Monday, March 09, 2009

Northern Pennsylvania, or The Land of the Puny Library

There is no frigate like a book, to take us lands away.
Nor any courser like a page of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take, without oppress of toll
For frugal is the chariot that bears the human soul.

Emily Dickinson

as a child, one of my favorite past times was reading. i was a voracious reader, devouring books and enjoying the escape that they provided. when i grew up, i wanted to pass that same love of reading on to my children, and give them the keys to find out fascinating and wonderful things about the world around them. from a very early age, i read to all 4 of them faithfully. in the picture above, M is 4, the boys D and N are almost 3, and baby G is about 6 months old.

where we used to live, there was a plethora of library options, with several public libraries relatively close by. but best of all, there was our church library. now, before you roll your eyes, and envision a tiny and musty room, with a few bookshelves sparsely populated with outdated and worn out books, i want to tell you that our library was nothing like that. more accurately, it is called the W.D. Himmelreich Christian Resource Center, and was chock full of books, CD's, videos and DVDs. enough to keep us all happy and content, with a fabulous and friendly librarian to boot. there were more books to be read than could possibly be completed in one blissful and lazy summer. and as for a teaching recourse, it was enough to make this literature based homeschooler's mother heart go pitter-pat, pitter-pat.

but with all the advantages that we've had with our move to the country 10 months ago, we have been missing the Land of the Wonderful Libraries in Central Pennsylvania. last week was a very busy week for me, with many outside commitments. i had several topics that i wanted to post about, but just didn't have the time. but, one of those commitments took me back home, and i planned my day around the time the Himmelreich library would be open. i planned on stopping and getting some books for A and B. the wonderful thing about the Himmelreich is that they have such a broad and wonderful selection of books, and they are all wholesome, and most are Christian. i have been wanting to read more to the younger girls, and introduce them to wonderful and rich books, while at the same time teaching them about Jesus, and helping them to comprehend His involvement in our lives, and how deeply He cares for them. there are a multitude of books exactly like that at the Himmelreich, and my bag wasn't big enough to carry all the books i wanted to bring home to them!

but i was able to get quite a few, and we've been enjoying time spent together reading. while B is just a bit too young to sit for any length of time, A loves to snuggle up next to me on the sofa, and will sit and listen attentively while i read her a stack of books.

this particular series of books is a wonderful tool to introduce A to the parables of Jesus, and to help her grasp what He is trying to teach from these stories that He told. the pictures are engaging, and the explanations are understandable and accurate.

this is just a book for fun, but the pictures are well done and colorful, and A can relate to the things she's seeing. she loves to go down to the creek in the summer with her daddy, and has seen many of the animals that are pictured in this book.

A likes when i read her some Psalms before she goes to bed, and this interpretation of an inner-city application is filled with striking, but sensitive, pictures.

another book just for fun, but i couldn't resist a book about two pig friends. I'm sure they'll have a happier (for them) ending than our two pigs, Pig and Spot.

and just to round out their literature exposure with something classical, you can never go wrong with Robert Frost.

"And miles to go before I sleep"

"And miles to go before I sleep"


Garnetrose said...

I love your blog and your house is lovely. I live in Pa and know what you mean about the lack of a library in the rural areas. I love Robert Frost and 'Miles to go before I sleep.' Since I live in the country I have learned to build my own library with amazon and ebay. *s*

Wanda said...

Books are a favorite of mine too..."Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening" lies on a table here all winter for grandchildren to browse. My daughter is a children's librarian, like you she knows the importance of reading to them. Your children are lucky.


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