June 7, 2012

Books for Persia and the Persian Empire

 The Persians: Warriors of the Ancient World by Katherine Reece was our major text for the Persians.  It was good.  None of the Persian non-fiction books were gripping, but the chapters were short so we read a chapter a day and some chapters were more interesting than others.  It was definitely the best non-fiction I could find.

How can you study the Persians and not read a book about Persian cats??  I couldn't.  I'm sure they are all equally good--I just pulled the first one I found--but I like that this book talked about ancient Persia.  It is called Persian Cats by Jennifer Quasha.

We read several versions of Ali Baba and this was my favorite (I don't know that the kids had a favorite).  The illustrations are amazing!!!  Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves illustrated by Margaret Early.

 The Rose's Smile: Farizad of the Arabian Nights by David Kherdian was Emeline's favorite.  I had to read it to her more times than I wanted.  I thought it was only so-so, but I'm still listing it here because my children liked it so much.  *There are usually books I read to my children that don't make it to my blog because I am unimpressed, but the Persian unit had more than the usual number of rejects.

The Arabian Nights by Wafa Tarnowska contains three stories.  It was another favorite of my children.
 The Magic Grove by Libuse and Josef Palecek was a book that all of us really liked.  It is the story of 4 really nice people who do nice things and are rewarded.  I liked it because so often we get the stories that demonstrate what happens when you are not nice but it is more fun to read about good people getting rewarded.
 A Gift for the King by Christopher Manson was another huge hit.  Basically the king has everything he wants and he is annoyed and bored because of it.  This story was good for several reasons, the most obvious being the moral of the story.  But in addition to that, it really drove home the point that the Persian rulers were incredibly wealthy.  We'd talked about it, but the illustrations in the book made the idea more real for my children.
 The Legend of the Persian Carpet by Tomie DePaola is another great read.  It is about a Persian king who leaves his huge diamond in a room for everyone (including the peasants) to see as it made lovely rainbows around the room.  Then someone from another country steals the diamond.  The king is heartbroken so some apprentices try to make a rug as brilliant as the diamond.  This was a great book because it showed a king far different from the other books and also because it brought up carpet making.
 The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor by James Riordan and Shelley Fowles was Cowen's favorite.  I thought the text and pics were decent, but Cowen loved it.  Loved it, I tell you.
The Ancient Persians by Virginia Schomp was divided into two sections, the first being a nonfiction history of Persia and the second being a collection of myths from Persia.  We read the first half and meant to read the second but got busy and never did.  The first half was great.  The pictures are fabulous and the book is organized well.  I highly recommend if you are studying Ancient Persia.

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