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Review:  D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths

Review: D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths

All of the books my son is currently reading are based on mythology.  Whether it is one of Rick Riordan’s series or the Lord of the Rings;  Greek mythology, Norse Mythology, Egyptian mythology, they’re all refernced in some form or oanother, so we (well I)  thought it would be good to explore the original myths an not just adaptations.  Reading the original myths led to some great discussions about early beliefs, modern adapations and sources of inspiration for writing. He kept reading ahead, wanting to discuss the stories that I had forgotten about how the world was formed and while I didn’t read under the blackets with a flashlight to catch up, it did cross my mind… D’Aulaires’ Books on Norse and Greek myths are both excellent choices for children’s books on mytho9logy.  The book of Norse Myths begins with the Frost Giants at a time when there was no earth, no sun, no moon, and no stars.  The first gods, Odin, Hoenir and Lodur set the sun and moon to moving and the earth grew out of the bones of the old Frost giant they had vanquished.  The only thing they did not have was someone who would worship them, so they created man. Each chapter tells the story of a different god or goddess, from the more well-known Odin, Thor, Loki, to Sif, Loki’s children, Odin’s children, Balder the God of light, the world of the Vanir gods who controlled the mild and gentle winds, Freya the goddess of love and beauty, the Valkeyries, Frigg-Odin’s favorite wife, and of course Skade, the ski-goddess! Someone we definitely should know more about!  The gods were full of mischief and always getting into entertaining trouble or losing their favorite possessions like Thor’s hammer and Freya’s necklace, ruling until they were defeated by Christianity.   D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths is a great start to learning Norse mythology and it’s been fun sharing the stories my parents read to me as a child.  If you’re interested in adding D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths to your child’s library and sharing the stories you grew up knowing, click...

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Review: Ollie’s Ski Trip-Sweden with children

Review: Ollie’s Ski Trip-Sweden with children

Everyone on our family skies and my youngest is finally old enough to start.  Last year when he was two, we tried him on skis a few times, but his knees were not quite developed enough so “skiing” consisted of my husband or I hauling him up the bunny slope and catching him at the bottom.  After a few days he didn’t want to ski anymore and I must admit I was a bit disappointed.  Were we going to have a non-skier in the family? All he wanted to do was hang out at the bottom of the ski lift and watch the other skiers.  Après-ski for the 2 year old set? Sigh. After a few days of watching, he still wasn’t interested in skiing and we finally talked to him about it.  It turned out that it wasn’t that he wasn’t interested in skiing, but that he had decided he was done with the bunny slope and wanted to go up with the big kids.  We gently explained that he needed to learn how to stop before he could go on the ski lift…. To help get him excited and interested again this year, we have been reading lots of books on skiing and skiing adventures.  One of our favorites is  Ollie’s Ski Trip by Elsa Beskow.   The book was originally written in 1907 and the illustrations reflect the story’s age, but the story itself is timeless and the old fashioned illustrations only add to the story’s charm.  As the book starts off, Ollie has just received his first pair of skis for his sixth birthday.  Of course that year winter was late and Ollie waited and waited for there to be enough snow for him to try out his new skis.  Finally, just before Christmas there was enough snow for Ollie to go skiing and he couldn’t wait.  His mother tried to slow him down, making him eat his breakfast and finish getting dressed before heading out (my kids have been known to run out into the snow in bare feet too). Shortly after he heads out, Ollie runs into Jack Frost who invites him to visit King Winter’s palace.  As they set off, they bump into...

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