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Posts Tagged ‘armor’

Do you have a knight in your house?

Sometimes I think I do.

Many the day when my 7 year old son walks around with cardboard creations all over him as chain mail.  He bought a GI Joe helmet at a yard sale with his own money so he could wear it backwards and pretend it’s a knight’s helmet.  He uses plastic storage bins as shields and calls his brothers “Sir Gallonhead.”

So one book that my son regularly checks out of the library (and by regularly I mean it’s quite possible that no one else in the county has ever checked it out) is a very colorful and fun tale of Sir James.  Patrick O’Brien has written a wonderful book about knighthood from a child’s perspective called The Making of a Knight.

The story tells of James who is 7 and sent to a castle to become a page.  This was the first step in eventually becoming a knight.  Through James’ experiences in the castle, the reader learns all about the years of training the knights receive.  We learn about the weapons and armor used, how he learns to hunt, and the steps he goes through to prove himself worthy of knighthood.

O’Brien is the illustrator as well, and the pictures are done in oil on canvas.  He does a great job of capturing the earthy castle scenes as well as the bright colors of the tournaments.

Summer could be a great time for a boy to do fun reading about knights and castles.  I hope to post some other ideas soon for books in that category.

Also, if you are looking for a more in depth project, check out homeschool share’s knight lapbook (and the books to supplement).

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Don Quixote

Nope, you don’t have it wrong, this IS still a children’s book blog.  I found this book at the library and had to get it out for my knight and armor obsessed son.  Don Quixote and the Windmills by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Leonard Everett Fisher.

I recently attempted to read through the real Don Quixote by Cervantes. So I can definitively tell you that this children’s version is surely superior.

This book uses some dialogue from the original, and focuses on one particular chapter in which Don Quixote sees windmills and in his madness thinks them to be giants that he needs to attack. I love the artwork in this book, rather rough looking faces, bold earth colors, and his sidekick Sancho Panza looks exactly like I imagined him to be.

As someone who appreciates the Classical method of education, I look for books such as these.  Even if my children don’t grow up and read the real Don Quixote, they can have a reference point for who he was, and will understand references and the meaning of “quixotic,” or the phrase “tilting at windmills.”  In the grammar stage of their life it’s nice to have simplified versions of the classics so they can refer back to it as they progress in their studies.

And truth be told, if I had known about this book sooner, I just may have stuck with it instead of forging through the daunting original.

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