With summer vacations on the horizon, some of my book lists will lean towards school-age kids in the next few months. This series by Joanna Cole I read with my 4.5-year-old. They are really geared towards Kindergarten and up, with the true target being 6 and 7-year-olds. There is a lot of information on every page of every book so take your time. We grabbed the Medieval Castles book on Monday and by Wednesday we’d tracked down the other two, now on Thursday I am sharing them with you. I couldn’t wait to write about how much I like these books and how exciting they make history and travel, two of my favorite subjects.
Ms. Frizzle’s Adventures: Ancient Egypt took me back to 6th grade when I discovered all the gruesome details of mummification. Ms. Frizzle and all the others on her tour to Egypt magically go back in time. Ditching their tour guide in modern-day Egypt, they time travel to Ancient Egypt. There, they learn all about the sights, daily life, and, the most exciting of course, learning about mummification. I discovered that my son thought mummies were make-believe. We took some time to talk all about reality and fantasy.
Did I ever tell you I have a degree in history? I love this stuff and books like this one is why I craved more and more information as a kid because it was presented so well. My son sat wide-eyed as I read the book to him, and he carefully studied all the details of the amazing illustrations.
Ms. Frizzle’s Adventures: Imperial China Takes readers from present-day Chinese New Year celebrations to the rice fields and palaces of Imperial China. In this installment, Ms.Frizzle explores China, explains the concept of taxes really quite well, and covers many of the inventions that came from the country. My 4.5-year-old wasn’t as into this book as the other two in the series. Probably because I read two of them to him back to back with this one at the end. That was obviously too much for his attention. I however loved this one, The little asides filled with information about Chinese inventions fascinated me.
Ms. Frizzle’s Adventures: Medieval Castle was the biggest hit with both my son and I and the reason we went searching for the other books. This is a great book. The story is fun, the character’s asides are hilarious. I love that her student is less than thrilled to see her outside of school. Plus, the history explored is really an adventure. Ms. Frizzle heads to Medieval times after following a tunnel in a castle shop. Of course, there’s a little twist of that magic time-traveling watch of hers. Immediately they are at a castle where the Lord is on his way to fight for the King. My son paid attention right away and when someone attacked the castle, it hooked him.
We have had it out from the library for less than one week. I have read it half a dozen times, and it’s LONG. I am more than happy to read it though. The cutaway view of the inside of the castle is my son’s favorite part. Perhaps dragging him around to open houses as we look for a new house left a mark? There is a lot of fighting and weapons which may mean this is not the book for your family. For us, it puts these toys my son loves so much (his Playmobil knights especially) into a historical perspective. I will be buying this one for sure.