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An Epic Adventure in Greece

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our unit study of Greece turned out to be a long one because there are so many great stories out there. While I started with and wanted to include some contemporary stories about Greece, my children were enthralled by the mythological tales. This list is a mix of modern and mythological, with more emphasis on the latter, though there’s a bit of science, math, and geography in here too. I always feel that a list has been successful when my children incorporate it into their play, and even after finishing this one, my younger daughter still runs around the yard shouting “I have the strength of Hercules!” Our captivation with these stories from a place rich in history and culture speaks to the enduring strength of Greece.

  1. The Adventures of Bella & Harry: Let’s Visit Athens by Lisa Manzione and Kristine Lucco
  2. Aesop’s Fables illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger
  3. Ancient Greece and the Olympics by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Osborne
  4. Be Patient, Pandora! by Joan Holub and Leslie Patricelli
  5. The Best Book of Ancient Greece by Belinda Weber
  6. Christmas in Greece by World Book
  7. Color Crayola’s Greek Flag
  8. Count Your Way through Greece by Jim Haskins, Kathleen Benson, and Janice Lee Porter
  9. Cupid and Psyche by M. Charlotte Craft and K. Y. Craft
  10. D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths by Ingri d’Aulaire and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire
  11. Echo Echo: Reverso Poems about Greek Myths by Marilyn Singer and Josée Masse
  12. Favorite Greek Myths by Mary Pope Osborne and Troy Howell
  13. The First Marathon: The Legend of Pheidippides by Susan Reynolds and Daniel Minter
  14. The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus by Aliki
  15. Greece by C.I.A. World Factbook
  16. Hercules by Robert Burleigh and Raul Colón
  17. The Hero and the Minotaur: The Fantastic Adventures of Theseus by Robert Byrd
  18. Hour of the Olympics by Mary Pope Osborne and Sal Murdocca
  19. I Am Pan! by Mordicai Gerstein
  20. I Have an Olive Tree by Eve Bunting by Karen Barbour
  21. The Iliad by Gillian Cross and Neil Packer
  22. King Midas and the Golden Touch by Charlotte Craft and K.Y. Craft
  23. The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky and Kevin Hawkes
  24. The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
  25. Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush’s Incredible Journey by Doug Kuntz, Amy Shrodes, and Sue Cornelison
  26. The Odyssey by Homer and Manuela Adreani
  27. The Odyssey by Gillian Cross and Neil Packer
  28. The Orphan: A Cinderella Story from Greece by Anthony Manna, Soula Mitkakidou, and Giselle Potter
  29. Pandora by Robert Burleigh and Raul Colón
  30. Pegasus by Marianna Mayer and K.Y. Craft
  31. Pegasus, the Flying Horse by Jane Yolen and Li Ming
  32. Mice, Morals, & Monkey Business: Lively Lessons from Aesop’s Fables by Christopher Wormel
  33. Semolina-Semolinus: A Greek Folktale by Anthony Manna, Christodoula Mitakidou, and Giselle Potter
  34. Mythological Monsters of Ancient Greece by Sara Fanelli
  35. The Pomegranate Seeds by Laura Geringer and Leonid Gore
  36. The Rabbit and the Turtle by Eric Carle
  37. Watch Rick Steves’ Greece & Turkey
  38. This is Greece by M. Sasek
  39. The Trojan Horse: How the Greeks Won the War by Emily Little and Michael Eagle
  40. Usborne Greek Myths for Young Children by Heather Amery and Linda Edwards
  41. What’s Your Angle Pythagoras? A Math Adventure by Julie Ellis and Phyllis Hornung
  42. Who Was Alexander the Great? by Kathryn Waterfield and Robin Waterfield
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Egyptian Treasures, Ancient and Modern

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In our latest literary journey, we traveled to Egypt, where we explored stories both ancient and modern. I wanted to show the nation’s rich history without crystalizing it in the past, so we combined stories of mythology with tales from the present. This list shows a similar geographic setting for both old and new, illustrating the way past, present, and future converse through stories.

  1. Cleopatra by Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema
  2. Cry of the Benu Bird: An Egyptian Creation Story by C. Shana Greger
  3. The Day of Ahmed’s Secret by Florence Parry Heide, Judith Heide Cilliland, and Ted Lewin
  4. Egypt: CIA World Factbook
  5. The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo and Ruth Heller
  6. Color the Egyptian flag and map by Crayola
  7. Watch Families of Egypt
  8. Build a Great Pyramid by Crayola
  9. Hands around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books by Susan L. Roth and Karen Leggett Abouraya
  10. Magic Treehouse Fact Tracker #3: Mummies and Pyramids by Mary Pope Osborne, Will Osborne, and Sal Murdocca
  11. Mummies in the Morning by Mary Pope Osborne and Sal Murdocca
  12. Mummies, Pyramids, and Pharaohs: A Book about Ancient Egypt by Gail Gibbons
  13. Pepi and the Secret Names by Jill Paton Walsh and Fiona French
  14. Rimonah of the Flashing Sword: A North African Tale by Eric A. Kimmel and Omar Rayyan
  15. The Tomb of the Boy King by John Frank and Tom Pohrt
  16. We’re Sailing down the Nile: A Journey through Egypt by Laurie Krebs and Anne Wilson


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Feasting in France

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My elder daughter and I have a pact to visit the Eiffel Tower together some day, so it’s no surprise that she chose France for our country-a-month study. We previously did a unit study called “Paris in the Springtime,” so I’ve tried to expand to France more broadly here, and I’ve avoided duplications from that list. During our study, we discovered that we wanted to explore two artists in greater depth, so I made separate lists for Edgar Degas (“Delighted by Degas”) and Henri Matisse (“Mad about Matisse”). My daughter is still delighted by the Eiffel Tower, but one of our favorite parts of studying France is, of course, the food. Bon appétit!

  1. Anatole by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone (part of a series)
  2. An Armadillo in Paris by Julie Kraulis
  3. Beauty and the Beast by Ursula Jones and Sarah Gibb
  4. The Cat Who Walked across France by Kate Banks and Georg Hallensleben
  5. Cézanne and the Apple Boy by Laurence Anholt
  6. Cinderella (Adaptations of Charles Perrault’s Version)
  7. Count Your Way through France by Jim Haskins, Kathleen Benson, and Andrea Shine
  8. Crayola’s Coloring Pages of the French flag, Joan of Arc, and Napoleon Bonaparte
  9. Crêpes by Suzette by Monica Wellington
  10. The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau by Michelle Markel and Amanda Hall
  11. France: The CIA Factbook
  12. The Inside-Outside Book of Paris by Roxie Munro
  13. Joan of Arc by Demi
  14. Kiki and Coco in Paris by Stephanie Rausser, Jess Brown, and Nina Gruener
  15. A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna
  16. Minette’s Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat by Susanna Reich and Amy Bates
  17. Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully
  18. Monsieur Marceau: Actor without Words by Leda Schubert and Gérard Dubois
  19. Papa Chagall, Tell Us a Story by Laurence Anholt
  20. Puss in Boots: A Tale by Charles Perrault and Fred Marcellino
  21. A Walk in Paris by Salvatore Rubbino


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So Many Cinderellas

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My elder daughter has been going through something of a Cinderella phase, originating with a viewing of the 1950 Disney film (of course, right?). Her grandparents gave her a book derived from the movie, and then she chose another, nearly identical book version as a prize for the library’s summer reading program. Before we knew it, my husband and I were reading multiple versions of the same story every night at bedtime, so I decided to see how deeply we could immerse ourselves in Cinderella tales. The following list comprises the results of this experiment, divided into three categories: Cinderella-type stories from countries and cultures around the world to show its universal themes and particular variations; adaptations of the Perrault version that originated in 17th-century France and inspires the most popular retellings in this country (including Disney’s); and spoofs or spinoffs that change and challenge the perspective of the story or reinterpret its key characters and plot points. I think I could keep building this list ad infinitum, and while we still enjoy Disney’s Cinderella, these books have expanded and enhanced our understanding of a timeless tale that enchants us in all of its manifestations.

 

Cinderella around the World

Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella Story by Tomie de Paola

Angkat: The Cambodian Cinderella by Jewell Reinhart Coburn and Eddie Flotte

Ashpet: An Appalachian Tale by Joanne Compton and Kenn Compton

Anklet for a Princess: A Cinderella Story from India by Lila Mehta, Meredith Brucker, and Youshan Tang

Cendrillon: A Cajun Cinderella by Sheila Hébert Collins and Patrick Soper

Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella by Robert D. San Souci and Brian Pinkey

Fair, Brown & Trembling: An Irish Cinderella Story by Jude Daly

The Golden Sandal: A Middle-Eastern Cinderella by Rebecca Hickox and Will Hillenbrand

The Irish Cinderella by Shirley Climo and Loretta Krupinski

The Korean Cinderella by Shirley Climo and Ruth Heller

Little Gold Star: A Spanish-American Cinderella by Robert San Souci and Sergio Martinez

The Orphan: A Cinderella Story from Greece by Anthony Manna, Christodoula Mitakidou, and Giselle Potter

The Persian Cinderella by Shirley Climo and Robert Florczak

The Rough-Faced Girl by Rafe Martin and David Shannon

The Salmon Princess: An Alaska Cinderella Story by Mindy Dwyer

Sootface: An Ojibwa Cinderella Story by Robert D. San Souci and Daniel San Souci

Smoky Mountain Rose: An Appalachian Cinderella by Alan Schroeder and Brad Sneed

The Way Meat Loves Salt: A Cinderella Tale from the Jewish Tradition by Nina Jaffe and Louise August

Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China by Ai-Ling Louis and Ed Young

 

Perrault Revisions

Cinderella by Marcia Brown

Cinderella by K. Y. Craft

Cinderella by Max Eilenberg and Niamh Sharkey

Cinderella by Paul Galdone

Cinderella by Barbara McClintock

Hilary Knight’s Cinderella by Hilary Knight

James Marshall’s Cinderella by Barbara Karlin and James Marshall

 

Cinderella Spoofs and Spinoffs

Belinda and the Glass Slipper by Amy Young

Bigfoot Cinderrrrrella by Tony Johnston and James Warhola

Cinder Edna by Ellen Jackson and Kevin O’Malley

Cinderella: An Art Deco Love Story by Lynn Roberts

Cinderella’s Rat by Susan Meddaugh

Cinderella Skeleton by Robert D. San Souci and David Catrow

Cindy Ellen: A Wild Western Cinderella by Susan Lowell and Jane Manning

Dear Cinderella by Marian Moore, Mary Jane Kensington, and Julie Olsen

Ella’s Big Chance: A Jazz-Age Cinderella by Shirley Hughes

Penguin Cinderella, or The Little Glass Flipper by Janet Perlman

Prince Cinders by Babette Cole

Seriously, Cinderella is SO ANNOYING by Trisha Speed Shaskan and Gerlad Guerlais