I have now read three of David Macaulay’s books with my children: Pyramid, Castle, Cathedral. And I must admit that we don’t enjoy them. (Please don’t stone me! )
We find the drawings to be incredible and like to look at the pictures more than anything. I feel the text is lengthy and my 8yo doesn’t understand most of it. Of all our books, keeping her attention with Macaulay’s books has been the most difficult.
Am I the only one who feels this way? The information is wonderful, but we don’t really retain any of it once we’re done reading. Anyone else have thoughts about these books?
I actually feel similar about these books. I always schedule them anyway, though. I have found, recently, that they NEED to look at the pictures while it is being read (not afterwards) and only read small portions at a time. Then we often discuss what we have just read instead of narrating it because I would get NOTHING in a narration! So, yeah, the retention thing can be difficult with these books in my experience. my seven yr. old especially, doesn’t really understand a lot of it.
One thing I am trying this year, for both retention and understanding purposes, is to watch the film version of the book that was read right after we finish reading the book. We watched it in two sittings and it seemed as though they were able to start making more connections during the viewing. Remembering parts of the book in connection to the movie, being able to understand what was going on and there were a few “OOOH’s” when it seemed like it was a bit of a lightbulb moment.
But, yeah, I’m with you on your take on these books. Great illustrations, text is a bit bland for kids and can be difficult to retain. : 0
We LOVE them, but then I have very engineery-type kids. They wanted MORE story, more explanations of exactly how things were done. I even had a kid who at 7 or 8 wanted to know ratios in the designs of the cathedral. LOLTailorMadeParticipant
We appreciated Cathedral more by watching the DVD after reading the book. That generated an interest in gonig back through the book again more carefully.
We haven’t seen the other titles in DVD format….I don’t know that I ever even looked for them. I just ran across the DVD for Cathedral while trying to find the book at the library when we studied Module 4.StaceyParticipant
We watched Castle and Cathedral and, I think, City on You Tube.
I had NO idea movies existed for these books!!! Seriously! Did you get them at the library? Order them? Would they be movies that you would watch over and over, making it worth it to own them? I’m super excited now!
ETA: I found all four here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiGoJZdrGhY&list=PLX8Ax9RoC5kwH3Tx1_2Yu2sKXsFMqYEJ4LinabeanParticipant
Hi Lindsey, I, personally wouldn’t mind owning them, just for ease of use. It can be difficult to gather 4-5 people around an iPad or PC to watch something on YouTube. But it isn’t THAT bad, so I haven’t bothered looking for them to buy.
They are a combination of animated story broken up into parts in between which David Macaulay talks to you (very much like the text in the books) as he takes you around different, real places that are examples of that which he is trying to explain. I think they were made in the late 80’s, early 90’s, but that’s just a guess.
Take a look at them, it is pretty easy to get a feel for what they are like. You could probably tell pretty quickly whether or not they are something that would help you guys out at all.
Miranda, we have two AppleTVs, so we can stream YouTube videos through those onto our TV screens. It’s VERY convenient!sherazParticipant
I got three of the movies at our library book sale for 25 cents each. I was pretty excited.Katrina in AKParticipant
We found the Pyramid movie at the library. Just a warning about this specific one: frontal female nudity and female dancers in see through clothes are part of the animated storyline. Liked the movie, except for that part.My3BlessingsParticipant
I know I’m a little late on this post, but all of the videos can be purchased on pbs.org!
We watched them for free on YouTube on your AppleTV. The kids definitely got more out of them than they did the books. I’m keeping the books, and hopefully I’ll catch them reading them on their own. But I think the videos accomplished more than the books for us.missceegeeParticipant
We have all the books and videos and enjoy both.Wings2flyParticipant
I read a review at Amazon on one of them with nudity and decided against the movies. The books intrigued me but so far not my kids. Is it just Pyramid with nudity?
We’ve not watched Pyramid, but another poster said it had nudity. We have seen Cathedral and Castle, and neither of them contained anything inappropriate, in my opinion.
- The topic ‘Do you/your kids enjoy Macaulay's books?’ is closed to new replies.