St. Valentine’s Day (Book List)

Valentine’s Day is a themed holiday that I have vivid school memories of from my own childhood. While we are not necessarily getting into the vast array of valentine cards and gift giving we do take advantage of the chocolate and peanut butter candies sales in the grocery store as well as study the life of Saint Valentine and discuss what his legacy really means and how we should adapt such a concept into our lives. Celebrate Valentine’s Day! Click on the book covers to find each book I’ve gathered for this list. *This post consists of some affiliate links, your purchase goes to bless the Creative Madness Mama family and we greatly appreciate your using our links.   If you cannot see the cover images, I’ve provided the titles here… Llama Llama I Love You Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! (If You Give…) Pete the Cat: Valentine’s Day Is Cool. . .

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Ben Loves Bear by David McPhail {Review}

Ben Loves Bear

  Ben Loves Bear is an amazing book and I cannot wait to get my hands on Bella Loves Bunny! Ben Loves Bear is a lot of things under these durable covers. It is an early reader that is just right for my budding preschooler. It is a board book with absolutely adorable images that delights my toddler. The sentences are short enough (Ben Loves Bear. Bear Loves Ben.) that my toddler tries to mimic it and soon I think my preschooler will have it memorized. This is wide like a board book, (6×8 dimensions) but a bit taller so it almost fits in the early readers section near the I Can Read! books. I’m totally in love with it and if there were a dozen or so similar I’d race out to get them all. Did I tell you that I cannot wait to get my hands on Bella Loves Bunny?!. . .

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Halloween Reads, whether you like it sweet or scary, I have some for you! (Book List)

Halloween Reading Recommendations on Creative Madness Mama

There are a handful of new good readers for little spooks this Halloween as well as our oldies, but goodies from other years. Hopefully you’ll find something to add to your lists from here! Most of these books are available as eBooks as well as hardcover picture books (but of course I always recommend the real thing!) I love Otter! We love Otter! Otter is absolutely adorable, truly I do not exaggerate. Otter! was a big hit, Otter in Space! was perfect for us this year, and now Otter Loves Halloween! is a great addition. While the first two books are taller 9×11″ jacket hardcovers, this seasonal special is a 9×9″ hardcover and will go great on the holiday shelf next to the Marley, Splat the Cat, and Pete the Cat books. Otter is a brave sole, just as are most children in the 4-8 age range and he is. . .

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I Am Otter & Otter in Space by Sam Garton {Review}

I Am Otter in Space Review from Creative Madness Mama

Fans of Marley, Curious George, and Paddington REJOICE! I Am Otter is adorable in an Alvin and the Chimpmunks and the characters mentioned above sort of way. I believe this book is a debut for 2014, but not entirely new as “old Otter stories” are found in a plethora on Sam Garton’s website and blog: I Am Otter: The Unheard Ramblings of a Domestic Otter. The website is highly amusing and I highly recommend a visit. This book is adorable, already said that, right. Otter is unmistakably mischievous, yet child-like innocent as beloved characters often may be found. While I truly think Otter needs a lesson in spelling… her first book of antics make me delighted to meet her. I look forward to more I Am Otter and her friendly Teddy. Love I Am Otter! I Am Otter in Space is also adorable (it’s that word again…) and sooo imaginative! I Am Otter is now a favorite. . .

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Johnny Appleseed: a Poem {Review}

We are starting Memoria Press Second Grade Enrichment Guide and the first book selection for our studies is this one, Johnny Appleseed: A Poem by Reeve Lindbergh. The first discovery I was surprised by is that Reeve is actually a female, which I wouldn’t have assumed from the name. After we read through this one, I discovered there is actually an animated story version of it streaming on Discovery Education. As I had one day left before our summer free trial subscription expired we were able to watch it (multiple times actually by request). While it is a poem, it was not overly poetic in my opinion, but told a story well. There was a repeat character of a girl to old woman Hannah Goodwin that John Chapman visited, as she grew so did her apple trees and her gratitude for Johnny Appleseed. The pictures in this book provide for. . .

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Johnny Appleseed: The Story of a Legend {Review}

Johnny Appleseed Legend Review

Johnny Appleseed, a legend This year we are studying folk tales and legends. Starting our year with Memoria Press Second Grade Enrichment Guide our first book choice is Johnny Appleseed by Reeve Lindbergh. In addition to reading that book I decided to peruse our shelves for other Johnny Appleseed and apple themed books including this one, Johnny Appleseed: The Story of a Legend by Will Moses that I bought on recommendation of Sonlight Core A. The illustrations are lovely with the lanky Johnny through out. Moses starts his book with the birth of John Chapman in 1774, continues into his youthful years, and then his adult life. In the reading of this book I noted that it is not a straight biographical picture book, but it is full of both fact and legend with no distinguishing remarks between which is which. As an add-on read to a unit study, I. . .

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Top Ten Places I search for our next Read Aloud (Book Lists)

Creative Madness Mama top ten reading lists

Hi, my name is Margaret and I’m a book-a-holic. You caught me. I am without excuse a complete bibliophile, a book nerd, collector, and I missed my calling as a classical librarian. One of my utterly favorite things to do since I caught the homeschooling bug is to make book lists. I have book lists for reading aloud. Book lists for required student reading. Book lists for enrichment and unit study purposes. Book lists for taking our studies a bit further. Book lists for entertaining and educating and book lists for just plain escaping into the pages of a story. I am delighted to discover a new book list source! Share your book lists with me! Memoria Press My most appealing book lists come from particular curriculums that I’m in love with. For instance, Memoria Press has never steered me wrong when it comes to books. From Junior Kindergarten, Kindergarten,. . .

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Tillie & Clementine: Noises in the Night {Review}

Tillie & Clementine is a brand new series with a Peanuts flair featuring two true nieces to the author. I was blessed to catch a sneak peak at an advanced copy of Noises in the Night and I’m delighted with it! I do not know if there will be any changes, but I think it is adorable as I received it. By my assumption this will be an 8×8″ paperback book and perfectly on level to shelve with other early reader books (such as the Berenstain Bears, Clifford, and other classics from my own youth). This is a book about two girls that live in a town house with their mother and father. Mama is headed out for the night, and the sisters are left with daddy in charge. Which in a mama-run family life can always lead to interesting things when daddy is left to the chaos that we. . .

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An Extraordinary Egg by Leo Lionni {Step into Reading, Level 3}

Leo Lionni’s popular story about an alligator who gets confused with a chicken is now available as a Step 3 Step into Reading book—perfect for children who are ready to read on their own!

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Any advice for someone about to start Memoria Press First Grade?

Any advice for someone about to start Memoria Press First Grade? I love Memoria Press Classical Core Curriculum, I truly do. I’m impressed with everything they’ve put together and their Enrichment is my favorite part of how it all meshes together. We have spent the last year working our way through Memoria Press First Grade from their Classical Core Curriculum. It’s shocking, because I feel like I was just finishing up my reviews from our year in Kindergarten. We started with Junior Kindergarten, then Kindergarten, and then First Grade, and I’ve already started plotting my fall with Memoria Press Classical Core Curriculum Second Grade. We are that impressed that I just keep coming back for more and recommending it to anyone who asks. Truly, I could go on for hours. It is based on years of research, that Memoria Press is able to offer classical curriculum for homeschool families. After. . .

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Silver Spurs (Horses and Friends, #2) by Miralee Ferrell {Review}

In May, you may recall when I mentioned the first book in the Horses and Friends series, A Horse for Kate. The Horse and Friends Series is set to have four books so far. A Horse for Kate (Spring 2014) Silver Spurs (Summer 2015) Mystery Rider (Fall 2015) Blue Ribbon Trail Ride (Spring 2016) When I was a pre-teen, or tween, I definitely had fears and trusting God was a concept constantly on my mind. In Silver Spurs, Kate and her friend Tori have a tale of defeating their fears and entrusting God with their dreams. This one has a flair of the “means girls” that is so often found in this age, but there is a method to the madness and a purpose to the pain. I’ve never been one much to get caught up in the excitement about horse-lovers. While I have loved the handful of times I’ve. . .

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Miralee Ferrell {Author Refresh}

I’ve refreshed some of my reviews of Miralee’s Love Finds You in… titles including Bridal Veil, Oregon and Tombstone, Arizona. I still need to read Last Chance, California and I have yet to get my hands on Sundance, Wyoming (anyone have a copy that they want to part with?). Also have you heard of her latest and new series for middle grades? Check out my thoughts on the first two books (of four) in the Horses and Friends series. And by the way, if you haven’t read her Love Blossoms in Oregon series, there’s plenty of family drama and healing to read about there as well (no posts here yet, but I’ve talked about these plenty with friends in person!). What is your favorite novel from Miralee Ferrell? Leave a comment and tell me about it.

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A Horse for Kate (Horses and Friends, #1) by Miralee Ferrell {Review}

The Horse and Friends Series is set to have four books so far. A Horse for Kate (Spring 2014) Silver Spurs (Summer 2015) Mystery Rider (Fall 2015) Blue Ribbon Trail Ride (Spring 2016) When I was a young reader of the near-tween age I don’t remember being in love with the idea of horses, my love was with ship-wrecked and adventurous girls on the wild frontier either in the American west or English isles. However, I remember when my cousin and then later my niece discovered horses, oh my, do I remember. For both girls, in different avenues it was an intense passion for horses. My cousin rode competitively with her own horses. My niece read every book she could, watches films, and dressed like an adorable cowgirl from the prairie ranch. As I go into reading this book, I think back fondly on those memories and about the future. . .

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