First Mothers by Beverly Gherman and Julie Downing (Clarion Books, 2012) finally puts the mothers’ stories at the forefront. With just one or two pages per mother, Gherman captures the personalities of the women who raised the people who would become president of the USA. The facts are interesting, relevant, and amusing. Julie Downing’s cartoon-like illustrations keep humor through the book as well, highlighting the humor of the mother’s stories. (more…)
Happy Independence Day! To celebrate America’s special holiday, I thought I’d review a patriotic and historical book.
Visual learning is best for many young kids. A Timeline History of the Thirteen Colonies by Mary K. Pratt (Lerner, November 2014) provides a visual understanding of history by representing some of the main events in the development of the American colonies via timeline. (more…)
I am an active Christian. I believe God created the world. I also believe we do not know how God created the earth, and I do not believe in a literal, seven-day creation. All I have learned about the big bang theory and the evolutionary history of the earth has only solidified that testimony that I have that God is behind it all.
That said, I’m always careful about which books I share with my kids that deal with the big bang, the expanding universe, and evolutionary biology. Some of these texts for kids disparage those that believe in God as creator, or otherwise dismiss the possibility of both creationism (i.e., God created the earth) and the evolutionary sciences as evidenced by science as possibly co-existing.
How to Make a Planet by Scott Forbes (Kids Can Press, March 2014) teaches about the big bang and early evolutionary history just right. It focuses on the science, based on the evidence we can see around us. Even the title seems to underscore that someone could make a planet. While the book does not have discussion of God or a “creator” in a religious sense, it also does not eliminate the fact that it could have been created by a higher power purposefully. The “instructions,” although written to the two children that appear on each of the pages, could just as easily have been directed toward God creating the world in His way. (more…)
Chitchat by Jude Isabella (Kids Can Press, September 2013) is a delightful exploration of language for a young adult reader. It explores so many aspects of language that I felt like I was a little bit in heaven since I appreciate and love languages and words so much. At 48 pages, it obviously only skimmed the surface, but for a young reader, it’s tone, illustrations, and length would be just right. (more…)
A History of the World in 12 Maps by Jerry Brotton (Viking, November 2013) is not truly a world history story. It is, however, a look at how maps and history are intricately related. Each map throughout history tells what is important to the learned in the era in which it has been created. Likewise, each map contributes to how the subsequent generations continue to interpret the world. (more…)