The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews
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Sleeping Bear Press Review by Teri LucasH is for Homerun
A Baseball Alphabet
By Brad Herzog
Sleeping Bear Press
If you haven't visited the Sleeping Bear Press website you owe it to yourself to do so. I haven't met even one homeschooler who isn't an avid collector of great books and you will quite simply fall in love with the beautifully illustrated offerings found there. These books are not only a tremendous read, but could be used as a wonderful kickoff to a lively unit study. They will also soon become one of your treasured heirlooms to be passed on to the next generation of readers in your family!
"H is for Homerun" is no exception to the Sleeping Bear Press standard of quality. Although, an alphabet format is used to categorize various highlights in the game of baseball, this is once again, no ordinary alphabet book. You may start out reading this book to your little "T-ball" star, yet it will continue to be a favorite with that son, daughter, father or mother who has fallen in love with this all-American pass time. For each letter represented there are many highlights of the history and fun of baseball. For instance, "A" is for Abner Doubleday, the inventor of baseball. "A" is also for Alexander Cartwright, the All-Star games, and Hank Aaron. Each page is filled with information about the game.
If baseball is your favorite sport, or if you have a baseball enthusiast in your family, this book would make a beautiful gift. The pictures alone are just inspiring. Still, if you stick strictly to educational purchases, why not motivate that struggling student by offering a unit study on this delightful treasure of a book. Anyway you look at it, you cannot loose with this lovely addition to the Sleeping Bear Press line-up!
-Product Review Submitted By: Teri Lucas, Staff Writer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine
Sleeping Bear Press is a national publisher of regional books for children. Their desire is to leave a lasting, invaluable impression upon their readers. Their invitation is to children and their parents, to anticipate taking grand journeys...to spend the long evenings of autumn and winter reading together the pages of a good book while huddled beneath the warm covers of a soft bed. When you visit with one of their books, you feel as if the author is a long time friend. Each page is a delightful work of art. Visit them at www.sleepingbearpress.com. Gather your children, grab a cup of hot chocolate, and curl up with a good book together. This is the stuff that memories are made of...
Even before I was familiar with Sleeping Bear Press, I had ordered the book, Adopted by an Owl (the true story of Jackson the Owl) from Amazon.com. This was my first experience with Sleeping Bear Press and it definitely was a pleasant one for both myself and my 6 year old son! A husband and wife team up to create a beautiful story about their real life experience raising a Great Horned Owl named of course, Jackson. We laughed and we cried together as we read Adopted by an Owl. This is a tremendous read and a wonderful addition to any unit study on Owls, birds, etc.
Not too soon after my first experience with Sleeping Bear Press, I requested a copy of their book K is for Keystone for review. It is one of their- what I affectionately term as their -"state series." These books give an excellent overview of various state histories and K is for Keystone is an exceptional presentation of Pennsylvania history! This is no ordinary alphabet book...Every letter presents a new topic for discussion and/or a place you will want to visit. "A" is for the Amish, "G" is for Gettysburg, "P" is for Punxsutawney Phil, and "Q" is for Quakers are just a tasting of the delicious flavor in this publication. By using this book alone as a topical index for a unit study, you would have enough information to last an entire school year or two. I particularly liked the fact that K is for Keystone gave a true religious and historical picture of our wonderful state.
I also reviewed several other books by Sleeping Bear Press from their "Alphabet Series:"
"A" is for America is an alphabet overview of American History. Once again, captivatingly illustrated, this book details various aspects of our history and culture.
Topics are arranged alphabetically with most of the letters highlighting several important elements with a few sentences on each subject. "B" is for Bunker Hill and the Liberty Bell, Boston and the British. "E" is for the Eagle, the endless echo of the Grand Canyon, Thomas Edison and Egrets found in the Everglades of Florida. While "S" is for the Stars and Stripes, Susan B. Anthony, Sitting Bull, Sierra Nevada, a steam locomotive, and Samuel Clemens (also known as Mark Twain), "Z" is for Zane Grey, zip codes, and finally, Whitcomb Judson the inventor of the zipper. It is just difficult to imagine how much is jam packed into this appealing little book! What a delightful opportunity to learn history, geography and a little science while cultivating the love of reading in your children.
"M" is for Majestic is a National Parks Alphabet. This lovely book follows the same format as "A" is for America and "K" is for Keystone. I see another geography unit study as a possible take-off from the text in this one. "M" is for Majestic opens with a map of the United States depicting each state and highlighting their national parks. It even shows the National Park of American Samoa! A sampling of the topics mentioned here include "K" is for Kings Canyon, Katmai National Park and Preserve, and Kobuk Valley National Park, as well as, "W" is for Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in Alaska. Every page echoes the beauty of our great country!
"P" is for Pilgrim is a Thanksgiving Alphabet. A tribute to the first settlers and to the Native Americans, "P" is for Pilgrims, gives a brief alphabetical history of both. Some unique Thanksgiving lore is included in the text. Colorful descriptions of early American life along with detailed pictures simply invite you to delve into the book. A worthy addition to your "Thanksgiving" holiday, "P" is for Pilgrim would provide a great ending to the day's activities!
A book that is not a part of the Alphabet series, The Edmond Fitzgerald: The Song of the Bell, pays tribute to the 29 crewmen who lost their lives on a cargo ship in the waters of Lake Superior. It is the compelling story of the largest ship on the Great Lakes until 1971 when larger ships came along. The Edmond Fitzgerald was called the Pride of the American Flag. Written especially for children, we are transported through the storm to the bridge and learn the story of a ship lost at sea. The Edmond Fitzgerald: The Song of the Bell is a story of American heroes. It is a story of courage and the American spirit.
The above books are only a small taste of the selection offered by Sleeping Bear Press. You really have to experience the quality and the beauty of their literature for yourselves. These are the books that you will read again and again. Your children will want to pass them on to their children...they are the "Keepers" in your home library!