I don’t know about you, but I’ve found it’s sometimes hard to get kids interested in certain historical figures. Unless they’re famous for something that REALLY interests my kids, they all too often shrug off my attempts to get them to learn more.
“Yeah, sure, Marie Curie. She’s cool, but nah, I don’t really want to read that book about her.”
Frustrating, to say the least.
And that’s where Zen Pencils comes in handy. Couched in “inspirational quotes” and presented with approachable art, the book introduces kids to almost two dozen trailblazers throughout history in a way that engages them and makes them want to learn more.
Every so often, a comic comes along that really “gets” parenthood and the surreal insanity that often accompanies it. Lynn Johnston’s For Better of For Worse is a classic of the genre. Lunarbaboon is a regular webcomic that simultaneously tags your funny bone and pulls at your heartstrings.
And now I’m adding Brian Gordon’s Fowl Language to that list. It’s flat-out hilarious and should be required reading for every parent: new, old, rookie, experienced, naive, or jaded.
I’ll admit it: the Beowulf legend has never been my jam. I read it in high school (don’t remember the translation) and read it again when that critically adored translation by Seamus Heaney came out years ago.
I just couldn’t get into it. I appreciated the story, and – yes – I understood it, but for whatever reason, I just couldn’t sink my teeth into it like I could with other myths and legends. King Arthur? Sure. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight? Yep. Edith Wharton’s Mythology? Why not? But Beowulf? Just didn’t do it for me.
So when Kid Beowulf appeared on my radar, I’d be lying if I said it immediately rose to the top of my reading pile. I liked the twist of making the story accessible to young readers, but…well, it was still Beowulf.
But I’m here to tell you I wish I had read this a lot sooner.