A Picture Perfect Childhood

I read a lot of books – to myself and my children.  And yet, this book is so encouraging to me personally.  As a homeschool mom using Charlotte Mason methods, I frequently hear that a lot of children’s books are twaddle and so, even though I know better, I tend to try to hurry my children on to the “meatier” books.

A Picture Perfect Childhood by Cay Gibson has given me back picture books – not as twaddle but as real books that deserve their place on my book shelves – and the list that she presents are quality books, taking some of the issues I have when sorting my bookcases into twaddle or enriching.  It has several chapters on why picture books are not irrelevant in any persons life of any age and has excellent points to help us understand why.  Here are a couple of quotes that I really appreciated as I read through this today:

“The unreachable dreams that we so often find in great
books are the very dreams that give our life meaning and joy
as children. This land of milk and honey becomes that bigger
image, that richer treasure, that Promised Land because it was
what we held near and dear to us. It is a gift given to us by
the divine hand of God. It is a gift which enlightens our
hearts and souls even as adults. These dreams and books are
not just fanciful images and unobtainable thoughts. They are
there for a reason. They are thoughts and words that are put
on paper to build us up and make us stronger than we are.”

~ Cay Gibson, A Picture Perfect Childhood, page 32

It is a book list of picture books with enduring human themes and wonderful illustrations that are timeless in their appeal.  But it is more that just that.  In just 15 minutes a day (that is what she suggests you start with), you can teach your children many things.

“Literature and the reading of it is not about getting away
from the world or living apart from the world or isolating
oneself into a make-believe world. Literature and reading is
all about understanding the world, accepting the world we
live in and our place in it, reaching a higher chapter of being,
and helping us make the world better than we see it outside
our glass tower. It’s all about turning the page and bridging
the gap.” 

~ Cay Gibson, A Picture Perfect Childhood, page 34

Mrs. Gibson has arranged literally hundreds of books into convenient lists for many subjects ranging from teaching values and adoption to traveling the globe country by country.   She has created a 12 month book list for cooking with picture books.  She has put together lists for mothers who need a little pick me up, reluctant readers, and my very favorite list – a 12 month list called “A Picture Perfect Education” and has listed books that fit the events that took place in that month from history to scientific discoveries to Super Bowl Sunday (I admit it, that last one cracked me up! 😉 )  Then she lists specific topics such as art, music, tall tales, Shakespeare, Math, Language Arts, Poetry, Science/Nature, Myths, and Geography.  I can see the value of this as I as was reading the book.  It is not just a jumble of picture books – she has a plan.  That I can relate to and appreciate.

I was so excited by what I read that I went to the library and checked out 30 titles.  I was very pleased to note that while our library rarely has anything in it that we need for our specific studies, they had many, many titles listed on these pages.  Yippie!

What are some of your favorite picture books – the ones you enjoy over and over?

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