12 March, 2010

Outlandish Adventures

I am a huge Dorothy Sayers (The Lost Tools of Learning) fan as well as a proponent of classical education. Especially during the grammar stage, in which language acquisition is front and center in a child's education and in which "the mind must be first supplied with facts and image" (Wise-Bauer, What is Classical Education?), reading good-quality literature to children plays an integral role. Therefore, I am always looking for a really great child-adaption of classic literature in order to introduce some of the "classics" to the little ones.  
 Jonathan Swift's Gulliver, written by Martin Jenkins and illustrated by Chris Riddell, is one of the best adaptations I have come across. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift is a Western classic and its protagonist's fantastic voyages can be very appealing to children. Even more so, this retelling of the novel includes colorful page by page illustrations which bring the story to life for youngsters (and mom or dad). This book is picture-perfect for a bedtime story! 
Now, here's the fun part.You can extend the outlandish adventures of this book by asking your child to illustrate his/her own voyage to an unusual land. Use prompts such as:
  1. What would the land be called? 
  2. How would this land differ from the world we live in? 
  3. What unique customs would the people of this land have? 
  4. How would you adapt to this land? 
Encourage your child's imagination to run away to a far-away place!

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