Great Books
We believe in the power of story
With books we can…

  • expand our children’s world to places they might never be able to go
  • learn about new things, experience other cultures, and travel through time
  • encounter ideas and thoughts—some that we agree with and some that we do not
  • initiate discussions and conversations with our kids, or we can simply enjoy a story together
  • teach language arts skills naturally and appreciate the craft of amazing authors
Our Great Books column celebrates all of these things
that we can do with books.
“When you read a book, you are in a mind-to-mind encounter with its author, whether he lived 1000 years ago or lives today. This is the wonder of real books—all kinds of books, not only the serious and factual. Your mind grows through these encounters.”
—Dr. Ruth Beechick
Coming This Year
As always, you’ll find recommendations for great books in this column. Sometimes we may choose one that’s out-of-print but can be found at libraries and used bookstores.

We’re excited to bring you a variety of different types of books including picture books for your youngest learners, both fiction and nonfiction throughout the year, and suggestions for family read-alouds.

Print subscribers receive a printable activity pack each month featuring each pick as a part of The Monthly Toolkit. Discussion questions, activity suggestions, ways to use the books to teach language skills and other subjects, and more make this a great resource for the whole family!

A Family Adventure
The Night Walk
written by Marie Dorléans
The Book Night Walk

t’s summer and time for a family adventure. In this beautiful picture book a family gets up in the middle of the night to go for a walk. It’s apparent though, that mom and dad have a destination in mind. The night sights they see along the way, what they feel and smell and hear make for a wonder-filled journey.

The incredible illustrations are perfect using light and dark in a stunning way, capturing the mood and feel of the walk. Rich, yet simple descriptions of their nighttime journey appeal to the senses and include some lovely literary elements such as similes, metaphors, and personification. You can truly “experience” this night walk along with the family… as well as the stunning ending to a perfect summer adventure. You’ll be inspired to go on your own after reading this book!

The Dwarf and the Doozle book cover
Choosing Kindness
The Dwarf and the Doozle
written & illustrated by N.H. Steed

e are so excited to introduce you to a new author and illustrator! N.H. Steed and his wife, Amanda, are both homeschool graduates. He is the writer and illustrator, and she is the editor for Steed publishing. Their first book, The Dwarf and the Doozle, will delight both you and your children! This whimsical tale shares a beautiful faith-based message of kindness, forgiveness, and friendship. Delightful black and white illustrations on every page and a lyrical text truly captures children’s imaginations. (Ashley read it to her boys and they loved it!)

It begins with the verse, “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”—Luke 6:27–28, NLT. That’s a hard concept to understand and even harder to put into practice. The Dwarf and the Doozle will show kids the power of letting go of the hurt, forgiving others, and looking out for someone’s best interests, even if that person doesn’t deserve it—which in so many ways is all of us, right?

Your elementary students can read this on their own, but it also makes a wonderful read-aloud for your family.

Look for their ad in this issue to find a QR code to download a companion activity pack.

Enjoying Art
How Artists See
Series by Colleen Carroll
How Artist See book cover

ven though I took an art class in middle school, I don’t ever remember studying works of art during my public school years. It’s possible I’ve forgotten, but it’s pretty obvious that if I did, it was a very small amount. Homeschooling my own children opened up a new world for me in both literature and art. I began to enjoy the beauty of both and appreciate the incredible craft needed to achieve such wonderful masterpieces.

The How Artists See books make doing a picture study both easy and enjoyable. Each title centers around a theme including how artists see the weather, the elements, feelings, and more. They make perfect companions for unit studies! Two-page spreads include pictures of famous paintings or artwork, some text to read about the work, and questions to ask and discuss with your children. You’ll enjoy it as much as they do!

The end of the books have short biographies of each artist whose works were featured in the title, a list of books for further reading for different ages, and where you can visit to see the featured artists’ work.

One of my favorites to start with is How Artists See The Weather: Sun Wind Snow Rain. In our Monthly Toolkit, we’re sending our subscribers weather-related activities throughout this year. I love this as a companion to the activities!