Since we are now 100% commited to being homeschooling parents, I have become obsessed with finding all possible educational, interesting and factual books for my children. Part of this is the fear that they’ll fall behind if I don’t have sufficient resources to educate my children on things I may not have even thought about. The other part is how interesting some of these children’s books are! This blog post is the first book review to help other parents assess which books may be useful for their children, whether homeschooling or not. I will follow the same structure for each book review to help you skip straight to the sections you’re most interested in reading.
Alice In Wonderland Graphic Novel by Usborne.
This graphic novel is recommended for ages 7+ according to the Usborne website. However, I would expect this is due to the language and 7 years old would be in a better position to read this by themselves than a younger child.
HOWEVER, I read this to my 2 daughters yesterday (aged 4 years 3 months, and 2 years 7 months). My eldest daughter absolutely loved it. There were so many pictures that she could follow the story even without understanding half of the more complicated words. Her face looked gob smacked when Alice was shrinking and growing, and shrinking and growing again. Afterwards she said she personally wanted to shrink… I think that’s a good sign for a book, that your children be inspired to pretend to be like the characters in the stories.
My 2 year old, however, didn’t seem so inspired by it, perhaps finding it a bit overwhelming. She does love me reading anything though, so who knows if she did enjoy it anyway. However, she didn’t come away showing she’d understood the content like my eldest daughter had.
Personally, I enjoyed reading this type of book to my children as there was a picture for every sentence, which made it feel like being the narrator in a movie. I don’t feel comfortable letting my children freely watch films, as sometimes the language or level of threat or violence can be too much for youngsters in my opinion. I do remember watching lots of films as a young child myself and enjoying them, including ones like Alice in Wonderland. Therefore I love that I can read the same stories to my children, enlighten them on themes such as shrinking and magic as found in this book, whilst being fully in control of the content they are exposed to.
Main Messages or Lessons Conveyed
This is not really an educational book in the sense of teaching you academics. It is a book to inspire imagination and develop language further through the complex words presented. It also may spark an interest in communication via the arts, as it is such a colourful and interesting book in that sense.
Value For Money
This book is an amazing price at only £9.99. This includes 104 pages of graphic images and words in a magazine style format. See a couple of the example pages below showing how detailed these picture novels are. In style, these books are similar to magazines, except these can be re-read again and again, and I feel they are significantly better value for money in terms of the quality of content offered. The number of pages included also makes it significantly cheaper than a magazine, so we have been taking the approach that saving money on junk like magazines allows us to invest in resources like these Usborne books. Plus with our kids being so young, we can reuse these books for several years, making them a worthy investment.
Any Gentle Parenting Considerations
This book does have some passing mentions of physical abuse and being disrespectful to babies when the Queen scenes come towards the middle of the book. I felt a bit uncomfortable reading these parts to my children, but I did put on a really exaggerated tone and then looked at my children with horrified eyes. Someone once mentioned that stories are a great opportunity to learn that not everyone is treated the same way as them: that some parents beat their children or speak rudely to them, and that can help children have empathy for others in the years to come. Either way, I did not feel that these scenes caused much distress to either of my children because I was the one reading it, and they knew it was fantasy because of the body language and tones I was using.
Other Book Recommendations If Your Kids Love This One
This was the first graphic novel I have ever read to my children and the hugely positive response of my oldest child has blown me away. I will certainly be buying the other graphic novels in the Usborne collection to watch this interest grow. If you’re interested in which other graphic novels they have, search ‘graphic novel’ on their website for more information. At the time of writing, they have a good selection available: