Click on the images to learn more about each book!
History is boring and stuffy. All those names and dates don't really matter. It's not relevant today and it is definitely not important enough and too complicated to teach to young children. Right?
I could not disagree more.
I love history so much that I majored in it in college. I see tremendous value in studying it-to the point that I would almost say that it is the most worthwhile subject to study. (I know, everyone says that about their chosen field!) ;)
Why? Because human nature never changes. I am constantly amazed at the cyclical nature of history and the people who live it. History DOES repeat itself-- shouldn't we study it to know what is coming next, based on the choices that are being made on a national and personal level? We can study successful and inspiring people and learn what character traits they had that led them to success. We can study despots, tyrants and failures and the consequences of their actions. We can learn what led to the birth and downfall of nations, we can appreciate the blood, sweat and tears of those who came before us who made our lives so wonderful and possible. No one is too young to do any of this. Kids are smart, don't underestimate them!
Enter Diane Stanley. She writes biographies for children, with beautiful artwork and storytelling that explains the stories of great figures from the past in a masterful way. (To learn more about her work in general, you can go to www.dianestanley.com.)
I first learned about her when we were homeschooling. I bought a history curriculum that teaches children through really, really great books. As we were learning about the Renaissance, Diane's amazing book Michelangelo was one of the texts that came with our package. When I opened it up for the first time, I gasped.
Oh my. Such beautiful pictures. For copyright reasons, I can't share them with you, but this book-- you can judge it by it's cover. And the writing is every bit as great as the artwork!
Her pictures were gorgeous, many detailing Michelangelo's masterpieces. Her story telling is engaging and compelling. We laughed when we realized that Michelangelo had painted many of the people he disliked as demons and other people sent to hell for his signature work in the Sistine Chapel. As we read about the sacrifices he made for the creation of the chapel's ceiling, and then learned about it's subsequent desecration, I heard all of my children have a sharp intake of breath and each of them looked ready to cry.
I LOVED that my children had a relationship with this talented man because of a book. We have subsequently read as many of her other books as we can get our hands on and we have loved each of them. I have personally learned a lot- these books aren't just for kids!
One thing I want to stress is that these books are great for everyone, not just home schoolers. That is just how I was introduced to them.Whether you are a collector and lover of children's picture books, if you enjoy reading out loud to your children, or if you want to fill your home with quality resources, I highly recommend these books. You will love them as much as your children will.
You can find all of her books on Amazon, here. Your local library should also have them. Once you see them, you will love them!
Community Question: Have you read any of Diane Stanley's books? What did you think?
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