Today we read “Where Did My Clothes Come From?” by Chris Butterworth with illustrations by Lucia Gaggiotti. It is a book we checked out from the library and it was super informative. We enjoyed the pictures very much and talked about our favorite clothes. This is the type of book that is a great jumping off point to explore more after reading. This time we found ourselves inspecting a pair of jeans and googling videos about shearing animals.
On YouTube we found many videos of people shearing sheep, goats, alpacas and angora rabbits for their fur. This also led to watching other goat videos- like goats that climb trees and how baby goats have to be awesome climbers at one week old. Lastly we ended up watching all of Block Shop’s process videos of their block carving, dyeing and printing by master artisans for their scarves made in Bagru, India (which can be found on their Instagram account).
Next time we read this book we may want to learn more about silk worms or making rubber or traditional clothing worn in other cultures. I love how this organic kind of learning unfolds for us. I always find that my curiosity is piqued just as much as Clover’s. I appreciate our opportunities to take time and to have the resources to find out about anything we can think of.
Another excellent (and relevant) read is “Pelle’s New Suit” by Elsa Beskow. We have checked it out many times and I remember grabbing all of my wool sweaters down out of the closet to feel the fabric one time after reading. It was a great first story about where clothes come from and how garments used to be made more or less by hand. It has also been on the book shelves of every early childhood program that I have worked in which I think is a sign that is a good book for children.
Last week we visited the Oakland Museum of California and borrowed some books and a blanket and went out to the the garden. The books and blankets program was a new offering this summer to encourage families to visit. We read two out of three of the library book we were given (since one was for teens) and laid out on our blanket under the trees. It was super relaxing and a nice addition to our visit. I love the gardens at the museum and the Blue Oak cafe, where we often to visit to listen to musicians play, and they are free to visit without purchasing admission to the galleries. Adding the opportunity for families to get a blanket and books to inspire a picnic or play time in the grass was a great idea. ^_^
I had resolved to read more books. I wanted to read more books and less blogs I would say but then go for months without finding one. Sometimes I would get one from the library or thrift shop but I felt like it was kind of slow going until this year when maiki bought me a Kindle. I was not into the idea at first because I did not want to spend money on e-books. I never imagined that I would be able to check out books from the library, but found that the Oakland public library had a large number of e-books available to borrow and the process was super easy. Once I started reading with the device I noticed that I was sailing through books. Now the list of books that I have read since amazes me and I am so happy to say that I am now a reader.
I made a book to catalog pictures for Emma that tell a story about her origins. I had a bunch of old scanned photos that I wasn’t sure would print well but it really worked out. I do not keep photo albums and have many hundreds of photos in hard drives. My solution has been to create these simple books for Emma using Mixbook (they are about $30 each). She loves her previous books made with Instagram pictures that illustrate the days we have shared since I started staying home with her. This new one includes photos of me pregnant and her as a baby that we have yet to print. Needless to say the last pages of the book that include the photos of Emma are her favorite.