We are so fortunate to work with a couple of publishers who send us some wonderful books, and we have had a fabulous selection in recent months. I was super excited when The Story of People landed on our doormat… I am a huge fan of Catherine Barr’s work and think we probably have most of her books. I find they engage the children really well – if anyone remembers our fundraising coffee morning, that was on the back of one of Catherine’s books.
The Story of People is aimed at Key Stage 1 & 2 aged children and is a really fun and engaging way to explore the history of the Human World. I find this quite a ‘big’ concept to teach my older two, so this book has been brilliant at taking it in small pieces and looking at how humans have developed as well as how language and art and religion have developed, We are currently working on an art project for our speaking and listening group so this has been used as part of that work.
There are two other books in this series, The Story of Life (which I touch on here) and the Story of Space. The space one has long been on my wishlist and I’m going to invest in it in the autumn time when we cover space in a little more detail. Like the books before it, The Story of People starts from the very beginning of time and continues into the present day. There’s lots of facts and real information contained here, and plenty to ignite interest in different periods of human history. It’s can feel like a big subject to tackle, but I found that by sharing this book together we could talk about the bits that took D and E’s attention, and I plan to build some longer projects around these things.
The illustrations by Amy Husband are fantastic and there’s plenty to spot as you turn the pages. I like that they offer a little light-hearted fun in what can feel a weighty and deep topic. The illustrations combined with the writing of Catherine Barr and Steve Williams really keep this light and fun – there’s plenty of key ideas that children can go off and learn more about.
There’s a timeline running throughout the book and this is coloured coded so you can see as you move through the eras…. this is collated at the back with the glossary and is a useful tool for helping children get a concept of the vastness of the time the book covers.
There’s a real difficulty I think in finding books that present BIG ideas to children in a way that is fun and engaging – I want my children to pick up books that spark interest and that allows them to go off and learn more, the Story of People is perfect for that and will be a key book for us as we move through our History studies.