In the Light of the Child
A Journey Through the 52 Weeks of the Year in Both Hemispheres - For Children and the Child in Each Human Being
Michael Hedley Burton
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Michael Burton has created something very special for our children (and for us, as well). Taking Rudolf Steiner's Calendar of the Soul as his inspiration, he has crafted 52 verses to carry children throughout the year. Each verse touches on the feeling qualities of its particular place within the seasons of our Earth and in clear and loving language helps anyone forge a firmer connection to the natural world. At the same time, these verses also reflect the various qualities of Divine Love, as it manifests within each season. This uniting of heaven and earth within the seasonal round is poignantly beautiful - and very highly recommend for the child in all of us.
A Children's Anthologia - A Gathering of Flowers
50 Poems for Primary and Junior High School
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Follow the winding curriculum road with a verse at hand for each new turn! Alan's poems for classes 1-8 go to the heart of the subject with verses humorous, serious, charming, and poignent. Each one of them is "just right" for the age group and subject addressed; each one is sure to add a dash more beauty and depth to the lesson.
Verses cover language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and the festivals. Includes the 12 Greek Zodiacal Rhythms, the 7 Meters and 7 Speech Styles.
What Color Is the Wind?
A Feel Guide to the Out-of-doors for Parents with Young Children
Hard cover, spiral bound
$20.00Add a review
We often talk about nature as if it were some sort of parallel universe - a Great Outdoors that we canonly visit from time to time: seashore, mountains, zoo, farm, national park, bird sanctuary. The fact is, nature is all around us, every day, and we can learn a lot from it just by paying attention. The simple activities in this book, seasonally arranged, respect the capacity of children and parents to share in the excitement of what's happening in the world around them, to wake up and have fun in the moment. There are no learning points or weighty intentions . . . only some gentle-but-insistent prompting to get you out the door. You'll soon discover your own motivations for whiling away the hours amid nature's abundant delights.
What Color Is the Wind? is about parents and children connecting with each other, the ground under their fee, the sky above them, and everything in-between. Societal pressures, busy schedules, 'virtual' entertainments and a daunting economic climate have been conspiring to limit the time parents spend with their children, in the open air most of all. In Ed Bieber's 40 years as a naturalist/educator who has introduced thousands of children to the out-of-doors, he has found one sure-fire answer to what has been called "nature deficit disorder." It lies right outside our doors and windows. Open them wide, and get outside.
This book will help you do just that. With joy.
The Little Gnome Tenderroot
Translated by Nina Kuettel
Illustrations by George Feldmann
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Dear Little Gnome Tenderroot just loves the plants and soil he cares for. Each season he looks to see what he can do that will most especially help the roots and branches to spring to life or, in winter, fade into a deep, good sleep. He lets the stars and the angels help in all he does, and is just such a happy little fellow it's hard not to want to run outside in the hopes of catching a glimpse of him sending star milk from heaven down into the deep earth so that the plant leaves will flutter brightly.
These little nature stories are wonderful for children in first or second grade - and for all the adults lucky enough to get to read them, too.
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Margaret Peckham originally created these dear stories for her first graders at the Rudolf Steiner School in NYC. They are a lively, imaginative introduction to nature and its ways -- sure to captivate any child who hears them.
- The Littlest Gnome
- The Second Gnome
- The Discontented Brook
- First Signs of Spring
- The Little Girl in the Woods
- The Butterfly
- Treasure Chests
Nature Ways in Story and Verse
Illustrated by Robin Crofts Lawrence
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Nature Ways is filled with lilting stories that will captivate the children to whom they are read. It is, in fact, intended to be read aloud by parents, grandparents, and, yes, teachers, too. These stories and poems share the magic of nature that occasionally breaks in upon us all -- even when we, like the character Twig, aren't particularly happy with the way things are going.
A golden Waldorf classic - for children in the early grades.
Sacred Song of the Hermit Thrush
A Native American Legend
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Long ago, the Birds had no songs.
Only Man could sing, and every morning,
Man would greet the rising Sun with a song.
This is a Native legend that tells the story of how the birds were given song, and most especially how it came about that the Hermit Thrush was given the loveliest song of all. It is so beautifully retold that you can almost hear the voice of the storyteller as you read the words. The line drawings are heartfelt and exquisite.
As if this were not enough to recommend it, this little booklet is simply perfect for the Waldorf 4th Grade biology block, and in the US, also the section of the geography block that concerns Native culture. In addition to its very beautiful legend, there is a chapter at the end on "The Natural History of the Hermit Thrush" that paints a wonderful picture of the life and ways of this little bird, along with its basic biology and nature. The legend and this addtional information combine to make a meaningful and vibrant introduction to the nature of birds and life itself.
Farther back in the book is a listing of the seasonal ceremonies of the Mohawk people, which could easily form the basis for conveying the Native cultural impulse to 4th graders as part of their geography block and throughout the year.
Sacred Song of the Hermit Thrush is a gem that can resonnate in every child's heart, with or without Waldorf education. The fact it fits perfectly within the Waldorf curriculum simply echoes the beauty of the human heart through the world. I can't tell you how much I hope that many, many children will be able to hear and learn this story, and how much I hope it inspires many, many adults to offer it to the coming generations.
Song of the Seven Herbs
Walking Night Bear & Stan Padilla
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You and your children can enter into a beautiful story of how it came to be that the Creator of All Good Things gave healing herbs to the people of the Earth. It all began when the Creator of All Bad things brought disharmony, and thereby illness, to the world. Seeing this, the Creator of All Good things made a special plants to cure the illnesses that were brought to the world.
What follows are the stories of seven herbs that encompass various forms of disharmony and their healing solutions. You and your children will learn how the plants grow, why the Creator of All Good Things gave them particular healing powers, and how it is that the people use them. Couched within this myth that resonates with the Greek myth of Pandora's Box story, Genesis 1:12 from the Judeo-Christian tradition, and many other world creations stories, is one of the finest presentations of botanical natural history and herbal wisdom that I have come upon. Any child who is treated to this book will learn things of value for the entirety of their lives, and in ways that will not soon be forgotten.
Song of the Seven Herbs is just right for the Waldorf 5th grade botany block. Covered are the following herbs: Stinging Nettle, Yarrow, Dandelion, Violet, Chicory, Wild Rose, Sunflower. This book is a joy - one to share and return to as often as you need a reminder of the ways of goodness in the world of ours.
Highly recommended for children and adults over age 10.
Green Fingers and Muddy Boots
A Year in the Grden for Children and Families
Includes a CD-ROM with worksheets
$30.00Add a review
Here is a beautiful, wonder-filled introduction to the joys of gardening! Packed with photos and drawings of birds, bees, flowers, vegetables and much, much more, Green Fingers and Muddy Boots is so evocative of the pleasures of working with nature that you'll find yourself setting it down frequently in favor of going out and getting your hands into some soil. Which I know the author would love for you and children everywhere to do.
Green Fingers and Muddy Boots—with worksheets on the accompanying CD—presents practical and fun activities in the garden for every month of the year, come rain or shine. Activities range from growing flowers and vegetables to spotting birds and tracking the weather and keeping a garden diary.
The activities are suitable for seven- to fourteen-year-olds. Although older children will be able to work independently, it can be fun to work together as a family or school class.
This book is based on the original “Plant and Grow” course developed with the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society, which has been used successfully by many families and schools for several years.
We recommend it as wonderful for children of all ages! You can never be too young or too old to get out into the garden.
Storytelling for a Greener World
Environment, Community and Story-Based Learning
Edited by Alida Gersie, Anthony Nanson and Edward Schieffelin
Foreword by Jonathon Porritt
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This is a beautiful, deeply considered delving into the power and wonder of stories, how traditional stories have shaped the way generations have seen the earth, and what it can be to reshape some of those stories to reflect a union and love between man and nature.
There are many authors and viewpoints between the covers of this wonderful book. Each story they select and the thoughts they share about it are like an overflowing cornucopia of delight and wonder, knowledge and wisdom. Where one might expect to find "nice, environmentally friendly" stories, instead you will be treated to literary richness grounded in the depths of history and folk wisdom.
Storytelling for a Greener World is a treasure to be visited and revisited as often as possible.
From the publisher:
A treasury of 43 stories, creative activities, techniques, tips and descriptions of inspiring practice to both empower newcomers and seasoned practitioners.
A handy, unique and authoritative resource for developing innovative story-work, and a key sourcebook of lasting usefulness.
This handbook offers time-tested stories, creative activities and methods that environmental educators and storytellers can use to affect people’s pro-environmental behavior. Whether it is a brief mention of seeing a skein of geese flying in an evening sky, or children from a tough area getting inspired by kittiwakes, both adults and children can engage profoundly with nature through the imaginative power of story, with lasting personal and environmental changes.
It explores the links between storytelling and emotional literacy, place, environmental justice, connecting with alienated youngsters, how to encourage children and adults’ curiosity about nature, building community, sustainability and indigenous peoples, local legends, human-animal communication and how to co-create a sustainable future together.
Storytelling for a Greener World brings together the wisdom of cutting-edge storytellers who offer a range of distinctive but complementary approaches to the art of telling stories for environmental education in 21 chapters.
The Bee Book
Streit’s father was a beekeeper and it was in early childhood that Jakob developed a passion for the honeybee. This exquisite reader factually and scientifically allows one to enter into the magic and mysterious world of the bees.
The Bee Book offers a beautiful transition from the Animal and Human Being lesson block of Grade 4 to the Botany lesson block of Grade 5 - and would be an appropriate reader for those grade level.
Little Bee Sunbeam
This story reader for younger children relates the adventures of a honeybee named Little Bee Sunbeam. The little bee is in a search for a particularly good nectar to make honey when it suddenly becomes very cold. Honeybees cannot fly when the temperature drops so abruptly and our little bee must spend the night alone in the forest where an exciting adventure unfolds.
I would recommend it for Grade 5 as a reader based on the level of vocabulary used - it also fits in beautlifully with the Botany lesson block. For grades 3 and up, it can be used as a story to be read by an adult.
Earth, Water, Fire and Air
Playful explorations in the four elements
$25.00Add a review
This craft book for children shows how to make a waterwheel, paddle-steamer, propeller plane, parachute, windmill, simple pendulum clock, spinning tops, a little hot-air balloon, and lots more. Some suggestions are simple enough for 6 year olds, others challenging enough for a skillful 12 year old. This book is chock-full of really fun ways to learn about the world - outstanding!
Geology and Astronomy
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Part one of this book describes the different kinds of rocks, soil, and mountains found on our planet and explores how they came into being. This section also deals with the depths of the Earth and the long ages of time.
By contrast, part two examines the heights of our universe in the movement of the Sun, Moon, and stars. These celestial bodies give us our sense the cycles of days, months, and years.
Throughout, Kovacs links the phenomena he is describing to human experience and how they affect people in various parts of the world. Geology and Astronomy is a resource for Waldorf teachers in classes six and seven (ages 11–13).
The Lonely Lake
(Der Einsame See)
An English/German Dual Language Story of the Seasons in the North Country
Charming pen and ink drawings by the author
$12.00Add a review
Arnold Zimmermann was not only the husband of master knitter Elizabeth Zimmermann, he was a wonderful teller of stories and lover of nature. His many children's books delighted our own children years ago -- it's a warm pleasure to be able to offer them to a new generation of young people.
The Lonely Lake/Der Einsame See is much more than an interesting way to experience English and German together. It is a sensitive and engaging observation of the life that guides and animates Nature through all the seasons. With simple yet evocative prose, Zimmermann shares with us the events large and small as they occur among nature's inhabitants and guests at the lonely lake. What he has accomplished in this gentle and warm telling is reminiscent of the Burgess Nature Stories, but there is something in Zimmermann's tale that I have always missed in Burgess -- a real sense for the Love that underlies all Life; a sense of the sheer Majesty of the natural world.
This is a book that would work equally well as a nature study or a German text -- what a lovely way to integrate the two!
For those teaching German (or wanting to learn it!), I would place the prose at an 'early intermediate' level. Here's a sample, first in English and then in German to help you judge for yourself:
Toward evening, which came early now, the storm abated. The dark clouds slid down the horizon and let the stars come out.
A Brightness appeared behind the steep hill in the North and spread upward, covering half the dome of the night sky. and now it condensed into green-golden curtains which silently folded and unfolded, sending strong beams of white light to the very top of the sky.
The northern lights were playing their silent, intricate ballet which is a a prelude to the dance of the little spirits of the North that sweeps over hills and woods and streams and lakes.
* * *
Gegen Abend, der jetzt frueh kam, liess der Sturm nach, die dunklen Wolken glitten ueber den Horizont hinunter und liessen die Sterne erscheinen.
Eine Helligkeit erschien hinter dem steilen Huegel im Norden und erstreckte sich aufwaerts ueber die Haelfte des naechtlichen Himmelsdomes.
Und nun verdichtete sich diese Helligkeit in gruen-goldene Vorhaenge die sich schweigend falteten und wieder entfalteten. Intensive Strahlenbuendel weissen Lichtes schossen bis zum Himmelsdach.
Die Nordlichter brachten ihr stummes, durchwobenes Ballet zur Schau, das Vorspiel zum Tanz der kleinen Geister des Nordens ist, der ueber Huegel und Wald und Fluss und See fegt.
Arnold Zimmerman is also the author of The Tale of Alain.
Drawing from the Book of Nature
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Drawing from the Book of Nature does double-duty as a book that is about both drawing and the natural world of plant and animal. Here is a wonderful resource for teachers, students or anyone wishing to develop their capacity for the artistic observation of natural phenomena.
Dennis Klocek, with his refreshing combination of depth and clarity, offers a wealth of insight into the lives of plants and animals. His text is enhanced with step-by-step lessons to help the reader bring the kingdoms of nature to life on paper.
Minn of the Mississippi
Holling Clancy Holling
A Newbery Honor Book
Beautiful and detailed color and black & white illustrations
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Another favorite book from my own childhood, Minn of the Mississippi is a great story, a wonderful natural history of the Mississippi River, and an outstanding geography/history lesson all rolled into one.
Minn is a snapping turtle who begins life as an egg laid at the source of the Mighty Mississippi. [I still remember my amazement when I learned while reading Minn at around age 9 that the Mississippi River also begins as something so small a child can stand astride it. The only part of the Mississippi I had ever seen was under the bridge we crossed every year to get to my grandmother's house in southern Iowa -- I had assumed the river was always about half a mile wide.]
One thing leads to another, and over the course of many, many years, Minn makes his way down the full length of the Mississippi, at last making his home among barnacle encrusted treasures left on the Gulf bottom by pirates and adventurers of long ago. Minn's travels bring him into contact with most of the wildlife that makes its home in and near the river, many of the people, and evidence many peoples gone long before.
I just love Minn of the Mississippi and the story that is told here. One of the remarkable things that H. C. Hollings does here and elsewhere is to create a story where the animal at the center of the action remains an animal (i.e., no talking, thinking or anthropomorphic behavior), yet evokes in the reader a great sympathy and involvement. And he does this while teaching a huge amount about nature, geography and history! It doesn't get better than this.
Holling Clancy Holling
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The stories of Holling Clancy Hollings rest as some of my childhood favorites - I still remember the thrill of getting to check them out of the library (again and again!) and my rapt absorbtion in the stories of creatures and things that were such great adventurers. As the captivating page turners rolled out their tales, I learned so very much about the aspect of the natural world in which the story took place. Hollings stories are a rarity in that they are great books and while also being great learning tools.
Pagoo is an intricate study of the teeming life of tide pools, told through the adventures and misadventures of Pagoo, a hermit crab.
Holling Clancy Holling
A Caldecott Honor Book
Captivating illustrations in color and black & white
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An Indian boy living along the shores of Lake Superior carves a small canoe with a "Paddle Person" in it. He names it "Paddle-to-the-Sea" and sets it on its journey from Lake Superior all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. As Paddle-to-the-Sea travels, we journey with him through all the Great Lakes, meeting boats and barges and seafarers along the way. Paddle even goes over Niagra Falls and through the locks on the St. Lawrence River. And after surviving all those adventures, it should come as no surpirse to learn that he eventually crosses the whole Atlantic Ocean and arrives in France!
A great book with a riveting story. I don't think the natural and social life of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway has a better chronicler than Holling.
Tree in the Trail
Holling Clancy Holling
Full color and black & white illustrations
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As with Big Tree, Tree in the Trail uses the life of a tree to portray both the passing of history and life cycles of nature. Where Big Tree uses a Redwood to survey the founding moments of Western Civilization, Tree in the Trail is about a Cottonwood and the things that happened within the tree's view over two hundred years along the Santa Fe Trail in the American Southwest. There are animals and people that bring to life the history, both natural and human, of this amazing part of the world. And through all the dramatic changes, the tree continues to stand and grow.
Like Holling's other books, this one is packed with story and teaching; with life itself.
Holling Clancy Hollings
A Newbery Honor Book
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In the days of the great square-rigged sailing ships, a seaman and his ship are saved from a collision with an iceberg by the swooping flight of a seagull off the shores of Greenland. In gratitude and for future good luck, Ezra Brown, the seaman, buys some ivory ashore and carves a beautiful ivory gull. Together they travel the seas on their whaling ship. Later, when the seaman is captain of his own ship, they sail together on the swift Clipper Ships to the South Seas and the Orient.
Seabird continues to ride the waves with Ezra's son, and then with his grandson, traveling on the fastest sailing ships, then on the steam ships that replaced them. At the end of the book, Ezra's great-grandson takes the Seabird along as he flies the skies, soaring through the air as he pilots the new airplanes around and around the world.
Another wonderful book by Hollings.
Essays on Modification of the Clouds and the Language of Clouds
Luke Howard, FRS and Ernst Lehrs
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In 1832, Luke Howard taught the Western World how to distinguish one cloud from another, giving them names and moving us all a bit further toward the science of Meteorology. Goethe recognized his genius and dedicated a poem to him. Ernst Lehrs refers to him as a "true reader of the book of Nature."
Both Howard's and Lehr's essays are invaluable resources for teachers of elementary meteorology. A teacher who can convey Howard's way of seeing clouds to the students will have given them a living approach to the world of nature. No small thing, that.
Keeping a Nature Journal
Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You
Clare Walker Leslie & Charles E Roth
Foreword by Edward O Wilson
Softbound, beautifully illustrated in pen and ink drawings and watercolor
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Clare Walker Leslie's work is so invaluable in the field of nature study, for all ages everywhere. We use it in our Roots & Shoots program to help young people sharpen their observation skills and deepen their connection with nature.
- Jane Goodall
Founder, The Jane Goodall Institute
For many years now, both Bob and I have felt strongly that there was a need to offer 6th, 7th and 8th grade students (and high school students, for that matter) more direct contact with living nature than the conventional Waldorf curriculum calls for. In our view, our modern world has become so very separated from the Life of the world, that it has become a pedagogical need to balance that reality with something more.
Keeping a Nature Journal offers a beautiful, lively way to do just this - and to do it in the contexts of Steiner's phenomenological approach to science, drawing & painting, and upper grades composition writing. Whether in a classroom or homeschool setting, this book opens doorways to really seeing our world and in the process, also really seeing ourselves and each other. It is simply a gifted work of art, something anyone who teaches will want to discover for themselves. There is even an entire section devoted to ways of teaching this to both children and adults.
Our hope is that the offering of this book will lead many more adults to travel the seasons with their students, and to share the love for nature that grows from such a journey.
Eric Sloane's Weather Book
$9.95Add a review
Eric Sloane is one of my all-time favorite authors, and the reappearance after many years of his fascinating book on weather and weather lore is an event to be celebrated. This is a book that anyone teaching meteorology will want to have available -- absolutely no student could fail to find the subject interesting if you share Eric Sloane with them.
In simple language, Sloane explains the whys and wherefores of weather and weather forecasting - and does so in a universally appealing way.
With humor and common sense shining through in a book that's also lively and informative, Sloane shows readers how to predict the weather by "reading" such natural phenomena as winds, skies, and animal sounds. This beautifully illustrated and practical treasure trove of climate lore will enlighten outdoorsmen, farmers and sailors as much as it will your students. Anyone who has ever wondered what a large halo around the moon means, why birds "sit it out" before a storm, and whether or note to take an umbrella when leaving home will love this book.
Eric Sloane's Book of Storms
Hurricanes, Twisters and Squalls
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Put some punch into your lessons on weather! Or, just leave this book lying around to fascinate children and adults alike.
Eric Sloane brings his characteristic enthusiasm to bear on the subject of extreme weather events - and leaves every reader not only edified, but captivated with wonder that such things can be.
What triggers a tornado? What can you see in the eye of a hurricane? What is the difference between a thunderbolt and a thunderclap? Eric Sloane demonstrates why weather is something best understood by seeing it. His rich illustrations show weather in action with not a glimmer of a sunny day - cyclonic storms, whirlwinds, waterspounts, lightnigh bolts, and other fascinating, weather-related topics abound. More than 70 pages of drawings and diagrams bring the worst of weather alive in a most wonderful way.
Look at the Sky
. . . and Tell the Weather
Softbound, copiously illustrated with black and white drawings
$10.95Add a review
Look at the Sky was Eric Sloane's favorite among all his books. In it he shares not only his love of the weather itself, but his clear understanding of the art and science of weather forecasting. Sloane himself is credited with being the first broadcast weatherman - it was his idea to have farmers from all over New England call in their weather observations which he would then broadcast and comment upon. Not a bad system, really.
It is out of his love and enthusiasm for the weather that he wrote and illustrated several weather books, including Look at the Sky. To read it is to be caught up in the world of moving clouds and changeable winds, and to fall in love with actually looking at the sky. He is more detailed about weather forecasting in this book than in either Eric Sloane's Weather Book or Eric Sloane's Book of Storms, and as such, this is a book that will probably best serve high school students and adults. But do leave this one around the house or classroom if there are late grades students about - they may not penetrate everything, but they will be fascinated by the drawings and stories of weather lore, and inspired to go outside and really look at the sky. I believe that is something that will stay with anyone who reads Sloane's weather books.
This is such a good book - please do read it.
A Guide to Naked-eye Observation of the Stars
$25.00Add a review
This is the astronomy course I always wanted to take, but could find! Davidson takes us outside, has us look up at the starry wonder overhead, and then tells us what we are seeing. In the process, he also treats us to myths, legends and history, and even includes a whole chapter of poetry about the stars! Wonderful!
- The Stars - I
- The Stars - II
- The Sun
- The Moon
- The Planets
- The Copernican Revolution
- Comets and Meteors
- The Southern Hemisphere Sky
- The Stars in Poetry
- Astronomical Events
- Technical Data
- Astronimcal Symbols
- Star Maps for Observers at the Equator
- Useful Materials and Publications
- Some Famous Individuals in the History of Astronomy
- Glossary of Astronomical Terms
Struggle and Victory
Translated by Monica Gold
$12.00Add a review
Originally published in 1949, this lively book is an established treasure in Germany. It depicts the life struggles and striving of the Polish astronomer Nikolaus Copernicus and makes a wonderful reader for seventh and eighth grade Waldorf classes, as well as an excellent book for anyone interested in Copernicus and his world.
The Secret Language of Form
Visual Meaning in Art and Nature
$29.00Add a review
As background information for anyone teaching art, The Secret Language of Form just can't be beat. The pleasures of discovery that lie within this book are so exhilarating that you may want a cup of soothing herb tea alongside so that you won't interrupt yourself too often by jumping up and singing for happiness.
Van James has explored form as it emerges from nature and finds its way into art and from there into the human soul. His journey into the heart of meaning as we humans find it among the many forms Creation has given us constitutes a tour through an Earthly-Cosmic landscape that is at once always grounded yet never removed from spiritual reality. Hundreds of photos, drawings, and paintings greet you to illustrate each illuminate each of the author's observations; and, to evoke wonder and awe in your own heart. This is a feast of beautiful awakening.
Visit this book again and again, to study closely, to keep at hand for those times when inspiration seems far away, for surely you will find it anew within its pages.
Part One: The Formative Nature of Art
- Primal Images
- Archetypal Images
- Curve and Straight Line: The Alphabet of Form
- Point and Dot: Origin
- Circle and Spiral: Wholeness and Eternity
- Chevron, Zigzag and Lattice: Patterns of Humanity
- Ladder, Spine and Tree: The Ascent
- Symmetry: The Lawfulness of Balance
- Cross and Swastika: Death and Transformation
- Archetypal Themes in Art<
- Mandala: Picture of the Universal Self
- Labyrinth and Maze: Journey to the Center of the Universe
- Thread and Knot: The World Weaves
Part Two: The Formative Art of Nature
- The Essential Gesture
- The Open Secret