Challenge 1, Continued

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?

Steven Kellogg's Pecos Bill and Paul Bunyan
Steven Kellogg’s Pecos Bill and Paul Bunyan

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.

Young Merlin, by Robert San Souci, illustrated by Daniel Horne
Young Merlin, by Robert San Souci, illustrated by Daniel Horne

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.

Noah's Ark, by Jerry Pinkney
Noah’s Ark, by Jerry Pinkney

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!

My library bag, full to bursting with books for the next challenge
My library bag, full to bursting with books for the next challenge

Leave a comment below if you’ve found any great books we need to know about!


4 thoughts on “Challenge 1, Continued

  1. Bonnie King January 31, 2015 / 10:53 am

    So glad you are checking in on us with this follow up post! We are excited to do this challenge next week–we had to finish our stack from the library before getting more!


  2. Liz Lawson January 31, 2015 / 12:00 pm

    yes, we lay the big Paul Bunyan book across the coffee table and the kids look on and we read. Harder to engage my 2 1/2 year old but Graham (4 yr old) thinks parts of it are hilarious and already requested a couple times for us to read. I loved them learning about Robin Hood too. We had a movie night and watched the cartoon version of Robin Hood. The kids loved it and I think it enforced his noble character even more. It was great!


    • Sara Treat Chance January 31, 2015 / 3:29 pm

      My 3-year old doesn’t attend well to many of these from Challenge 1 either, Liz. There will be more for them in the coming weeks though!


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