The huge selection of items for sale on Amazon is fertile ground for the weird and thought provoking. As I was searching for a couple of Christmas gifts for my super smart nephews who love to read, I came across a book called Fifty Famous Stories Retold that peaked my interest.
It retells the stories of legendary people of history, in about 2-3 pages each, and apparently in a way that will capture a kid’s imagination.
It sounds exactly like the kind of book I would enjoy buying for the kids in my life – a little quirky and definitely educational.
“Beginning with stories of heroes from British history, including King Alfred and the Cakes, King Canute on the Seashore, and Bruce and the Spider, the book moves on to tales of other lands. From Ancient Greece come stories of The Brave Three Hundred, Alexander and Bucepahlus, and Diogenes the Wise Man. Introducing the history of Rome are the Story of Cincinnatus, Horatius at the Bridge, and Julius Caesar. The stories of William Tell, Arnold Winkelried, and Robin Hood impart a bit of the flavor of the Middle Ages. Rounding out the collection are a number of timeless tales that show heroes in action: Damon and Pythias, The Sword of Damocles, Picciola, and The King and His Hawk.” About the book from Amazon.
A reviewer’s comment about the book got me thinking and kept me thinking long after I closed the browser. ‘Practical shopper’ suggested that the book might not be good inspiration for young girls because the stories are all about men (see comment below). While I was shopping at the time for two little boys, I’m a feminist, I have a niece, and I’m definitely invested in seeing that girls do big things.
It just never occurred to me that a young girl, around the ages of 6-10 years old, would look at stories and legends like these and not be able to enjoy or identify with the quest because the stories featured heroes instead of heroines.
As girls get older and look more concretely at the what, when, and how of accomplishing various goals and adventures, I understand the value of a female role model. There are typically only a couple (maybe a few) of us in senior management at any given company, mine included.
But, isn’t this a little early? Should we be teaching kids at this point in life that there are limitations at all? Who were your heroes or heroines growing up?
Note: My nephews are only 4 and 2 years old so this book is still a little ahead of them! I have not read and did not purchase this book, but it did peak my interest and brought up a good question!