Review of Three D'Aulaire's Titles
Today, I am reviewing three beautiful hardcover books available from theUniversity of Minnesota Press. You may recall that back in November I reviewed another one of their lovely books, The Troll With No Heart in His Body. I admit that it is unusual to think of a university press printing children's books, but if they are going to be this high quality and gorgeous, I say keep printing them! All three of the books I will be reviewing are by Ingri and Edgar D'Aulaire, and they fall under the category of Scandinavian children's literature. Like me, you probably know the author-illustrators from their mythology books, but they wrote so much more than that. With this post, I hope to share with you some of their lesser known books.
Apart from their tales on mythology, Leif the Lucky is one of my favorite D'Aulaire tale. The book begins by telling us about Erik the Red and his three sons - Torstein, Torvald, and Leif. When Leif was a young boy, Erik the Red took a boat to a new land that he had "discovered." Along with 24 chieftains in 24 boats crammed with people, cattle, and food, they had to battle harsh weather on the sea. Not all the ships made the trek successfully. Some of them sank, and others turned around out of fright. In the end, Erik's boat made it with thirteen other chiefs. The land they "discovered" was Greenland. We then read of Leif growing up, travelling to Norway, and "discovering" America, which he dubbed Vinland. There are tales of Leif sending people to Vinland for commerce and tales of Leif converting his mother and people in Greenland to Christianity. All of this is very interesting and fascinating to read, because it reads like a saga or mini-epic. Apart from the story, which has a nice blend of history and legend, the make-up of this book is what makes the book. For starters, it is a 9 x 12 hardcover with a dust jacket. The illustrations make up two-page spreads, with each spread alternating between color and black and white. The pages even have an old-timey look and feel to them, which matches the illustrations perfectly. I know this is a book that I will read often to my son, and I think it would make a great addition for any parent who homeschools as well.