Thursday, October 8, 2009

Stories of Great People & Crafty Inventions

The very first I heard about a book from the Stories of Great People series was when my friend sheila responded to someone's query on the SecularCM Yahoo Group about age-appropriate books on Shakespeare. Knowing that our kids' taste in books was quite similar, I checked out the book she recommended, Shakespeare's Quill. While trying to find more books by the author, Gerry Bailey, I unearthed a whole motherlode of highly-visual, well-written titles on a variety of historical figures and history/ science topics.

The Stories of Great People series profiles a number of famous names--from Marco Polo to The Wright Brothers. Bailey's Crafty Inventions series provides a number of titles that would be a good science/ art complement to studying both ancient and modern civilizations. For instance, the Early Civilizations title discusses how the ancients probably used pulleys and then provides ideas for an experiment. A page on the usage of inks provides a t-shirt printing activity idea.

A page from Columbus' Chart

A page from Early Civilizations

Although these books aren't as tongue-in-cheek as the You Wouldn't Want To series and don't have the bowel-curdling humor of the Horrible series that DS likes, they are a lovely feast for the eyes and a good choice if you just want to dump the curriculum and spark bunny trails for a while. No dumbed-down language. Liberal use of fun typography. Definitely worth a peek if you're looking for illustrated books with a good balance of serious/ humorous text plus just-enough depth to whet the appetite for further study.


  1. Oooh will have to go on a search for those!

    I owe you an email but am only thinking in 1 minute bursts atm so blog comments are all I can manage!

  2. We recently discovered your blog and enjoy it so much...we want to give you the "One Lovely Blog" award. Go to to pick it up and post it on your site. Thank you!
    Karen and Michelle

  3. Hey Kerrie! I completely understand :) I'm so glad we can at least find time to chat this way :)

  4. Karen, thank you so much! I'm very grateful and honored.

  5. Suji, the books look super! Thanks for posting about them. I will definitely be on the lookout for this author.


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