Week 33: The Little White Horse and The Core

The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge

We are on an Elizabeth Goudge kick around here! The Little White Horse is one of Goudge's children's books, and evidently it was one of her favorites. It is a lovely story, and what really stands out is the quality of the writing. It is just beautifully written, and makes most modern children's books look cardboardy and mass-produced by comparison.

The story itself is not unusual--a young orphan arrives at her ancestral home and finds that she has a mystery to unravel and a quest to solve. The difference is in the writing; it is done so well. I don't understand why this book isn't at the top of lists of children's classics. The sad thing about this particular edition is that it does not include the illustrations or cover art, which were done by C. Walter Hodges (an eminent writer and illustrator of children's books, especially historical fiction)--and the book is actually dedicated to him!

I will be searching out more of Goudge's children's books--at the moment I'm coveting Linnets and Valerians and I saw Three Ships. I see a purchase from abebooks in my future...

In the meantime, give this book to your daughter.

The Core: teaching your child the foundations of classical education, by Leigh Bortins

Bortins is the author of Classical Conversations, a homeschooling curriculum that I am not very familiar with. The Core focuses on classical homeschooling, especially the grammar stage (that is, the foundational knowledge for any discipline, not just English grammar). There is a lot of emphasis on memorization of basic facts and otherwise relaxing. It's a pretty good book worth reading, but for myself I really prefer the Well-Trained Mind approach.


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