100 Best Books for Children ~ Andrews

Those familiar with the Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling may already be familiar with The Seven Little Sisters by Miss Jane Andrews — number 63 on The Hundred Best Books for Children list found in The Book-lover. It was added to Charlotte Mason’s Parent’s National Education Union (P.N.E.U.) library in 1903.

The Seven Little Sisters Who Live on the Round Ball that Floats in the Air is a living geography book that teaches children about the differences in children who live around the globe. We learn the differences in the life of a child of the desert and an Eskimo, the child who lives on the mountain and one who lives in the forest.

Through story, the young student learns about children from other parts of the world:

I want you to look at the picture on this page. It is a little deer: its name is the chamois. Do you see what delicate horns it has, and what slender legs, and how it seems to stand on that bit of rock and lift its head to watch for the hunters.

Last summer I saw a little chamois like that, and just as small: it was not alive, but cut or carved of wood,—such a graceful pretty little plaything as one does not meet every day.

Would you like to know who made it, and where it came from?

It was made in the mountain country, by the brother of my good Jeannette, the little Swiss maiden.

Here among the high mountains she lives with her father, mother, and brothers; and far up among those high snowy peaks, which are seen behind the house, the chamois live, many of them together, eating the tender grass and little pink-colored flowers, and leaping and springing away over the ice and snow when they see the men coming up to hunt them.

I will tell you by and by how it happened that Jeannette’s tall brother Joseph carved this tiny chamois from wood. But first you must know about this small house upon the great hills, and how they live up there so near the blue sky.

The book was first published in 1861. There are references in the book that we would no longer make over 150 years later. In addition it would be good to remind the reader that the stories told reflect life as it may have been many years ago, and not necessarily what it is like today.

For the incarnate beauty and ideality and truthfulness of her little stories had melted into our being, and left us spellbound, till we were one with each other and her; one with the Seven Little Sisters, too, and they seemed like our very own little sisters. So they have rested in our imagination and affection as we have seen them grow into the imagination and affection of generations of children since, and as they will continue to grow until the old limitations and barrenness of the study of geography shall be transfigured, and the earth seem to the children an Eden which love has girdled, when Gemila, Agoonack, and the others shall have won them to a knowledge of the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God.

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Additional Resources

Author Notebooking Pages {Free Download}
Use this free set to create an author notebook for our 100 Best Books for Children series.

The Hundred Best Books for Children ~ Introduction
The Hundred Best Books for Children

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