We had the honor of reading three books for review. In this post I want to tell you about Mary Jane - Her Book by Clara Ingra Judson.
This story was originally published in 1918.
The neat thing is that in 90 years children haven't really changed that much. Sure the world around them is shifting and changing (some for good, some for bad), but children at their core remain the same. They have the same curiosities and simple thrills. They have the same spark of imagination and yearning for play. Time doesn't change these things and that is why Salem Ridge Press revived this wholesome and sweet story.
Mary Jane is five. Like all little girls then and now, she is vibrant and sometimes silly. She learns through discovery and exploration, and with the gentle guidance of family. She plays like a child and imitates the adults around her.
This is excellent for
Ch.1- Mary Jane's doll breaks and her father takes her to the store to replace it with the doll's "twin." You could read the chapter and spend the day doing matching games. You could also discuss safety issues when crossing the road (that is how the doll breaks).
Ch.2- Mary Jane is sent to do an errand for her mother and gets distracted by an army of ants. You could read this chapter and then launch a study on insects or ants specifically. You could do an experiment by leaving sugar need an ant hill and observe how quickly the ants find it.
Ch.3- Mary Jane tries to help the baby robins (that she thinks are thirsty) by giving them a drink from the garden hose. You could discuss birds as a result of this chapter. You could observe a nest or talk about the eating habits of birds or how an egg hatches.
Those are just three examples I can think of and there are many many more! With sixteen wonderful chapters to read, your little ones will be amused and entertained by the sweet adventures of this little girl.
My daughter is loving this! I am working on writing and expanding out units related to each chapter in this story (as I did above) to use with my younger daughters as they grow. The story's simplicity inspired me.
If you have a little girl, I can confidently say that she will enjoy this book. I don't know a little girl that wouldn't.
Check it out at http://www.salemridgepress.com/youngerreaders.html
There is a free download of the first chapter at the site if you wish to sample it before you buy.
The cost is $12.95 softcover (and worth every penny!)
Or it is available in hardcover for $22.95.
Best of all, Salem Ridge is a good company with strong benefit to children. They are books we can hand our children without pre-screening or fear of the content. In this world, that is a blessing!
Check them out.
, November 2008