Did you make it to the library in the last week to give Challenge 1: Hero Tales a try? I hope you did and that you found lots of good books to fuel your child’s imagination. It inspired my 7-year old to pull out his medieval castle play set last week and act out some of the King Arthur scenes we read about.
By the way, if your library is lacking in its children’s book selection, you might try looking in your child’s school library as well. Most librarians would love to facilitate parents’ efforts to expose their children to more stories!
I went back to our public library this week and found a few more to add to our list of recommended hero tales.
Remember the name Steven Kellogg? Yes, of course you do–you committed all those author names and titles to memory, right?! In the original post, I mentioned three of his tall tale books: Mike Fink (pictured in original post), Pecos Bill and Paul Bunyan. We love the latter two so I wanted to include a photo of them too. I even had a friend send me a picture of her child with a “big book” version of Paul Bunyan–how perfect for that story! (Big books are usually used for read alouds with groups of children, so they can see the pictures better. They are often available at libraries for check out.)
Did you know American tall tales came about because of the extremely difficult realities that early American settlers faced? “Tall tales gave [them] symbols of strength, and offset with a little humor the harsh realities of an untamed land. The exaggerated strength and blatant lies in tall tales added zest and lightened a life of hard labor.” (From Literature and the Child, 2010.) Aren’t origins fascinating?
When my son and I read the King Arthur books and Robert San Souci’s Young Guinevere together last week, he got really into it. So when I was at the library and spotted Young Merlin, also by San Souci, I grabbed it. He loved it too. This one incorporated a legend of Stonehenge’s origins, which we found interesting.
In the Bible story section, I stumbled upon Jerry Pinkney’s Noah’s Ark, which won a Caldecott Honor for illustrations. He is definitely another name to hang on to, especially in the area of folklore picture books. In this case, he has taken the Biblical story of Noah (one of my favorites) and filled it with beautiful, realistic illustrations. Highly recommended.
Meanwhile, I’m excitedly preparing for our next challenge, which I will post in a week or two. It’s in one of my absolute favorite genres. Can’t wait to share it with you!
Leave a comment below if you’ve found any great books we need to know about!