Thursday, September 30, 2010

BEST read-aloud in a long time ...

... well, TWO actually! 
There are times when you go to the library, take a chance on a book, and it becomes a family classic!  Well, this happened to us and we had such fun with Howard Whitehouse's
The Strictest School in the World: Being the Tale of a Clever Girl, a Rubber Boy and a Collection of Flying Machines, Mostly BrokenThe title alone gives you a clue to the luscious use of language in this book about young people, wonderful (and horrible) adults, and flight.  The writing is replete with picture-sentences that sparked giggles and out-right belly-laughs.  The bad people are REALLY bad and the good people are REALLY good.  I love that! Oh, and scattered throughout the novel are whimsical drawings of the characters and events by Bill Slavin.  Set in Victorian England, this book is great for history, science (especially the physics of flight), and literature.

We were thrilled to find that Whitehouse and Slavin teamed-up and wrote a second book for the Mad Misadventures of Emmaline and Rubberbones which is a sequel that equals, if not betters, the first book!  The Faceless Fiend: Being the Tale of a Criminal Mastermind, His Masked Minions and a Princess with a Butter Knife, Involving Explosives and a Certain Amount of Pushing and Shoving picks up where the first one left off.  But this time, the children are "homeschooled/unschooled" (well, ok they have a tutor, but trust me, it's more unschooling than anything!).  And they have a few more good guy characters and some really BAD bad-guy characters. 

These are classic family read-aloud fun. 

And, guess what ... although our library doesn't have it (which means I'll have to BUY it), there is a THIRD installment of these crazy adventures: 
The Island of Mad Scientists: Being an Excursion to the Wilds of Scotland, Involving Many Marvels of Experimental Invention, Pirates, a Heroic Cat, a Mechanical Man, and a Monkey.  Yes, I AM ordering that today ... with two day-shipping ... we should have it in time for Monday school ....  


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