Reviews by the Andreolas

A Review by Karen Andreola:

The Holling C. Holling Series
By Holling Clancy Holling

When I am invited to speak at homeschool conferences, I talk about "living" books. To give an example of a living book, I hold up for all to see one by Holling Clancy Holling. His books present factual information clothed in the literary language of a story. His books have "the imaginative grasp" and that "touch of originality" of which Charlotte Mason spoke. She said that these kinds of books make the best schoolbooks because they open the door of a child's mind.

Living books make it easier for a child to narrate (to tell in his own words). A child's telling, describing, or explaining secures knowledge, and calls the facts and information to remembrance long after the story is over. With fondness, my other recalled reading Paddle-to-the-Sea after 40 years had passed. The best books stand the test of time. Written and illustrated between 1942 and 1957, these books are filled with wonder and adventure, with an intriguing combination of geography, history, and nature. The following set of books is still available for this generation of readers.

Paddle-to-the-Sea: A young Indian boy carves a little canoe with a figure inside and names him Paddle-to-the-Sea. Paddle journeys from Lake Superior all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. Inspired by the story, we drew a big blue map of the Great Lakes. A Caldecott Honor book.


Seabird: The history of America at sea is presented through the travels of Seabird, a carved ivory gull that serves as the mascot for four generations of seafarers—aboard a whaler, a clipper, a steamer, and an airplane. A Newbery Honor book.


Minn of the Mississippi: A snapping turtle hatches at the source of the Mississippi and travels downstream through the heart of America to the Gulf of Mexico. A Newbery Honor book.


Pagoo: An intricate study of tidepool life in the Atlantic Ocean, presented throught the story of Pagoo, a hermit crab. This humorous story made a lively addition to our science curriculum. You'll find more detailed information here on tidepool life than in any elementary textbook.


Tree in the Trail: The story of a cottonwood tree tha witnesses the pageant of history of the Great Plains and Santa Fe Trail for over 200 years.



64-96 pages each, softcovers from Houghton Mifflin.



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