our best reads (1st quarter 2018)


Q’s TOP FIVE from the lot:

  1. Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne
  2. A Sick Day for Amos McGee – Philip C. Stead (also one of Mom’s favorites!)
  3. James Herriot books:
    Bonny’s Big Day
    Moses the Kitten
    The Christmas Day Kitten

    (We have recently become big James Herriot fans. I love his storytelling and Q loves the animals especially the kittens! Oh my.  DaddyO and I do not like cats at all. But the little boy just looves them.)

  4. Learn About The Saints – David Oakden(In his bedtime prayers now, apart from the usual saints he prays to, Q has now asked these little known saints for their intercession as well: Saint Swithin and Saint Cuthbert <3. He has also taken interest in Saint Christopher. Mom has not read about them yet. Mom better keep up!)
  5. Richard Scarry’s The Best Mistake Ever and Other Stories(We’ve got several Scarry books. We love his funny, fast-paced and wholesome stories.)

The other equally delightful ones:

Ninoy Aquino: A Courageous Homecoming – Lara Saguisag

The Story of Ruby Bridges – Robert Coles

The Big Concrete Lorry – Shirley Hughes

The Miraculous Medal: The Story of Our Lady’s Appearances to St. Catherine Laboure 

(I finished this one and it’s now queued for read-aloud)

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle

(so glad we found this in a used bookstore! It’s one of Kolbe Academy’s recommended reading list for 2nd Grade) 

Bored-Nothing To Do! – Peter Spier

(My wish is for Q to be like these two boys in the story!)

Squawk to the Moon, Little Goose – Edna Mitchell Preston*

Emma – Wendy Kesselman*

(*isn’t any Barbara Cooney illustrated book just lovely? 🙂 )

Mr. Gumpy’s Outing – John Burningham

Aesop’s Fables

Amigo – Byrd baylor

Kites Sail High

(great grammar book for literature-based teaching!)

Rabbit Hill – Robert Lawson

(I’m the one who finished reading this. BEAUTIFUL!!!! I cannot stop raving about it and gushing over it. I have been nagging DaddyO to start reading it already! I am having a hard time trying not to give away the ending. hahahaha. I tried reading it aloud to them but just wouldn’t work. The language is too tricky for me. I can’t pull it off. They’ll have to read it themselves (in the meantime, I’ll just have to keep mum and not reveal the beautiful and pleasantly surprising ending). Such a beautiful book! Love love love it!)

The things that we love tell us what we are – Saint Thomas Aquinas


Books at My Bedside (4)

~Books at My Bedside will be a series of posts wherein I will share books I am currently reading and enjoying.

* * *

We’ve got a lot of studying to do 😉


homeschooling moment: done reading!


We finished reading The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Yey! I read it aloud to Q sporadically for maybe a little over a week, in between chores, homeschool work and traveling. This one is a page-turner so it didn’t take us very long to finish it. We would wonder what was going to happen to Edward next and we couldn’t wait to find out. (Q would also read a few pages ahead on his own and when I resumed reading aloud, he would tell me what’s going to happen next and excitedly asked me to continue reading aloud, including the parts he has already read. 😀 )


Books At My Bedside (3)

~Books at My Bedside will be a series of posts wherein I will share books I am currently reading and enjoying.

This post will be short and sweet. Just had to capture in a post my excitement over an enlightening and beautiful book I just finished reading (and will definitely reread!), Rome Sweet Home by Kimberly and Scott Hahn. I borrowed this from my father-in-law (one of our angels in growing in our faith) and it made our (Daddy O and I) hearts sing joyously! Kimberly and Scott Hahn’s journey was agonizing. The dark tunnel they passed through in search of THE Truth (and the difficult challenges their marriage had to endure in the name of truth!) was long and painful but the moment they saw the light at the end, the triumph was sweet and nothing short of heavenly. I cried and rejoiced with them. We are so inspired by this book! A MUST-READ!!!


A truly unputdownable one! (See the white tabs? haha. I could have just tabbed every single page! It is THAT good!)

Books at My Bedside (2)- pre-reading children’s books

~Books at My Bedside will be a series of posts wherein I will share books I am currently reading and enjoying.


18235928_10155409529029171_1934131272_oSince our little Q is not so little anymore and is gradually taking on longer books, my job as “board of censors” has become bigger. I have a pile of books waiting to be pre-read before Q gets his hands on them. (This is another reason why I have very little extra time for reading my own grown up books anymore). When Q’s reading options were just limited to board books and picture books, I used to just scan and read them while standing in a bookstore and then decide whether to buy them or not. Now, since he is taking on longer picture books and some chapter books, I do some research beforehand to get a general idea of a particular book before I go to the bookstore or online to buy it because reading it in the bookstore while standing will already be time-consuming and sometimes, just close to impossible. After I get the books, I start pre-reading them when I have the chance. Though painstaking, I enjoy this task tremendously. So many great children’s books out there and I am very excited to introduce to Q some of the ones I have already pre-read.

Books in pre-reading queue:

The Twenty-One Balloons – William Pène du Bois

Fairy Tales – E.E. Cummings

Homer Price – Robert McCloskey

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – E. L. Konigsburg

Fog Island – Tomi Ungerer

Ginger Pye – Eleanor Estes

Books already pre-read*:

A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle **
The Cricket in Times Square – George Selden
26 Fairmont Avenue – Tomie de Paola
The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me – Roald Dahl
James and the Giant Peach – Roald Dahl
Fantastic Mr. Fox – Roald Dahl
The Phantom Tollbooth – Norton Juster
The Whipping Boy – Sid Fleischman
The Steadfast Tin Soldier – Hans Christian Andersen
Many Moons – James Thurber
Mirette on the High Wire – Emily Arnold McCully
Island of the Blue Dolphins – Scott O’Dell
The Sign of the Beaver – Elizabeth George Speare
*I’ve pre-read most of these books quite some time ago and I’m afraid the stories and the themes (and underlying themes) are already hazy to me. Also, in the last year or so I have learned and read more about guidelines and the right criteria in choosing children’s books (with Church teachings in mind) so I might have to pre-read one more time or review right before I give it to Q just to check if I have overlooked something.
**A Wrinkle in Time is one of several children’s books reviewed by author Michael O’ Brien in his book,  A Landscape With Dragons, one of the resources I am using in selecting children’s books.  Read more here why A Wrinkle in Time will not make it to Q’s bookshelf.

book finds (1st quarter)

Yey! Getting the natural high again from books! These are our book finds since the year started:

To reinforce our Filipino and Philippine History learning (and still using literature-based approach)  I ordered some children’s books  from The Learning Basket and we are so happy with our purchases:


The Golden Loom (Palanca Prize Winners for Children)


back cover of the Golden Loom

A Lolong Time Ago: A Prehistory of the Philippines, Halo-halo Histories (Book 1) by Michelline Suarez, Joonee Garcia, Divine Reyes and Benjor Catindig

We haven’t seriously started on this book yet since we’re still working our way through The Golden Loom but I must commend the creators of this book for their effort to make an otherwise boring subject interesting and funny.

Si Jepoy Dyip at ang Siga ng Bayan by Jomike Tejido


A picture book that comes with fun 3D paper crafts

Read more about this 6-book series here.

Bandila: The Story of the Philippine Flag by Merci Melchor, pictures by Auri Asuncion Yambao

Having slept through all my history classes as a student, I’m sure many historical facts have escaped my attention. In this book about the Philippine flag, I learned many new and interesting things and one of them is that the person who designed our current flag was General Aguinaldo himself, during his exile in Hongkong. Speaking of Aguinaldo,  I saw him in a much different light (not a flattering one) after I saw the eye-opening movie, General Luna. 😦

(Last year, we also got the Reader’s Digest Kasaysayan books to better educate ourselves and teach history to our son accurately. The reading level is not for young kids but since the photos are of very good quality, Q enjoys leafing through them. Great for parent-child reading time or as jump-off points for conversations about Philippine history. We also purchased a very well-written and comprehensive book by Raissa Robles about a very important part of Philippine history that every young person needs to know about and every parent should make their kids read to supplement if not correct what’s being taught in schools now using revisionist history textbooks.)


Back home, while taking a respite from our traveling, we visited St. Paul’s and got these:


I do not need to scramble for examples of role models when it comes to teaching my son good values and leading a Christ-like life and taking the path to holiness.

I also got these really inexpensive Emotional and Social Well-being Series booklets. They are short and straight to the point. When I am at my wit’s end in explaining things to a strong-willed 7-year old or just sapped by behavior issues, I pull out one of these for backup :D:


Last but not the least are the books we got from a gold mine of a second-hand bookstore, Booksale!


Barron’s Amazing Fact-packed Fold-out Atlas of the World


I don’t know but there’s something about book foldouts and pop-ups that is so enticing to me. 😀

A Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear


the title page

The idea for this book is quite interesting and is detailed on the Introduction page. DaddyO’s not a fan of this book. He agrees that IT IS nonsense. Hahaha

The Legend of the Blue Bonnet by Tomie de Paola

A folktale about the origin of the blue bonnet flower and a story of a little girl’s sacrifice that greatly helped her tribe, the Comanche People. I took extra care in reading and explaining this book’s story to Q as it also depicts the Comanche tribe’s worship of many spirits.

The Magic School Bus Science Exploration and The Magic School Bus Science Plants Seeds: A Book About How Living Things Grow

To supplement and inject more fun and humor in our Science reading.

Dinosaurs by Gail Gibbons

I gave in to this one because Q said he wanted to copy the drawings. Every time we go out and buy books, Q has to get a dinosaur book which I have already put a limit to because he already has SO MANY dinosaur books and every newly bought dinosaur book offers no new information anymore. I think he pretty much knows everything there is to know about dinosaurs…at least for his age.

I’m Tyrannosaurus! A Book of Dinosaur Rhymes by Jean MArzollo, illustrated by Hans Wilhem

I got this one not because it’s a dinosaur book (although for Q, that’s a plus) but because Q loves making up his own rhymes, songs, and short poems. This might give him some ideas and make up more.

Crow Boy by Taro Yashima

A book about isolation and forming a wrong opinion of other people. It’s a wonderful story about embracing one’s uniqueness despite peer pressure or the need for most people to fit in and sometimes, standing one’s ground with dignity and humility despite ridicule. This is a common occurrence everywhere and even more so among school kids.

I look forward to finding more great books and sharing them here in my future posts. We are also excited for the arrival of our school books from Kolbe Academy (and some interesting ones from Amazon!) and start a new school year. So, that’s another thing to look forward to! Weeee!