The brief life of Pocahontas from favorite daughter of the Powhattan to British nobility is drawn in pictures and words. John Smith, the Jamestown set...moreThe brief life of Pocahontas from favorite daughter of the Powhattan to British nobility is drawn in pictures and words. John Smith, the Jamestown settlement, her kidnapping, marriage to John Rolfe, birth of her son and trip to London are all included.
This is a rather rosy telling. Sensitive children are spared knowledge of her death at the age of 22 (this was confusing and unsettling for our students that knew "the rest of the story"), the death of her son, and her complicate relationship with John Smith.
An enjoyable read that needs some supplemental source material. Recommended.
You cannot go wrong with the D'Aulaire's and this work is no exception. Beautiful art and compelling text bring the world of the Vikings, with it's be...moreYou cannot go wrong with the D'Aulaire's and this work is no exception. Beautiful art and compelling text bring the world of the Vikings, with it's beauty and grit, to life. The attention to detail in creating a Norse feel to the entire work is admirable. A pleasure for an adult to share with a child. Early elementary students may find it long winded and worthy of a couple sittings, but it is worth it. Recommended for study of the time period.(less)
I wish I could give this work 2.5 stars, somewhere between "it was okay" and "I liked it". Hakim provides a readable and logically undertaken history...moreI wish I could give this work 2.5 stars, somewhere between "it was okay" and "I liked it". Hakim provides a readable and logically undertaken history of the United States. Color illustrations including artifacts and art are arranged with side bars and captions to create a non-linear exploration of each lay out. Questions within the text encourage students to consider what is being covered and, on occasion, to explore tangential topics on their own.
Why didn't we love it? Authors with a Christian bias tend to highlight accomplishments of Christian belief and historical figures without wrestling with the negative. But this author clearly leans the other way, highlighting that religious belief is a source of societal grievance without giving credence to the tremendous contributions of Christians in the narrative or their beliefs that came to adopted by the nation as a whole.
A sidebar from Chapter 12 entitled, "America, Land of the Free" does an admirable job of talking about slavery, but then veers off course trying to explain that Africans have developed civilizations on the continent and made contributions to many societies. I find the Christian explanation that all people are created by God to have relationship with Him far simpler and less prone to debate. I am also at a loss as to why the African slave trade is explained away in a sentence or two.
Reading Chapter 13, which starts, "The times were religious - and angry." was painful. After a brief explanation of the Anglican church which completely skips the larger Reformation movement, the author states, "Except for that matter of control and leadership, the Anglicans and Catholics were much alike, although they didn't think so and often hated and persecuted each other. As I said, the times were not only religious, but also intolerant. People took their differences very seriously. Wars were fought over them" (pg. 51-52). The author doesn't seem to understand the issues, nor care to, and sanctimoniously condemns religious people for fighting over what they believe. Meanwhile, the legitimate conflicts between Indians and settlers are given a much more nuanced treatment, until she introduces Christian belief (see Chapter 11, pg 45-46). Ultimately, she successfully clarifies "... the real problem was a fight for control of land" (pg. 46). Would that she had researched the issues of the Reformation so well!
In the same area of the book, "Giving Thanks" (sidebar, Chapter 14) goes to great lengths to discredit the Plymouth Thanksgiving celebration as the "first" in North America. Detailing other celebrations that have some of the characteristics of that meal, but not all, the author points out "As devout Christians, the Pilgrims gave thanks before each meal. But this was a harvest festival, not, primarily, a celebration of thanks to God." What!?! This is the kind of mental gymnastics/ hair splitting undertaken, and I'm fairly confident the Separatists at the feast would have disagreed with her analysis, since they had risked their lives to come to a land where they might have religious ceremonies in accordance with their conscience. Hopefully this brief example will help demonstrate that while the facts are interesting, the overall presentation is tarnished by the author's hostility to people of faith.
These passages are nagging speed bumps in an otherwise well done work. Adequate to get the job done, but needs additional sources or editing when dealing with people of faith and/ or matters of faith.(less)
Lively illustrations complement simple text that follows the Allerton family's pilgrim adventure from the Mayflower through the first few years. Detai...moreLively illustrations complement simple text that follows the Allerton family's pilgrim adventure from the Mayflower through the first few years. Detailed captioning and labeling makes for layouts that beg to be explored by young readers.
A solid work that forms a lovely contrast to "Three Ships Came Sailing", though this one is far more engaging.(less)