When I discovered that Growing Book by Book was hosting a Family Dinner Book club with monthly books, activities, meal ideas, and service projects and inviting readers and their families to participate in their own homes, I was SOLD! This is such a perfect fit for our book loving family and in the words of my oldest, “Now Daddy gets to have a book club too!” We’ll be reading along with the Family Dinner Book Club and sharing our own replications or adaptations of the activities, meals, and service projects. Here’s what we did this month:
We fell in love with this past month’s Family Dinner Book Club selection, James Herriot’s Treasury for Children. These animal tales by the veterinarian famous for All Creatures Great and Small, evoked so many empathetic feelings of kindness for animals. There is a beautiful simplicity to these stories. They don’t have action packed story lines or cartoon like illustrations, but they held my almost 5-year old’s rapt attention as he asked for story after story. The illustrations, by two different artists, are gorgeous, colorful, and detailed, and the language is engaging enough for adults. The vocabulary is probably above the level of my 5-year old, but he was able to follow the story line and we discussed many new words through our reading.
Growing Book by Book and partners suggested amazing dinner menus and activities. Our version was slightly abbreviate due to time and circumstance. We made our own smoked chicken and fruit salad sandwiches (my own recipe, but the idea was inspired by Daisy at Home) and had a picnic like that in The Market Square Dog story.
We also followed through on a service project this month that focused on animal compassion. We took a trip to a local animal shelter and brought food and toys (off of the shelter’s wish list) for the cats. The shelter allowed us to visit the animals and give the cats the toys that we brought. My kids loved this visit and we even noticed that one of the kittens (in the upper right photo below) looks a lot like Moses the Kitten from the Treasury!
We’ve loved the Family Dinner Book Club concept and especially love regularly pairing service projects with books. This month, we also discovered a new family favorite book and, based on my kids’ reactions to the shelter, likely a new place to volunteer!