This week we’re finishing up our first “unit” or topic of our US History studies — Native Americans and Explorers. We did two read-alouds related to this topic. Maybe I should really only count it as one-and-a-half since we didn’t actually care for the second one well enough to finish it!
Right before our vacation we read Om-Kas-Toe: Blackfeet Twin Captures an Elkdog by Kenneth Thomasma. Om-Kas-Toe and his sister Twin Girl are very lucky indeed — while both children are not normally allowed to survive when twins are born, their mother works hard and proves she can take care of both babies. A series of lucky events seems to follow Om in particular, as he finds a very smart bird that he keeps as a pet and this bird leads him to a number of interesting discoveries.
At the time the story opens, the Blackfeet tribe has not yet been introduced to the horse. Om and an older member of the tribe see a horse for the first time being led by a member of an unfriendly band of Indians. This strange animal appeared to be large and powerful like an Elk, yet tame like a dog, hence the name “Elkdog”. Eventually, Om and his sister are lucky enough to capture their tribe’s first Elkdog. Om is growing up and proving himself responsible and is given the opportunities for even greater adventures and responsibilities.
The kids and I all really enjoyed this book. I read this book during the day (as opposed to a bedtime read-aloud with Miss M) since I thought the boys would enjoy it too. While Mr. K (age 3) got bored and wandered off at times, Mr E (age 5) was riveted — especially when Om or other characters in the story used any weapons. :-). After the book was over, he even asked if we could purchase a copy for ourselves so we could read it again some time (our copy came from Interlibrary loan — rare for us since our large library system carries almost everything that we want to read!).
Last week I started Walk the World’s Rim by Betty Baker as a history-related bedtime read-aloud with Miss M. This story follows a young (fictitious) Native American boy from a poor tribe as he sets off on a journey with (real) Spanish explorer Cabaza de Vaca, two fellow Spaniards and a slave. The party of travelers is taking a long route to Mexico, where they hope riches, honors and luxury await them. To be honest, Miss M and I were both bored of this book by about half way through. I skimmed ahead through the rest of the book and didn’t see much in it I was excited to read about. I found myself hoping to find some excuse to skip reading it.
Since this wasn’t a classic work or a “must read”, I decided it would be okay to *gasp* just not finish it. We rarely do this, but I didn’t want to waste our time given the long list of potential read-alouds I have for this year. Miss M seemed a bit relieved when I suggested we had the option to not finish the book!
I’m linking up with Read-Aloud Thursday @ Hope is the Word!