Sunday, 12 February 2012

Dorling Kindersley's Children Just Like Me and the many spin-offs.

My Mum bought me the first two of these books, Children Just Like Me,and Celebration! in my teens to help me with my homework. All of the books follow the same basic format - a double-page spread focusing on one child. Spread across the page there are lovely photographs and nuggets of information about both the child concerned, and the country. It's like a soap-opeara for kids version of geography. I LOVED it, despite being that little bit too old for it. In fact, I loved it so much, that I bought myself the French version Des Francais Comme Moi on a holiday a few years later. Both of these will serve as history books for my kids, since the world has changed a great deal since the 1990s.

I bought A Life Like Mine and A Faith Like Mine for the kids a couple of years ago. These are slightly more updated versions, published in the mid-2000s. A enjoys looking at them, although is slightly too young for them yet, I think. However, I think they're amazing - a really good format without too many huge tracts of text for the beginning or reluctant reader. I use the Celebration! book with my students during their work on Spring festivals, and they produce a version based on their own lives. The book always goes down very well, although it is starting to look a little dated.

Today we went for an afternoon visit to the Museum of Childhood at Sudbury Hall. We are National Trust members, and are lucky enough to live quite near to this brilliant place, so often go for a couple of hours to get some fresh air into the kids and to have a look in the fabulous museum. There is a story-telling room with some bookshelves, a dressing up box, soft play shapes for building and a screen to make a stage. Mr M and I like this room, partly because it has nice comfy sofas. Anyway, today, as the kids were playing Castle Destruction, I looked on the shelf and found a Dorling Kindersley book called Children in History, which is the same basic idea as the other books, but for a child in a particular period in history. A was even persuaded away from Castle Destruction to have a look at it, much to her brother's annoyance. Sadly, after a little search on Amazon and ebay, this particular book looks to be unobtainable. Hey ho. Hopefully it will stay on the shelves at the museum for long enough for me and A to have a look at it again.

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