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Christopher Columbus by Marion Dane Bauer



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I have mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed the illustrations but I didn’t like the story itself. The illustrations were detailed and expressive which was helpful because the writings were not detailed at all. I liked the picture where they showed him as a scholar with all of his academic things which made the reader infer that he was a great thinker. They also showed him with a thought bubble more than once which was helpful because you knew what he was thinking and dreaming about. Although it is supposed to be “My First Biography” I would have thought they would have added more detail. They never said when he sailed to America and didn’t add much information besides the names of the ships. The focused seemed to be that he was a persistent dreamer. I didn’t actually learn anything about him from this book. The big idea was to inform the reader about Christopher Columbus, which they did not do. ( )
  torilynae | Nov 1, 2014 |
Book Summary:
This book is a children’s biography about the famous and legendary explorer, Christopher Columbus. The book begins with Columbus as a young boy dreaming about exploration and discovery. As he grows older he decides to follow his dreams; he persuades the king and queen of Spain to supply him with materials to travel to and explore the East Indies. The book also describes the famed ships that Columbus and his crew traveled in, The Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. As Christopher Columbus and his crew travel they arrive at the Island of San Salvador, Columbus mistakes his endpoint for the East Indies; in reality they had arrived in a new land, the Americas – this mix up is the result of the native people of this land being referred to by Columbus as “Indians”.

Personal Reaction:
I think that this is an excellent children’s biography. It is written very age-appropriately with realistic illustrations that help to give readers an idea about the culture and style of this time period. I also especially like that the book features maps drawn into the illustrations; these help readers to envision and process the length and magnitude of Columbus’ journey as well as understand the geography.

Classroom Extensions:
1. Have students look at the pictures of Columbus’s ships sailing across the ocean. Ask students to draw their own ship and make a design for the sails, like the ones on Columbus’s ships. At the bottom of the drawing, have them write the name of their ship.
2. Explain that when explorers visit an area they have never visited before, they make a map and record their observations. Together with your students, visit a new and unfamiliar place, such as a park or a different part of the school. Map the area as you go exploring. What landmarks do you see? What path did you take? Were there people and cultures established in the places you visited- how did you respect them? Create a map and add things you see together. Your students may want to keep a log or record of things they see along the way, such as plants and animals.
  cortneynmcclure | Nov 20, 2013 |
“Christopher Columbus” tells the story of Christopher Columbus in a way that a beginning reader would understand. The wording is simple, however informative. It is important for these books to be available for children because it provides them with historical information in a way that’s enjoyable to read and easy to follow. For example, on the last page, the only text is, “Columbus dreamed a dream. He showed the way. Many others followed.” Students may not recognize who they are reading about, however teachers can incorporate this book into a lesson where they teach their class about Christopher Columbus. They will be able to read it and comprehend the simple information that is being presented to them. Also, this book does an amazing job showing children that they can never give up on their dreams. ( )
  alines1 | Nov 13, 2013 |
This is a great book to introduce Christopher Columbus. It does not go into great historical detail, but still a good introductory book for pre-k to grade 3. ( )
  Alyssa-Schoenborn | Sep 29, 2013 |
Genre: Biography

Review: This is a good example of a biography because it is telling about the life of Christopher Columbus and how his dream was to sail to the Indies and find new land, and how he was finally able to get the money and the ships to do it from the king and queen and how he found the Americas.

Media: acrylic

Age Appropriateness: Primary

Setting: The setting was integral because Christopher Columbus first went to Portugal to ask for money, then to Spain, and then he sailed to the Americas, making him famous.
  beth1219 | Oct 28, 2009 |
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Simple text and illustrations introduce early readers to the life and accomplishments of Christopher Columbus.

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