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The Old Ways
Fifth House / Fitzhenry & Whiteside
By Susan Chapman, illustrated by John Mantha
32 pages
age 5-8

Synopsis from Fitzhenry & Whiteside:

Simon loves his grandparents but they are stuck in their “old ways.” Simon can’t imagine what is so great about building igloos and listening to his grandmother’s time-worn tales. It may take more than a little persuasion to interest him in both. In fact, it takes a blizzard and a broken engine to show Simon that the old ways are far more interesting — and useful — than any television show or video game could be.

I enjoyed The Old Ways for two reasons. First, it is great to expose kids to other cultures, something they may not see every day. This was one of the elements I talked about in my earlier post about expand a child’s understanding and greater acceptance to the world around them.

The second reason is that I think all families can relate to this conversation, the difference between how our kids enjoy their lives compared to our own childhood or that of our parents (their grandparents). I have found I have reached that stage in my adult life where I start more than a few conversations with “When I was your age…”. The Old Ways also touches on a craft forgotten with many generations, the art of story telling, like in the play Ba0bob.

The Old Ways is a reminder to young readers that sometimes the reliance on modern technology and techniques doesn’t negate leaning older handcrafted traditions. Both can exist in the world and the later may benefit you in the future in a time when energy and resources may be at a premium.

Please leave a comment below letting me know any books your kids are interested in so I can keep them in mind for future reviews.

Additional Reading: The Seas Count.

You can find a copy of The Old Ways from Fitzhenry & Whitehead or your local bookstore. Visit our Kid’s Books section for other great book recommendations.

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