉

I started reading as soon as there was a quiet moment and I am indeed encouraged and inspired. I am also hooked and eagerly awaiting some quiet time to settle and read on!

So far I am on Chapter 5 ‘Not-At-Home Education’ which talks about the fact that so much education happens outside the home, and that the term ‘Home Education’ can actually give quiet the wrong impression. So true.

There are 52 chapters in the book in total, one to turn to for each week of the year, all  focusing on a different aspect of home education, the good, the bad and the ugly!  I wanted to read one chapter per week but there’s no way I can wait so I’m reading the whole book through then beginning again in September with the start of our home ed year.

Ross has, once again, delivered the goods wrapped in a warm, humorous and understanding hug. She has been there and survived, as did her now grown up children (who you can read about in ‘A Funny Kind of Education’) so there is hope for us all!

I would absolutely recommend this book to other home educating families, it is one that will be a permanent fixture on our coffee table throughout the year, and many more to come. Thanks for all of your hard work, Ross. It is much appreciated and I am eagerly awaiting the day one of my children brings an owl pellet to the dinner table 🙂