Originally published by Whole Spirit Press, these books are used widely throughout public schools, Waldorf schools and in homeschooling circles. They make perfect readers for a variety of ages.
Sticks across the Chimney ~ a story of Denmark - Nora Burglon
I have given it a new cover and it is now available on Amazon too!
Richly layered with mystery and intrigue, Sticks Across the Chimney: A Story of Denmark, tells a captivating story of two Danish children and their widowed mother struggling to survive on a dilapidated farm. The mother's positive beliefs combined with the children's wit, compassion and creativity influence events and touch everyone around them.
When young Siri, Erik and their widowed mother buy a deserted farm with an ancient Viking grave mound on the land, they have no idea of the challenges and adventures that await them. First they must use their wits and humor to survive without money, as well as deal with superstitious townspeople. Later they participate in mysterious and exciting events that lead to the opening of the mound and the discovery of unbelievable ancient Viking treasures.
Scandinavian author Nora Burglon skillfully weaves Viking history, folklore, and archeology among the story fibers, bringing ancient sagas alive in fascinating detail. She writes authentically of rural Denmark in the 20th century, offering a rare understanding of the spiritual importance of land and sea in the everyday life of the people. Burglon is author to several other books, including Children of the Soil: The Story of Scandinavia, which received a Newbery Honor Award.
"Sticks Across the Chimney: A Story of Denmark captured my attention from beginning to end. Beautifully realized characters and landscape blend with an exciting mystery surrounding ancient Viking grave mounds. I especially enjoyed the rich details of everyday life in rural Denmark experienced by the delightful and resourceful main characters, as well as the fascinating unfolding of Viking history and folklore so effortlessly entwined in the story. Readers will cherish this enchanting book." - Shannon K. Jacobs, author of Healers of the Wild and The Boy Who Loved Morning.
5.5x8.5, 224 pages, illustrated, perfect-bound, softcover. $11.95 - see discount chart. Grade level: 4th. Purchase Book on Amazon
Here's a recent Amazon review - "FAVORITE WITH MY DAUGHTER: As soon as we finished this book my seven year old daughter asked if we could go online and look for "Sticks Across the Chimney 2." The characters are sweet, there is an overarching mystery/adventure, but it is mixed with everyday life vignettes that are sprinkled with humor, wisdom, and charm as they paint a picture of rural life in (early-mid) 20th century Denmark. Woven in with the story is a good bit of Viking history and culture, which makes it a good selection for unit studies about the Vikings."
A story of Sweden: The Gate Swings In ~ by Nora Burglon
Minda is an orphan, taken in by her practical and less-than-enthusiastic aunt. Minda and her crafty goat, Stor Geta, struggle to find a place called home - and to get the money her aunt insists she must earn for her school clothes and shoes. She tries being a servant and house-help, an entrepreneur, even a herd-girl up on the mountains, but nothing comes easy. And yet there is much joy and adventure. She meets a young widow, the Mistress of Dalstorp, and together they face the world until at last they win through and find each other.
The Gate Swings In captures the mood, culture and wisdom of the Swedish folk. It is a perfect complement to Burglon's much loved Danish tale, Sticks across the Chimney.
5.5x8.5, 216 pages, perfect-bound, softcover, illustrated. $13.95 - see discount chart. Grade level: 4th-6th.
The Last little Cat ~ Meindert DeJong
Now with a new cover - and it is also available on Amazon.
The Last little Cat is a loving, compassionate book, perfect for the early reader. It was written by Meindert DeJong, the 1954 Newbery award winner for The Wheel on the School.
The last little cat was born in a kennel, surrounded by dogs and dog cages and dog noises. The little cat was always half-cold and half-hungry - until the day it fell into the cage of the old, blind dog. Then, for a while, the little cat was warm, and well fed. But how could such a small cat know that barn doors are closed at night and that there are people in the world who do not want to help a helpless kitten.
The story of how the last little cat found a home, and not only a home, but the perfect home, again confirms Meindert DeJong's place among the finest writers of this or any day.
Back in print after four decades, The Last Little Cat has a simple vocabulary and repetitive text. An ideal book for 2nd - 4th grades, and younger children will delight in having the story read to them over and over again.
Here are the four Amazon reviews - all five star:
"A sweet and touching story about the friendship between a cat and a dog. I read this book aloud to my children. My children and I have soft spots in our hearts for animal stories, so we fell in love with this book! In particular, I love stories that feature unlikely friendships, such as the one between the cat and the dog in this book. This is the second book by DeJong that we have read, with the first one being The Wheel on the School which was the winner of the 1954 Newbery Award. We enjoy this author! The illustrations by McMullan are adorable! MY RATING: 5 stars!! We loved it!!"
"A Gentle Story of Love and Acceptance. I was given this book as a gift when I was six years old, and it promptly became one of my favorites. It is the reassuring and gently told story of a barn kitten, the runt of the litter, who accidentally becomes separated from the mother cat and the rest of its littermates. Negotiating the often frightening world by itself, the last little cat encounters cold, hunger, fear, and loneliness in its quest to find a home. In the satisfying ending, the last little cat not only finds a home, but also acceptance and love. At 66 pages of mostly text, peppered with appealing illustrations by Jim McMullan, this book is most suitable as a read-aloud for an older preschooler or for a beginning independent reader. Meindert DeJong won the 1954 Newberry Award for the better known, and also excellent book, The Wheel on the School."
"I challenge you to keep a dry eye. When I read this at the age of 6, I cried for weeks. I'm filling up now over 40 years later just thinking about it."
"A sweet little story about how a runt kitten and blind old dog find friendship. Easy and short enough for a 2nd grader to read on their own."
5.5x8.5, 70 pages, illustrated, perfect-bound, softcover. $8.95 - see discount chart. Grade level: 2nd-3rd.
The Boy apprenticed to an Enchanter. Padraic Colum one of the most acclaimed storytellers of all time. Author of The King of Ireland's Son, The Children of Odin and The Children's Homer, his stories are bigger than life; they spark children's imagination and carry them through the world of myths and legends. The Boy apprenticed to an Enchanter is filled with intrigue, mystery and adventure. It tells the tale of Eean, the fisherman's son, who vanquishes the evil Zabulun with the aide of the King's horses, Bird-of-Gold and Merlin the Magician. His quest takes Eean to the Tower of Babylon where he defies his master, and he and Bird-of-Gold, the bramble gatherer's daughter, flee to Chiron the Centaur and Hermes Trismegistus in a desperate search of a helpmeet. Finally they come to the magical Island of the White Tower which rises into sight out of the western ocean on midsummer’s day, there to meet Merlin and to confront Zabulun in a final battle.
A must read for every sixth grade class, it is a perfect reader as they solidify their knowledge of ancient to modern history. Place your order for a class set NOW for fall!
5.5x8.5, 136 pages, illustrated, perfect-bound, softcover. $10.95 - see discount chart. Grade level: 6th.
HERE'S A REVIEW FROM AMAZON: This is an original tale by the wonderful Padraic Colum, poet. It recounts the adventures of a boy, taken from his home to learn from a rather sinister enchanter, and his attempts to escape from his apprenticeship. Babylon and its fall, Hermes Tristemagus and Merlin and the Western Isles are just some of the people and places he visits on his way.
I am pleased to see that Colum's lovely "King of Ireland's Son" is still in print and attracting young fans. It is a pity that this book is not so widely available. Darker in tone and simpler in structure than "King of Ireland's Son" this book draws on the traditions of many lands to weave its spell. If you or your child enjoyed Colum's other books, then I can recommend this one without reservation. It is, in its own odd way, a kind of "Harry Potter" of an earlier generation, with its theme of a lad learning magic. Similarities end there, of course: the wizard is a malign figure, and the "boy" is nearly full grown. But when I was 10, I thought this book one of the best there was, and I think it can provide others with fun and excitement. And what other purpose does a tale have?"
May 2012: Here is the new cover to the wonderful, epic tale of Gilgamesh by Bernarda Bryson which I am taking on from Whole Spirit Press. First written down in Sumerian cuneiform 3,000 years before the birth of Christ, the story of Gilgamesh tells of a great flood and one man, befriended by the gods, who survived by building an ark. In the feats of Gilgamesh and his companion, Enkidu, are found the sources of a number of great mythological heroes and tales.
This tale has numerous versions in different cultures spanning thousands of years. Bernarda Bryson has distilled it with wonderful sensitivity and tact. It is completely suitable for children. Bryson spent decades studying the myth and the archeogogy of the region and period - this can be seen in her illustrations and the mastery with which she tackles the story.
The book is now in full color - it has over 80 lithographs and prints! The page count is 100, format is 8.5 x 11 inches, price is $24.95.
An Amazon review: "This is an excellent, complete tale of Gilgamesh. A wonderful book for middle school age children to read on their own. Excellent language, wonderful authentic illustrations from the clay tablets of the period."