Sunday, February 3, 2008

Book Review: Chasing Vermeer

Our most recent book on Cd for the car was Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet. I have to say that I really enjoyed it. It is a mystery involving art. The main character are two 11 year olds - a boy and a girl. They become involved in solving a mystery of a stolen Vermeer painting. The boy is very into pentominoes and uses them to help solve the mystery.

Not only was the book really good, it lead us to some fun learning. We got on the internet and looked at Vermeer's paintings. then I got out the pentominoes that I bought last year and have been ignored and left them laying out in the living room during the few weeks we spent listening to the book. It took until the end of the book for the girls to become interested in them (It almost killed me to have the "clutter" laying about for that long, but I endured). It was so fun to watch them get excited about making rectangles with the pieces. They spent a large portion of an afternoon playing with them and even discovered that most of the pieces in the Blokus game are shaped like pentominoes. I can't wait for Balliets next book. The main characters return and the plot involves Fibronaccii's number...

While I would not consider us "unschoolers", I love these unschooling moments where the learning just seems to happen. The are several subjects that seem to unschool easier in our home, but that is the subject of another post.

Note: For those with sensitive children. I will mention that there is reference to a murder and the bad guy dies at the end of a heartattack.


Just T said...

Hi Michelle! I don't know whether or not these books are part of the unschool program either (my kids go to a public school in Australia), but I have an almost 8 yr old daughter who absolutely LOVES a series called "The Tiara Club". She started borrowing the books from her school library, but then I found them at a local store. I think there are about 27 in the series. Here is their website if you are interested for your girls, as I am not sure if they are sold in the USA.

There is also another series similar, but my daughter took it back today grrr lol

claire said...

Hi Michelle- I'm Randy's old friend Claire- been enjoying your blog.

This is one of my 11 yo daughter's favorite books- isn't it fun? I'm glad to hear there is another book coming out.

Sending out our VERY belated 'new year's cards' tomorrow- watch your mailbox!