• About Farm School

    "There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."
    James Adams, from his essay "To 'Be' or to 'Do': A Note on American Education", 1929

    We're a Canadian family of five, farming, home schooling, and building our own house. I'm nowhere near as regular a blogger as I used to be.

    The kids are 18/Grade 12, 16/Grade 11, and 14/Grade 10.

    Contact me at becky(dot)farmschool(at)gmail(dot)com

  • Notable Quotables

    "If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
    William Morris, from his lecture "The Beauty of Life"

    "‘Never look at an ugly thing twice. It is fatally easy to get accustomed to corrupting influences."
    English architect CFA Voysey (1857-1941)

    "The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall, nations perish, civilizations grow old and die out; and, after an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again, and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead."
    Clarence Day

    "Anyone who has a library and a garden wants for nothing."
    Cicero

    "Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend."
    Sir Francis Bacon, "Essays"

    "The chief aim of education is to show you, after you make a livelihood, how to enjoy living; and you can live longest and best and most rewardingly by attaining and preserving the happiness of learning."
    Gilbert Highet, "The Immortal Profession: The Joys of Teaching and Learning"

    "Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."
    Walter Wriston

    "I'd like to give you a piece of my mind."
    "Oh, I couldn't take the last piece."
    Ginger Rogers to Frances Mercer in "Vivacious Lady" (1938)

    "No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem."
    Booker T. Washington

    "Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."
    Attributed to Groucho Marx in "The Groucho Letters" by Arthur Sheekman

    "If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me."
    Alice Roosevelt Longworth

    "If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, we feel all our hard work ain't been in vain for nothin'."
    Jean Hagen as "Lina Lamont" in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952)
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Goodbye, Garth


From Fuse #8, a link to the Publishers Weekly article, “Little House Under Renovation“:

The prairie landscape of Laura Ingalls Wilder will soon be changing. HarperCollins, in an effort to keep the classic Little House on the Prairie series relevant to a new generation, is repackaging the paperback editions, and will replace the familiar covers by Garth Williams with photographic covers, and remove the inside art, starting in January. …

…according to Tara Weikum, executive editor of HarperCollins Children’s Books, sales of backlist properties in the competitive middle-grade market have been lagging. “For readers who view historical novels as old-fashioned,” says Weikum, “this offers them an edition that dispels that notion and suggests that these books have all the great qualities of a novel set in a contemporary time.”…

Kate Jackson, editor-in-chief at HarperCollins Children’s Books, … believes that Harper’s responsibility is to keep the books “relevant and vibrant for kids today. A childhood book is an emotional, tactile object, and you want it to be as it was,” she says. “But Laura Ingalls was a real little girl, not a made-up character. Using photographs highlights that these are not history but adventure books.”

I had heard a bit about the changes afoot some time after I heard about the plans for Anne-before-Green Gables, and one has to think that the HarperCollins tag line “Come home to Little House” will probably be replaced too, no doubt with something more, erm, contemporary, relevant, vibrant, and adventurous.

I realize that Garth Williams wasn’t the original illustrator of the Little House series. He was hired in the 1950’s by Harper editor Ursula Nordstrom, who didn’t think that the original illustrations, by Helen Sewell and Mildred Boyle beginning in 1932, suited the books; this page has an interesting comparison of the two styles, and I think an argument could be made that Williams’s illustrations do have a, yes, vibrancy that Mrs. Sewell’s lack, a vibrancy shared by the young Laura Ingalls herself. (Some might recollect Helen Sewell as the illustrator of two Alice Dalgliesh classics, The Thanksgiving Story and The Bears on Hemlock Mountain.)

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