A Return of Sorts

Hello again, friends! My apologies that it has been over a year since I’ve written on the blog. Several of you reached out to me concerned that I have abandoned my book project, but be assured I am making progress, just quietly.

I am quite sincere in my desire to share good children’s books with you and I hope you can excuse the lack of consistency during a demanding season of motherhood.

Although I haven’t been writing, I always have various-sized stacks of children’s books under review and have been adding new recommendations here. I update this page often, so please check back if you are looking for new books to add to your library holds.

Since we are in the middle of our homeschooling year, you will probably notice more frequent additions to my “Learning with Picture Books” list. I am forever astonished at the effect an excellent picture book has on the minds of my children and I am always searching for new titles to teach with, especially in the subjects of history, art, and science. I’d be grateful if you shared your family’s favorite series or titles in the comments.

Here are a few examples of books that I recently added to the list:

Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Mark Hearld

I may be late to the party on this one, since I used to see this in flat lays on Instagram often. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do! Although the title doesn’t communicate it, this book is a large collection of poems that teach natural science. My daughters pored over its full page, collage-style illustrations.

City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction by David Macaulay

Everything by Macaulay is EXCELLENT! I somehow enjoyed this even more than Cathedral and Castle,which I’ve gushed about before. All are worth owning. They also make great gifts.

What’s Inside A Flower? by Rachel Ignotofsky

Lest you think I’m an old book snob, behold: a recent publication (February 2021)! This gorgeous and informative book truly encourages curiosity and cultivates wonder.

I will try to detail more about the books I’m adding to my lists on the blog this year. It never feels satisfying to merely add the title to my blog lists and move on. In an ideal world, I could invite you over for a cup of coffee and we could flip through each book together.

Other blog-related things to share:

  • Last year I assisted the teacher in charge of the K-2 read-aloud at the classical academy my children attended. I would love to publish a school-specific list to aid classical lower school programs in finding quality children’s books for both classroom and library. Until this materializes, if you are a homeschooling teacher or elementary school teacher, know I am always willing to help you find books. Please send me an email!
  • I have met many kindred souls because of this project and I hope to ask a few to guest post and share a list of their favorite children’s books. A few have a lifetime of experience to share and I would love to tap into their knowledge and share their passion for children’s literature with you.
  • I also hope to share my book thrifting adventures with you. 2020 surprised me with the impossible: our local library closed for months due to the pandemic. I finally realized the necessity of investing in our home library (something I had regretfully never done, due to cross-country moves and heavy library use). As soon as the thrift stores re-opened, I visited local thrift stores and was surprised to find dozens of books we had checked out from the library time and again in perfect condition for often nothing but a mere .50-.75 cents! I am now convinced that, with patience and persistence, I can own all of the children’s books we love. Since many of the books I review for my blog are from various books lists, another unexpected joy of book thrifting is discovering a book, author, or illustrator I would otherwise never have known about.
Treasures from a few months of persistent thrifting post-pandemic; cue the heart eyes!

Finally, a short life update:

Our youngest was born last May and we are now four girls strong (affectionally called your “own little women,” by our friends). A newborn at home is always a delight, but this has been the best yet, with three older sisters who fawn over her at every turn.

My husband stepped away from administration and is now working as a classical school teacher while pursing his PhD, which means I am back to homeschooling full time! We endured a cross-country move (through the Blue Ridge Mountains) in late summer and are settled in a charming, brick-laden historic town in Virginia. We miss our family in the Midwest but we have a lot to be grateful for and we are excited about this new chapter which will undoubtedly include a lot of visits to places like Colonial Williamsburg, Mount Vernon, Old Town Alexandria, etc.

Thank you for your continued support and encouragement! Wishing a happy, healthy, book-filled New Year to you and your loved ones,


Never miss a post! Receive an email notification when I share a new post on Beloved Bookshelf.

2 thoughts on “A Return of Sorts

  1. Your move to VA just puts you closer to us here in NC. VA is a beautiful state to explore so much history. We love to stay at a campground across the James river when we visit Col. Williamsburg we ferry across. Sounds like y’all are staying busy growing and educating your young family. Looking forward to checking out some of your book suggestions for our grandkids. Auntie B and Uncle J


  2. Welcome back Lauren! So fun reading your post! Thank you for helping me with a great selection of books for Christmas this year.
    Love you-Mom


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s