Monday, October 22, 2018

Thornton Burgess

I mostly write about what we're doing in the homeschool co-op classroom, but some posts here are just about my family... and this is one of them!

This weekend was packed full of fabulous Autumn family events.

On Saturday we went to the library for a children's music program and then a Spanish class. Then Becca and Zac and I headed to the Fort Massac Encampment. We came home to Natalie making us a delicious Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto with Parmesan and Pepitas.

On Sunday the children went to church and I headed to St. Louis for my Foundations Study group. We are reading How to Know Higher Worlds by Rudolf Steiner and More Radiant Than the Sun: A Handbook for Working with Steiner's Meditations and Exercises by Gertrude Reif Hughes.


Natalie and Becca had a host of fun activities to do with Zac in the afternoon, from making a new Indian corn necklace, to taking the seeds out of a sunflower head with long tweezers, to painting a pumpkin for entry in our public library's pumpkin contest. Zac got a tall very bumpy orange pumpkin and they painted it to look like one of the "wild things" from Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Becca decorated one too. Hers was a small white pumpkin and she decorated it to look like Ginny Weasley from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, complete with long roving orange hair and a needle-felted hat.


This afternoon Becca is looking at my new children's cookbooks by Mollie Katzen and Zac is very happily playing in the sensory bin, which is filled with dried black and red beans and Indian corn.


And I am shopping for more books! Zac has been getting the Tiptoes Lightly books by Reg Down as his bedtime chapter books ever since he turned three. The chapters are just a page or two long, so they have been a wonderful introduction. Here's the complete list of all of them, which I gathered into a blog post when I was getting organized in May. Now it is October and we are almost done with them and I'm getting organized again. This time we are heading into the world of Thornton Burgess. I have some vintage texts which will be more for grade 4 Zoology (The Burgess Animal Book for Children, The Burgess Bird Book for Children) but he wrote plenty of littler chapter books. If you haven't read them yet, first grade or second grade is a perfect age. No doubt we will be reading them again then too.

I fondly remember my mother reading me Old Mother West Wind and hearing the adventures of the Merry Little Breezes and all the animals. I would have given anything to have had more of those books on our shelves! Now Dover Children's Thrift Classics has paperbacks which are only $3 or $4.


*UPDATE* May 26, 2019
I purchased all of the books below back in Oct 2018 when I first put this post together. Zac is four now and they are just perfect bedtime stories for him, a chapter a night. Today I sat down and arranged my pile of books to be in order of publication, so I'm revising the list below to be in the correct order.



#1 - Old Mother West Wind

1910


#2 - Mother West Wind's Children

1911


#3 - Mother West Wind's Animal Friends

1912


#4 - Mother West Wind's Neighbors

1913


#5 - Reddy Fox

1913


#6 - Johnny Chuck

1913


#7 - Peter Cottontail

1914


#8 - Unc' Billy Possum

1914


#9 - Mr. Mocker

1914


#10 - Jerry Muskrat

1914


#11 - Danny Meadow Mouse

1915


#12 - Grandfather Frog

1915


#13 - Chatterer the Red Squirrel

1915


#14 - Sammy Jay

1915


#15 - Buster Bear

1916


#16 - Old Mr. Toad

1916


#17 - Prickly Porky

1916


#18 - Old Man Coyote

1916


#19 - Paddy the Beaver

1917


#20 - Poor Mrs. Quack

1917


#21 - Bobby Raccoon

1918


#22 - Jimmy Skunk

1918


#23 - Bob White

1919


#24 - Old Mr. Buzzard

1919


#25 - Happy Jack

1919


#26 - Mrs. Peter Rabbit

1919


#27 - Bowser the Hound

1920


#28 - Old Granny Fox

1920


#29 - Lightfoot the Deer

1921


#30 - Blacky the Crow

1922


#31 - Whitefoot the Wood Mouse

1922


#32 - Buster Bear's Twins

1922


#33 - Billy Mink

1924


At the eend of Billy Mink, he writes,

    "... Little Joe Otter says that he spends more time in the Smiling Pool than Billy Mink does, and that therefore he should have a book in this series. So the next volume will be Little Joe Otter."

So, I know that Little Joe Otter comes next. That book is out of print, so I got my copy used on eBay. I also know that Longlegs the Heron must come later as well... But I'm happy that so many titles of this series are in print! Plus, now that I know that the Burgess Flower Book for Children exists, I will definitely have to look at it later on for grade 5 Botany.


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