Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Our universe

It's funny how sometimes you can bumble through an uninspiring, ordinary day and yet at the very last moment have a wonderful moment with the kids.

Last night, after I'd tucked Harry into bed Catherine came to me with Our Universe, a fantastic National Geographic publication.

Catherine was excited because the first illustration was of an ancient Egyptian scene with a farmer looking up at the sun. The sun was Ra. We started reading and for a kid who loves myths, this book had the perfect introduction. It also had beautiful illustrations of Ancient Hindu and Norse images of the Earth. We read on learning about lunar and solar calenders, about Ptolemy and Eudoxus and about precession which for some reason, really captured Catherine's interest. I know we've got a little toy top around here somewhere. I'll have to find it so we can play with it a bit today to demonstrate precession.

Harry came out soon after we started reading (holding all three of his most favourite stuffed animals) and he seemed just as engrossed as Catherine. With this book though, it's not hard to understand why. The illustrations are par for the course for National Geographic and so not only illustrate concepts well but are gorgeous to look at. I've actually decided that any National Geographic book I see for sale will be an automatic buy. They capture my kids like nothing else, certainly as no curriculum or unit study or lesson plan approach has.

We didn't read for too long, about half and hour or forty-five minutes but it was enough to redeem the day and I tucked two inspired and bright-eyed kids into bed.


Rolfe said...

That was my favorite book when I was in elementary school. I wore it out like a security blanket.

I never thought about looking for a copy for my kids, thanks for pointing it out!

Heather said...

I just LOVE National Geographic. Books and videos. I always scour the thrift store book aisle for them. The photography alone is worth having it.

Dawn said...

We always had them around the house when I was young as well. I've also got our continent and am thinking of pilfering mom and dad's copy of China if I can't find it in a bookstore soon. :)

Rolfe - I checked the Amazon reviews after I found our universe and there were quite a few remarks from people for whom Our Universe was a favourite and key book!

Anonymous said...

Yep, it was a hit around here, too, particularly when the kids were young. We just pulled it out of our library again last week and it's still on our coffee table. Ours, sadly, hasn't held up too well and is now in about 12 pieces. I wish it had more constellation stuff in it.

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