The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

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Growing Seasons Review by Christine Field

By Elsie Lee and Carolyn Splear, with paintings by Ken Stark

When was the last time you got excited about a children’s book? Growing Seasons is absolutely lovely! Ms. Splear was born on an Illinois farm in 1906 and kept notebooks about what life was like growing up in rural America. She took her memories and, with the help of her daughter Carolyn, and the talent of artist Ken Stark, created this memorable book.

More than a lovely book, this gem gives us a slice of life through the seasons. The description of the kitchen stove and garden give us a wonderful taste of this simple life. The memories of wash day, farm chores, and planting and harvesting are informative as well as sweetly sentimental.

The authors of this book have also given us a treasure chest of resources to use along with this book. At, you can get coloring pages, an entire teacher’s guide, and set of related links to make this a neat unit study for your family.

Carolyn has read the book on National Public Radio and has filmed an entire special for CSPAN BookTV Presentation. She loves to tell her story to others through workshops and media appearances. Her contact information is below.

The book is published by G.P. Putnam (2000) and can be ordered by your retailer or at

-- Product Review by: Christine Field, Senior Correspondent, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine (who lived in the area depicted from 1983-1991)