In the Spring I did a book post that a few folks found useful so I thought I'd share a list of our Summer stories as well. Most of these are standard fare in the Waldorf community. If that's where you reside, there are likely few surprises that follow. Of all the seasons I have found that, oddly, our Summer collection is the smallest. If you have favorites of your own, please share them in the comments. I'd love to hear your suggestions and expand our current repertoire.
Peter in Blueberry Land by Elsa Beskow is a century old classic wherein Peter goes out looking for blueberries for his mother's birthday and falls into a magical miniature adventure with the help of the King of Blueberry Land. As with all of Elsa Beskow's books, the story and the telling are comfortingly gentle and sweet and the illustrations are, like the tale, magical with their soft, beautiful watercolors in the art nouveau style.
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey is a somewhat more modern but still classic Caldecott story of Sal and her mother going gathering on Blueberry Hill. Just as they begin their picking, Little Bear and his mother come to fill their tummies with berries as well. Of course there is no gruesome encounter of the pairs but just a sweet crossing of paths. What Naiya and I especially enjoy in this one are the opening and closing block print illustrations of Sal and her mother canning their delicious cache in their classic 1950's kitchen.
The Story of the Wind Children by Sibylle von Olfers is a late Summer tale that transfers in September to our Autumn basket as well. In it little George is playing with his boats by the lakeside but despairs when no wind comes to make them sail. He and his vessels are saved by a wind sprite who blows them across the lake and then proceeds to take George on a number of playful adventures. Since reading this one, Naiya has begun calling dandelions by the delightful name of "fairy clocks". So sweet.
Flower Fairies of the Summer is one of a series of books by Cicely Mary Barker that I have mentioned before. It's a collection of poems and strikingly accurate illustrations of about twenty common summer flowers. Although Ms. Barker was English and so penned what was typical and familiar in her part of the world, we here in the Pacific Northwest reside at a similar latitude and enjoy nearly the same climate as her merry old country and so luckily find similar foliage in our gardens and natural spaces. In addition to loving the rhymes and fairy pictures, we often use these books for identification purposes.
Summer is another in a compendium of six books from Wynstones Press. It contains a variety of songs, poems and stories of the season collected from various authors. We like to use its tales and verses as inspiration for our daily puppet shows and play at our Nature Table. It even contains special, hard to find narratives for Whitsun and the Day of St. John.
A Kiss for Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik with illustrations by Maurice Sendak isn't really a Summer story at all but it is one of a series of books we're currently enjoying that we only recently discovered (so I thought I'd share it anyway). It's a really sweet tale of a kiss being passed from one animal friend to another as it makes its journey between Little Bear and his Grandmother. We've turned this one into a staple at puppet show time and Naiya especially likes to gather up all her animals and act out the passing of the kiss from one to another before the festive wedding arrives at the end to finish the fun.
If you've got any seasonal favorites, won't you let us know about them?...