Sunday, January 3, 2016

Knights and Castles

A few weeks ago, my kids and I had the chance to attempt to put together a paper castle, complete with knights and catapult.  Our attempt, was... well, unsuccessful.  I had high hopes starting in, but those hopes were quickly dashed when I realized how much patience it would take to put it all together.

The castle was a part of a book, Build! a Knight's Castle:  A Paper Toy Archaeology by Annalie Seamon, published by Storey Publishing.  Earlier in the fall, I reviewed Storey's book for children wanting to be a pet doctor.  That book was very easy for my kids to use and assemble.  But, a castle is obviously much more complicated...

The book is rated for ages 8 and up.  My 7 1/2 year old gave up very quickly.  My 10 year old successfully pushed in the tabs on several pieces--and I actually learned a thing or two from her.  But, she didn't have the patience to see it through.  So, I helped my 7 1/2 year old to put together parts of it.  I think the book would be best for a 9 or 10 year old with help as needed.

For the boy who loves David Macaulay's book Castle and other detailed books about medieval times, this would be a fun book.  The book comes from a different point of view since it is looking at the castle from an archaeologist's perspective.  My son read the information about the castle with great interest.  I liked that the author explains the conclusions and gives the support for the archaelogical conclusions you can make about the past based on what remains.

The pieces of the castle all punch out very easily.  With this, I was very pleased.  What I wished for, though was a clearer list of how to fit the pieces together.  I think it was the author's intention that kids would work as an archaeologist might and figure out how the pieces fit together.  But, it would have been nice to have a cheat sheet for parents to give the child clues or an inserted sheet in the back with a decoder or something like that for when the child needs help.

If you have a child who regularly likes to put together paper projects like this or loves castles, then I can imagine he/she would enjoy this book.  My children are unfortunately not as patient as I thought they were.  My son can build enormous lego sets, but paper is a different matter.  I learned that from this book.

Please note that I did receive a complimentary copy of this book for review from Storey Publishing.

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