~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~Ginny at small things …

Yarn-Along: June 22, 2011

On the reading table:
Lots of fun reads this week. For the kids (yes, we continue read-alouds thru the summer!) and thanks to a recommendation from Ana over at Love2Learn, I found out about a remarkable boy (14 years old), the first Japanese to embrace the American culture who led the end of Japan’s isolationism in the 1800s. Ana had reviewed a lovely picture book titled Shipwrecked: The true adventures of a Japanese boy by Rhoda Blumberg. Well that definitely looked interesting and then, when searching the library catalog, I found a chapter book about this same young man’s story, titled Heart of the Samurai by Margi Preus. We started Heart of the Samurai yesterday and LOVE it! It’s written in an exciting, but not overdone, style … and looks to become a favorite around here. We’ll then read Shipwrecked: The true adventures of a Japanese boy — it’s one of those long picture books that will take probably two days to read, but will fill out our information so nicely as it’s a factual account. This will give us a great chance to talk about what each authored added, where the fiction comes into play, and generally discuss fact vs fiction. We’ll also talk about Japan’s history, why they became isolationists and discuss how different things would have been if not for Manjiro! Fun rabbit trail, yes?

For me? I’m reading books about books, a thing I love to do as I plan for the next school year. I’m reading Books that Build Character: A guide to teaching your child moral values through stories for the insights on what to look for in a good read-aloud or silent-reading book. I’m also scanning though Bauer’s The Well-Educated Mind: a guide to the classical education you never had for the reading lists and suggestions. The fun book I discovered — brand-new on the shelves at the library — is a wonderful book about a dad and a daughter who vowed to read-aloud each night for 100 nights; when they got to the end of the 100 nights, they couldn’t stop! The dad read to the daughter EVERY NIGHT till she went off to college. Part lovely story about relationships and part apologetics for reading-aloud, The Reading Promise is filled with wonderful anecdotes and events that affected the author into adulthood.

On my knitting needles:
Besides the super secret project for a magazine, I am swatching for a design submission to another magazine. This top (you can see the sketch in the pic above) is based on a jacket I saw a friend’s daughter wearing at Mass on Sunday — it’s light and airy and, especially in the hand-dyed variegated yarn, would look stunning over a black or white sheath dress. I’ll keep you posted on that progress!

So, what’s on your reading table and on your needles? Won’t you come yarn-along with us …..

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