Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Illumination Patterns - Medieval History

medieval illuminated books

We are well and truly in the mix of Medieval Times in regards to our history reading. This year we are following along with Story Of The World Book 2 as our spine. We are using loads of great books, documentaries and activities to enhance history though, as I feel SOTW as a stand alone is somewhat lacking for us.

Marveling at the intricate and ornate work done in Illuminated books really sparked the kids interest. The attention to detail and the sheer volume of time spent on creating these stunning works of art is simply amazing.

SOTW includes a simplified colouring page for those that wish to try their hand at illuminating a letter or two.

Marguerite Makes A Book, the story of a young girl living in Paris in the early 1400's. Through a series of events she is led to assist her father, a famous manuscript illuminator to complete a very important book.

This is a long picture book, broken into chapters. This is one of the reasons why we found the book so endearing, it truly was suitable for a wide variety of ages. The stunning illustrations kept my youngest captivated and the story itself has enough adventures and accurate detailing to keep the older of my crew enthralled.

By the end of the story you really have a feel for what it was like to create a book, the amount of effort, time and perseverance that was put into each and every one of these amazing hand made books, is nothing short of amazing!

From there we went searching. We found a pretty cool pinterest board with medieval illuminations, boarders, patterns and letters.

We came across this 3 minute you tube clip which shows some reproduction work of an illuminated letter.

 I really wanted the kids to try this out for themselves, but knew I had to choose something that was achievable. This clip has full instructions on creating your own patterned monograms in a fun, easy, creative way.

And so we set to it. I grabbed pencils, rubbers, fine tip markers and gel pens (my kids absolutely love using glittery gel pens) and sketch books.

They had the option of free hand drawing their chosen letter or I had already printed a large letter that we could trace. Having the outline definitely helped the less adventurous kids.

We all enjoyed working on these, it was creative, yet simple and very meditative once you got into it. The process definitely gave us a feel for the work involved in creating illuminated manuscripts.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Off The Shelf - From Our Bookshelves To Yours

~ Bear In Underwear ~ Those Darn Squirrels Fly South ~ Who Wants A Dragon ~

Off The Shelf is an opportunity for me to share with you some of the books we've been reading here in our home, especially those books that may not fit into a current theme or topic we are looking at. Those random books, the ones we read just for pure pleasure and no other reason than that!

This week's Off The Shelf is brought to you by my 5 year old, who chose all of these books himself from the library.

Goodnight Underwear is a silly, rhyming book that will have your kids giggling with laughter.

Bear in Underwear and his friends head out camping for the evening and of course nothing is smooth sailing with these guys.

They need to overcome several obstacles, such as mosquito bites, frights, noisy night time creatures and even rain, before being able to settle in for a good night's sleep.

Seasoned campers will get a laugh out of these pages. However, this may not be the best book to read if you are heading off on your first ever camping trip with young children, this coming weekend.

Finally though, Bear in Underwear and all of his friends enjoy their night of camping.

Thoughts From A 5 Year Old: "It's cool because the animals wear underpants, it's funny and made me laugh!"

Those Darn Squirrels, since reading this and laughing at all of the antics these little squirrels get up to we’ve found out that there are actually other books about ‘those darn squirrels’.

The stark contrast between the very grumpy Mr Fookwire and the pesky, little squirrels is really what makes this story such a delight.

The illustrations are bold and capture the personalities perfectly and the writing is humorous even if the story doesn’t always make sense.

We will definitely be keeping our eye out at the library for the other, "Darn Squirrels" books.

Thoughts From A 5 Year Old: "The squirrels are really funny"

This simple story with rhyming text and whimsical illustrations,

begins quite sadly, as the little dragon tries to find someone that wants him.

Of course there is really one creature that can fill those shoes.

Thoughts From A 5 Year Old: "The little dragon is so cute"

I hope these books bring as much enjoyment to your home as they have to ours.

This post is linked to :

Every bed of Roses

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