Reviews by the Andreolas 

A review by Dean Andreola:

Beautiful Feet Books
By Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire

During rare moments when a busy homeschooling mother is able to sit down, it is likely she will be found on the sofa with a picture book in hand, her young children close beside her. Reading aloud has always been on of my favorite homeschool pastimes. These cozy times, however, should not be underestimated in their power to train children in the habit of attention. And picture books and/or storybooks have a wonderful way of introducing a subject, especially history. For this reason, history is best read to—and understood by—young children in literary language, or story form. Focusing on the story part of history allows children to develop their powers of imagination. Save the serious side of history, the details of politics and philosophy, for the older student. Through a well-written story, children in the early elementary years can learn to see the connections between events, and to trace causes. And they can learn to tell the story back in their own words (narrate). "Describe what conditions were like at Valley Forge and tell how the soldiers survived" can be one narration prompt made to a young student after reading a few pages about George Washington. Along with the enjoyment of the story comes the mental benefit gained through narrating it. Hearing her student narrate is the best way for a mother to find out what he knows.

The following titles are a collection of historical biographies that we enjoyed when my children were smaller. These beautifully illustrated picture books were created about 50 years ago by an enthusiastic husband and wife team. You will fin them to be an inspiring addition to your home school.

Abraham Lincoln The Caldecott Medal winner in 1940, this story presents the boy Lincoln, his wilderness upbringing, young adulthood, his hatred for the injustice he saw in slavery, and finally his involvement in politics and the presidency. View an a sample illustration and excerpt.

Benjamin Franklin The D'Aulaires have captured the charm and genius of this founding father of our country. This story describes the life of this famous American from his boyhood as one of the youngest of seventeen children, to his teen years as an apprentice in his brother's print shop and his later years as an inventor, statesman, diplomat, and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Each page contains a proverb of Ben's from his Poor Richard's Almanac. View a sample illustration and excerpt.

Buffalo Bill Learn about the adventures of Buffalo Bill Cody from his boyhood in Kansas Territory among Indians and buffalo herds to working as a bullwacker, friendship with Kit Carson, riding for the Pony Express, and staring his own Wild West Show. View a sample illustration and excerpt. View a sample illustration and excerpt.

Columbus Be swept up in the adventurous story of a man in quest of treasures in the East. Columbus sailed fearlessly into the unknown, crossing the Atlantic at a time when "civilized" people believed that the world was flat. A wonderful link with Leif the Lucky, revealing God's providence. View a sample illustration and excerpt. View a sample illustration and excerpt.

George Washington From the little boy George, growing up on a Virginia plantation, through his schooling and live on the Mount Vernon estate, learn about the experiences that brought Washington to lead the struggling colonies through the Revolutionary War to freedom.  This is the classic biography for children of the "Father of our Country." View a sample illustration and excerpt.

Leif the Lucky Read the story of the adventures of Erik the Red's third son, Leif. Learn of his childhood in Greenland, his voyage to Norway, subsequent conversion to Christianity, discovery of the North American continent and his evangelization of Greenland. You will be thrilled to see the important part Leif played in America's providential history. View a sample illustration and excerpt.

Pocahontas This fascinating tale recounts the story of the Native American princess who played such a crucial role in the early days of the Jamestown settlement. Her willingness to risk her father's wrath to help Captain John Smith and the starving English settlers, her cool-headed dignity during her betrayal and kidnapping, and her nobility when presented to the King and Queen of England make her one of America's first and best-loved heroines. View a sample illustration and excerpt.

Approximately 60 pages each, 9" x 12" softcovers.


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