Welcome to our family’s list of CC Cycle 2 picture books correlating with the Classical Conversations Cycle 2 Foundations program. After investing in many books over the past several years, we’ve decided to let you in on what our favorites have been! We’ve selected the following books as personal family favorites for Cycle 2 because they’re beautiful and rich in content. (We have reasons for selecting each one. Perhaps I will be able to come back and write a description for each, which I would love to do if I can find the time to do so!) The links here are affiliate links, but I’m sincerely hoping you will be able to find them at your local library or discount bookstores.
I usually preface these types of posts with all sorts of disclaimers like…
- Plan does not equal reality. (Not in our home, anyway.)
- We read a lot but sometimes do not get around to doing everything I plan (and sometimes that happens more often than sometimes).
- It is not necessary to correlate any of our reading with memory work. These books would be great books to read at any point with your children. The whole idea of resting in the early stage of education is… just stick with the memory work and don’t spend a lot of money, time, and energy chasing the next best thing. You do not need a lot of bells and whistles to educate your young children. (But a library card is a great tool to enjoy good books together.)
- I pray that no one feels tempted to buy a bunch of books just because we own or recommend them. We have an unusual circumstance where our county’s libraries have extremely limited selections, so our family’s home acts as a sort of library for homeschoolers in our area. This is one reason why we own so many books. (That, and deep down I’ve always hoped to someday have a personal library like Belle’s in Beauty and the Beast.)
- I’m not a curriculum/linguistic/childhood development expert, and as such, my personal opinion really should not be highly regarded. But… as a mom, I love sharing a good story with my children. So … please know this is not a list of best books you can find in the whole wide world. It’s just our family’s experience and opinion of picture books we’ve read on these particular topics. We’ve just enjoyed reading them.
- Because everything I personally offer on this website is in the form of free downloads (I sell nothing that I create and post on this website), we use affiliate links to help support the costs associated with maintaining and improving this website while also supporting missions. Your purchases through these links also help our family now that my husband is in the midst of a potential career change. So, if you ever shop through our links, our family deeply appreciates it! (But it is in no way expected.)
With that, here are our personal picture books for the coming school year….
Illustrated Picture Books
(which are stored in the Book Bin for afternoon reading time)
The Bayeux Tapestry: The Comic Strip
Stephen’s Feast (re: Good King Wenceslas; a family favorite at Christmastime, too)
Built to Last (Castle)
Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse
I And You And Don’t Forget Who: What Is a Pronoun?
You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Crusader!
The Squire and the Scroll: A Tale of the Rewards of a Pure Heart
The Making of a Knight: How Sir James Earne…
Sir Cumference and the First Round Table (A Math Adventure) (Week 20 for more.)
The Turn-Around, Upside-Down Alphabet Book (ALA Notable Children’s Books. Younger Readers (Awards))
The Magna Carta: Cornerstone of the Constitution (great book with lots of Cycle 2 history tie-ins! Plus, it can be used again for Cycle 3!)
Robin Hood And The Golden Arrow
Chanticleer and the Fox
The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art
Joan of Arc by Dianne Stanley (long picture book that may be used as a weekly read aloud)
Plagues, Pox, and Pestilence
A Medieval Feast (to wrap up the Middle Ages, we’re hoping to enjoy a medieval feast as a family or community)
Harold and the Purple Crayon
William Shakespeare & the Globe by Aliki
Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare
Leonardo and the Flying Boy
Nicolaus Copernicus: The Earth Is a Planet
You Wouldnt Want to Work on a Medieval Cathedral
Peter the Great
Brilliant Brits: Henry VIII (but only if you’re dying to study Henry VIII. If you want a book about him, this one is entertaining, but it goes into his wives and the reasons he divorced or beheaded them. It’s just not wholesome goodness, ya know?)
The King’s Day: Louis XIV of France
Good Queen Bess : The Story of Elizabeth I of England
There’s No Place Like Space: All About Our Solar System
Russia ABCs: A Book About the People and Places of Russia or R is for Russia (both of these are great – one uses illustrations and the other photos)
The Littlest Matryoshka (Still looking into other books about Russian folktales)
The Moon Book
Week 11 & 12
Napoleon: The Story of the Little Corporal (longer picture book that is better used as a read aloud)
The Heroic Symphony
Look to the Stars by Edwin Aldrin
You Wouldn’t Want to be on Apollo 13!
Week 14 & 15
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear
Christmas in the Trenches
Shooting at the Stars
Where Poppies Grow: A World War I Companion
In Flanders Fields: The Story of the Poem
Dearly, Nearly, Insincerely: What Is An Adverb?
Week 16 & 17
Franklin and Winston: A Christmas That Changed the World
The Little Ships: The Heroic Rescue at Dunkirk
The Butterfly by Patricia Polacco
To Root, to Toot, to Parachute: What Is a Verb?
Claude Monet: The Painter Who Stopped the Trains
Week 21 & 22
Readers (for 2nd grader to read aloud):
I received a specific request for leveled readers that correlate with Cycle 2. Although I’ve not had a chance to put together this in a list format, I have put together a list of Cycle 2 Leveled Readers in our Amazon Store. Because our second grader enjoys the Magic Tree House series, it is our first pick for books he will read aloud to me. In addition to our second grader’s favorite Magic Tree House series, we have the following leveled readers or short chapter books on hand (to read after we’ve finished Magic Tree House – not correlating them with any particular week, and probably not at all making it through all of the ones listed before the end of the school year). Check out a more complete listing at Cycle 2 Leveled Readers.
The Minstrel in the Tower (Stepping Stone)
The Sword in the Tree (Trophy Chapter Book)
Joan of Arc (Step into Reading)
The King of Prussia and a Peanut Butter Sandwich
The Three Musketeers
Space Heroes: Amazing Astronauts (DK Readers)
Moonwalk: The First Trip to the Moon
DK Readers: D-Day Landings
DK Readers: The Story of Anne Frank
DK Readers: Spies!
If you’re interested in the Magic Tree House, visit the Magic Tree House (and Imagination Station) Selections on our Amazon Store.
A most important thing. Yes, please read:
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of finding books that your child enjoys reading. If their favorite books don’t line up with memory work, who cares? What’s important is that they grow in their love for reading. So let them read Hank the Cowdog if that’s what they enjoy. (After all, those are great books!) If you aren’t to a point of enjoying reading yet with your children, it’s okay. Starting out, all I’ll challenge you with is to read out loud to your children 10 minutes every day. I truly believe it will grow into something much greater if you select topics that interest them.
Our second son taught me tons about letting go and letting God guide us instead of sticking to my plans. Just three years ago, that child told me how much he hated reading. Now, he picks up unabridged classics as a 10-year-old and reads them in his spare time because he enjoys it. He is the one who asks me to read more every time I read out loud. (He can spend an hour or more listening to me read non-stop – until my voice gives out and I’m hoarse.) And he requests more and more audiobooks to listen to in the car.
The longer I homeschool, the more I see God’s power and grace in my life and in our home. The fact remains, I fail all the time. But He blesses our homeschool in spite of me.
Praise Him from Whom all blessings flow!