Monday, March 3, 2014

Western History Picture Books in 2012-2013 (Years 1501-1700)

I recently posted a review of RC History's Connecting with History Volume Three. The first and second posts on the picture books I found to accompany our studies are here (for years 1070 to 1300) and here (for years 1301-1600). This is the final installment, for roughly years 1501 to 1700. (The units overlap a little in Connecting with History volume 3 in order to take into account the complexities of the Reformation and the exploration of the New World in addition to following the events in Europe.)

I've noted the books that were recommended by Connecting with History.

The Sad Night: The Story of an Aztec Victory and a Spanish Loss written and illustrated by Sally Schofer Mathews tells the story of the last Aztec victory. It is a remarkably balanced book with elaborate illustrations reminiscent of Aztec codices. There are pages at the end that give more information about Mexico and Mexico City. This book touches on some difficult subjects like human sacrifice, the destruction of a culture, and slavery, so it might not be appropriate for very young children, but it is an excellent book for older elementary aged children.

Our Lady of Guadalupe by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, illustrated by Tonya Engel, is a wonderful book of the apparitions of Mary to St. Juan Diego. The text and illustrations are appropriate to the time and the place. Really, it's one of the best books on Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego.

Yuki and the One Thousand Carriers by Gloria Whelan, illustrated by Yan Nascimbene is one of my favorite picture books. In it, Yuki travels with her mother on a 300 mile journey to Edo in seventeenth or eighteenth century Japan. There's a wealth of information on Japanese culture at that time as well as haiku poetry. The illustrations are fantastic.

The Boy Who Held Back the Sea by Thomas Locker is another one of my favorite picture books. It tells the story of a young boy who spends a night alone and cold in order to keep a dike from failing. The illustrations are fantastic, even if the story itself is a little on the weak side. This book is available at RC History. Another option is The Hole in the Dike. The story is a little more believable, but the illustrations don't evoke the time period as well. My children enjoyed this version, too, though. 

Peter Claver, Patron Saint of Slaves/Pedro Claver, Santo Patrono de los Esclavos by Julia Durango is another one of my favorite picture books. It's the inspiring tale of a saint who devoted himself to serving slaves and seeking their freedom. It is available at RC History.

The links above to Amazon are affiliate links. The links to RC History in this post are not affiliate links (though I am an affiliate).

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