July 2, 2013

D'Aulaire American Biographies

I've loved the works of Ingri & Edgar d'Aulaire since I was a little girl. Their book on Greek myths is one of the best of the best. Recently, I featured their 'Terrible Troll Bird' story, which contains perhaps the most fabulous phrase EVER: "Oh for all the world's pancakes!"

But what I didn't know is that they did a series of books about famous American historical figures, such as Benjamin Franklin, Pocahontas, Abraham Lincoln, Buffalo Bill and George Washington.

I checked out the Ben Franklin and Pocahontas books from the library and once again, the d'Aulaires do not disappoint.

Their signature warm hued and vivid art is in full display, and I was really impressed with how NON-BORING and accessible they made these stories about illustrious personages in American history. Julia read us nearly all of the Ben Franklin book!

The books are so wonderfully done, but they are text intensive and cover a good deal of history. I think they would be best appreciated by kids in the 4th and 5th grades who have actually learned who some of these people are in school.

Certain elements, like the fact that Pocanhontas died of a Not Fun disease and Lincoln's assasination...the books don't go into those topics. They are more like origin stories, focusing on how these people got to the positions in history for which they are remembered. (sidenote: Just took a peek at the George Washington book at the library. It states right up front that he lived in a house that was kept "spic and span" by his slaves and house staff. So, you might want to be ready to talk about slavery if you read that particular story. Also, Julia thought at first that Ben Franklin, based on his cover picture, was a GIRL, or a small toddler. )

10 comments:

  1. I am taking notes of these. I love history books and my boy seems to like them too (probably the only non-fiction books he likes). That picture DOES look like a girl.

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  2. Very cool. I need to check these out! Ol' Ben does look a bit feminine in the picture...

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    1. poor ben......he got prettified by the D'Aulaires....:)

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    1. I'm convinced that every book these people ever created is great!

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  4. I've been wanting to find some of these books for a while now- I think its really cool that the D'Aulaires have such a vast array of books! It's very cool.

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    1. I really want to see the book on Norse myths....

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  5. these look wonderful! i always love all your suggestions! i can't wait to find them.

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    1. Thanks Darcy!!! All the D'Aulaire books are really fun. I've noticed that the biographies aren't the most PC of books, but a lot of vintage picture books fall into that categorization....

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