The family headed off to the library last night, to look for (among other things) a book of stories from history to read aloud to the eldest girl. Last time around, we checked out the Usborne Illustrated Encyclopedia of World History, and she enjoyed the pictures but wanted to know "more stories" about things. The Usborne book, while full of engaging pictures, is definitely light on story, as it tends to cover 100-300 year periods with a single double-page spread.
Well, a search of the public library stacks didn't turn anything useful up. There were a lot of books about "ordinary who who lived in X times" and lots of individual biographies and special interest biography collections: "Twelve Famous Chinese-Dutch Women in Icelandic History" and "Empowering Stories from History for Girls", etc. However, they didn't seem to have any kind of "A Child's Big Book of Tales From History".
So two questions:
1) Since it looks like we may have to Amazon or Alibris this one, does anyone have a suggestions for such a book for reading aloud to kindergarten age children?
2) Thoughts on what the 'great stories' are that children should be introduced to at a fairly young age? I'm thinking there are probably a mix of historical events, myths and crossover historical myths, as well as (of course) a lot of stuff from the Bible that all belong in such a collection. Some off-the-cuff ideas:
Basic story or ideas about: cave people; invention of fire; invention of agriculture; stone henge
Stories from Ancient Egypt: something about the pyramids; the story of King Tut; story of Iris and Osiris
Stories from Ancient Mesopotamia: Sumerian/Babylonian version of Flood Story
Stories from the Old Testament: Noah (as contrast with pagan version); Abraham & Isaac; Exodus; Saul; David; Solomon; Sampson; Ruth; Maccabees
Stories from Ancient Greece: Prometheus; Pandora; Trojan War; wanderings of Odysseus; Jason and the Argonauts; Battle of Marathon; Battle of Thermopylae; The Peloponessian War; a little about Plato and Aristotle; a little about Greek drama; conquests of Alexander the Great; the Gordian Knot
Stories from Ancient Rome: Aeneas; Romulus and Remus; Cincinnatus; the Brothers Gracchus; Hannibal; Julius Caesar (must include pirate story -- kidnapped by pirates is good); Augustus; Nero; Boadicea
Stories from the New Testament: birth of Christ; major parables and miracles; crucifixion and resurrection; St. Paul; St. Stephen; other early martyrs
More Rome: the 'barbarian' tribes; Roman Britain; Constantine; Helena; St. Augustine; St. Benedict; fall of Rome; Attila the Hun and Pope Leo;
'Dark Ages' through Medieval: King Arthur; Beowulf; Clovis; Byzantium; Mohammad & Islam; Charlemagne (must include his learning to read, his elephant); Celtic monasteries; vikings (raids, exploration, myths, conversion); Normal conquest; crusades; St. Thomas Becket; Eleanor of Aquitaine; King Richard/King John; St. Francis (should include wolf of Gubbio) St. Dominic; St. Thomas Aquinas; St. Joan of Ark; medieval mystery plays;
You get the idea...
I'm thinking of compiling a list -- in order to make sure we get through it all via other books, even if such a thing can't all be found in one place.
Feel free to toss in ideas.
The reluctant pot-stirrer
2 hours ago