Days on the Farm With Annette and Samuel
I really like the books published by Rod and Staff. They are always so sweet, simple (in a good way), and God-honoring. The children are respectful to their parents, and the parents are involved with their children. The families are generally interested in nature and interact with it in some way in most of the stories. I ordered a bunch of these when I was on limited activity with Baby Boo, and we have been reading through them ever since.
This book has forty-one chapters and 196 pages. Each story can easily be read in a young child's sitting (ie. five-ten minutes), and each has at least one charming black and white illustration with it. The stories center around life on a farm for two of the younger children in a Christian family. Annette and Samuel are sweet children who want to do right, but they have the insatiable curiosity of young children and are sometimes tempted to go outside the boundaries of what they think they ought to do. Sometimes they choose to do the right thing, and their choice is rewarded. Sometimes, their choices are not so good, and the consequences and discipline are both fair and swift. The topics of each chapter revolve around family life and simple events within their household.
For example, in the story we read last night, Samuel had been having so much fun building a farm for his play animals before dinner, that when he was finished eating, he forgot to ask to be excused from the table, and rushed off to return to his playing. Father corrected him, and he promised to remember to ask the next time he wanted to get down before everyone was finished. (We deal with this issue at our house from time to time. How about you?) The next night, the same issue popped up again, when he left the table early to return to the zoo he was making out of paper cutouts. (I love that the children are imaginative in their play, and use simple materials, not lots of fancy and expensive toys). This time, instead of calling him back to the table, Father waits until Samuel notices the rest of the family is staying seated and each is receiving a slice of delicious homemade pie. Yum! Samuel jumps up and asks for pie, only to be reprimanded by Father, who tells him he may continue to play, but he has already left the table, so no pie for him. How's that for natural consequences? I'll bet Samuel never forgets to ask to be excused again!!
So, if you are looking for stories that teach a lesson and are understandable and interesting to even the youngest children (my just-turned-three-years-old, Firefly, likes them a lot), then give Days on the Farm With Annette and Samuel a try.