Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Charles Dickens: England's Most Captivating Storyteller (Historical Notebooks) by Catherine Wells-Cole [Giveaway "Miss Emily" USA/CANADA]

This review of Charles Dickens England's Most Captivating Storyteller is one of three books I shall be reviewing that are very well done for children that will take the kiddies a bit into the classical literary world. With these reviews will come a giveaway of one of the books as a courtesy of Candlewick Press. So we'll have a look at Charles Dickens, an anthology of classic poetry, and a delightful rendering of a fictional tale about Emily Dickerson. The books are......
  • Classic Poetry An Illustrated Collection by author/anthology editor: Michael Rosen & illustrated by Paul Howard
  • Miss Emily author by Burleigh Muten [This will be the giveaway prize book.]
  • Charles Dickens England's Most Captivating Storyteller by author: Catherine Wells-Cole

Charles Dickens: England's Most Captivating Storyteller (Historical Notebooks) by Catherine Wells-Cole

ISBN: 9780763655679
Hardcover $19.99
Templar Books/Candlewick Press
My thoughts: When my children were in school it was a real struggle to read biographies because they simply were not appealing. Required reading, definitely! Now children's book publishers have really begun to produce books appealing to various age children and draw them into the world of biographic reading. What a treasure! 

With the "Historic Notebooks" concept comes  innovative story telling that spaces the life of Charles Dickens about with bits and pieces of his life and his works. Using a lift-the-flap method there are interesting nuggets of information scattered throughout. The illustrations keep the reader engaged and enthralled. Reading biographies just got to be fun!

Charles Dickens' stories captured the society of his day and how downtrodden the people were. He captured the vast difference between the haves and the have-nots. The have-nots suffering just to live out each day. He wrote of this world and did it well because he, too, experienced it to some degree. Charles Dickens did receive an education which was not the opportunity of many of Victorian England. This is brought out in Charles Dickens: England's Most Captivating Storyteller

I found the presentation and the facts very interesting and they could easily incite more interest on the part of the young reader to further investigation and research. Not only is this an educationally engaging book, but it is also fun. There is even an envelope which can be opened and a note removed. The reader will learn that many of Dickens' characters are developed or modeled after his own family members. 
This shows a two-page spread and two flaps are lifted 
to show additional information. The Family tree flap on right side, top)
Children will enjoy picking this book up and reading and re-reading it for years. As they grow older, the facts tucked away will gain new and richer meaning to them. So this is a really good book to add to the home library. A must for school libraries.

About the book: See the world of Charles Dickens spring to life in his fascinating notebook. Excerpts from his personal letters, guides to his major works, and enthralling facts about his life and times--including Dickens's own amazing rags-to-riches story--are accompanied by fascinating new illustrations, drawings from the original books, and photographs from the period. This novelty-filled notebook immerses readers in Victorian life and allows them to meet not only Dickens himself, but also such enduring and iconic characters as Oliver Twist, Ebenezer Scrooge, and David Copperfield.

Author information: Catherine Wells-Cole has been a principal lecturer and the Director of Victorian Literature studies at Roehampton University for many years. She lives in Surrey, England.
Begins August 30
ENDS September 20 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA & CANADA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy by Candlewick Press to facilitate this review. Opinions are solely my own. I was not compensated for this review.


  1. I love reading all kinds of books to the children. We do read poetry together. We don't have a style, it just has to be kind of simple for the children to understand.

  2. I like the Curriculum Connections with Language Arts that will help the children make the connections.

    Burleigh Mutén is a member of the Emily Dickinson International Society and a frequent volunteer at the Dickinson Homestead.

  3. I do enjoy poetry, I use to write my own and yes! I love introducing the children to new things, new reads and writers.

  4. I like that this helps to give you ideas on things that you can do with your students or children, I like that it helps to show to bring out different emotions.

  5. I like poetry, but don't really have a particular preference. I love reading to my granddaughter and discussing the book afterwards and have fun making up alternative endings.

  6. I enjoy introducing children to all types of literature, especially the classic young adult books. I am not a fan of poetry, I'm more interested in reading a story.

  7. I enjoy introducing children to all types of literature, especially the classic young adult books. I am not a fan of poetry, I'm more interested in reading a story.

  8. 1. I like this book because it looks like an entertaining way to introduce poetry to children.
    2. I would want this book because it is a novel way to introduce children to Emily Dickinson, not only as a poet, but as a person.
    3. I learned that there are notes included in the book that give ideas about how and what to discuss about the characters and their emotions and thoughts.

  9. Yes, I think poetry, the right kind, can be wonderful for children. I love poetry, and my favorite kind is usually poems by the English romantics or the imagists.

  10. Yes, I love introducing different styles of storytelling to children. I love poetry, especially romantic or lyrical style poetry.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  11. I like all different types of poetry, especially if it rhymes. I used to like to write poetry when I was young.
    twinkle at optonline dot net

  12. I've actually always loved biographies and this one looks amazing! Thanks for sharing this post at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com!

  13. I do like that this book would definitely keep a child's interest without overwhelming them. I learned that the illustrator: Matt Phelan is the author-illustrator of the highly acclaimed graphic novel The Storm in the Barn
    twinkle at optonline dot net


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