Welcome back to day 2, everyone! It’s going to be such a delightful day 🙂 I hope everyone had some lovely adventures yesterday! Today we are in the…
That’s right, the book room! Which means a freebie from yours truly!
And I’ll be nice and let you get it right here instead of making you scroll to the bottom, so here we go:
Click on the cover image to be brought to a download link. The book is available in mobi, epub, and PDF. And here is the Goodreads link for you all to add it! 😉
Ahh, stories for the whole family. Such a lovely category! All my life, my mother has read aloud books to us on the evenings that our father was gone. It’s become a lovely tradition. With our father, we read the Bible, missionary biographies, and devotionals, haha. But with Mama, we specialized in picking “living books,” books with real characters and excellent writing style, books that became our friends. Here are some of the books we read, and they remain some of my dearest memories and best book friends. ❤
Now settle down, everyone. There’s mugs of cider and hot cocoa and tea over on that counter for anyone who wants some. And there are plenty of fluffy blankets to cuddle up with. Are you all ready? Good, now let me introduce my friends!
(as before, click on the book title for a Goodreads link, and click on the book image for a link to purchase the book.)
First up we have a delightful little mouse friend from
1. A Nest for Celeste: A Story About Art, Inspiration, & the Meaning of Home by Henry Cole.
Celeste is not your average mouse. She lives alone, quietly weaving baskets with creative flair under the floor boards of the Oakley Plantation. However, Celeste’s world turns upside down with the arrival of the great naturalist John James Audubon and his assistant Joseph, who have come to study and paint the birds of the Louisiana bayou. Their arrival coincides with Celeste’s sudden displacement from her home below to a guest room upstairs. There she watches young Joseph struggle to create the backgrounds for Audubon’s bird paintings. As the two homesick souls strike up a friendship, the mouse secretly puts her artistic skills to good use; she simultaneously helps Joseph improve his compositions while aiding the wounded birds that Audubon captures for his studies. Nearly every page of author-illustrator Henry Cole’s fine novel combines text and remarkable drawn images to tell the story of a mouse in need of a home of her own from the tiny creature’s unique vantage point.
Oh, my family adored this book. We read it slowly over a long time, and we became intimately acquainted with each character. We all loved Celeste, and it’s made us more fond of mice ever since. On the flip side, it’s also made us hate rats more… It made us love Audubon, though, and we had such fun reading his accent aloud! You can read my full review here.
Thanks for saying hi, Celeste! Our next guest is Jancsi and Kate Naggi from…
2. The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy.
Life on the Hungarian plains is changing quickly for Jancsi and his cousin Kate. Father has given Jancsi permission to be in charge of his own herd, and Kate has begun to think about going to dances. Jancsi hardly even recognizes Kate when she appears at Peter and Mari’s wedding wearing nearly as many petticoats as the older girls wear. And Jancsi himself, astride his prized horse, doesn’t seem to Kate to be quite so boyish anymore. Then, when Hungary must send troops to fight in the Great War and Jancsi’s father is called to battle, the two cousins must grow up all the sooner in order to take care of the farm and all the relatives, Russian soldiers, and German war orphans who take refuge there.
I first read this book on my own, two years ago. But right now it is our family read aloud and we are ALL loving it, even my 15-year-old brother and my 7-year-old sister. It’s making us all laugh and cry and think and feel, and we all love the characters and plot. (Uncle Moses! We love Uncle Moses! And Kate! And Jancsi! And Father! And Mother! And basically everyone!) Read my full review here…
Goodbye, dear Naggis! The next friends we’re meeting are Bobbie, Peter, and Phil from…
3. The Railway Children by E. Nesbit.
In this much-loved children’s classic first published in 1906, the comfortable lives of three well-mannered siblings are greatly altered when, one evening, two men arrive at the house and take their father away. With the family’s fortunes considerably reduced in his absence, the children and their mother are forced to live in a simple country cottage near a railway station. There the young trio—Roberta, Peter, and young Phyllis—befriend the porter and station master. The youngsters’ days are filled with adventure and excitement, including their successful attempt to avert a horrible train disaster; but the mysterious disappearance of their father continues to haunt them.
The solution to that painful puzzle and many other details and events of the children’s lives come to vivid life in this perennial favorite, a story that has captivated generations of readers and, more recently, delighted television and movie audiences. In this inexpensive, unabridged edition, it will charm a whole new audience of young readers with its warmth and appeal.
The railway children are definitely our best family friends. We all love them and talk of them all the time. When we first read the book, we even avoided reading the last chapter for a full month because no one wanted to say goodbye!! I can’t say enough about this book so just go read my full review here. (Also you can get a link to a free download of this book by clicking on the cover image!)
Wave, wave, wave!! I do hope you’ll cultivate an acquaintance with those three. Our next guest is…
4. Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
Little Lord Fauntleroy (1885, 1886) by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a beloved children’s novel that made a huge impact on the 19th century public, shaping everything from boys’ clothing fashions to copyright law. Cedric Errol is a generous, kind, and exemplary middle-class American boy who is suddenly found to be the heir of the Earl of Dorincourt. Saying loving goodbyes to his working-class friends, Cedric goes to England together with his mother to embrace his new fortune. His grandfather, the old earl, is a bitter old man ridden with gout and a foul temper, trusting no one. However the angelic boy elicits a profound transformation in the grandfather, which not only benefits the castle household but the whole populace of the earldom. If only the old man’s heart would soften toward Cedric’s estranged mother, the family would be healed at last. And when another potential heir to the earldom makes a claim, it seems that everything is lost…. But all things are possible through a child’s innocent trust, true friendship, and unconditional love.
Oh, we loved little Ceddie and his mother! And the Earl, and Mr. Havisham, and Dick, and Mr. Hobbs, and Mary… ahh, it was such a lovely story, with such great characters!! The humour was just so enjoyable and the plot was just sooo sweet. Full review here… and it’s free on Gutenberg too!
Alrighty, Cedric was our next-to-last guest. Now say hello to Wilbur, Fern, Charlotte, & all the others in…
Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn.
Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.
E. B. White’s Newbery Honor Book is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come.
Oh, Wilbur—Charlotte! This book did NOT make me love spiders but I do have a fondness for pigs now (although it doesn’t keep me from enjoying my bacon and sausage, haha). But this is just such a delightful story, so funny and sweet and timeless. We all loved it so much. It’s the best of White’s books, although I recommend The Trumpet of the Swan as a great family book too! Anyways, here’s my review of Charlotte’s Web…
Sigh. I wasn’t ready to finish this! I do hope you enjoyed meeting my friends and you’ll make their acquaintance yourself! I look forwards to seeing you all again tomorrow! Let me know what your family’s favourite stories are in the comments below!
Before you all run off, head back to the Literary Lodge to participate in the giveaway! It’s quite epic—open both Internationally and U.S. The prize is really awesome, all about books… of course! If we get enough entries, there’ll be a second place winner—and if we get more entries, there’ll be a third place winner!! So what are you waiting for? Hop on over! There’s also a Books room where you can get a free ebook, so be sure to check out the other blogs to find it!!
Okay, everyone! Off with you now to meet new friends!