Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Fly Guy Presents Castles

Buzz and Fly Guy go on a field trip to learn about castles in Fly Guy Presents Castles by Tedd Arnold. Buzz and Fly Guy learn about when, where and why castles were built. They see moats and drawbridges, parapets and gatehouses and watchtowers and keeps. Weapons used to lay siege to a castle include a ballista, a battering ram and a trebuchet. The latter flung heavy stones, beehives and animal poop over castle walls. I believe this is the first time "poop" and in Fly Guy's case "poopz' have made an appearance in any Fly Guy book. This will cause some giggles, I am sure. Another first is Fly Guy speaks an entire sentence completely devoid of 'z's.

A brief history of castles includes a timeline and a discussion of the Middle Ages. There are pictures of castles from France (the birthplace of castles), Spain, Britain, Ireland, Germany, Romania, Prague, Japan, Russia, India and even New York City. Lots of information about who lived in the castles, including the Lord and Lady, Knights, Jesters, Gardeners, Blacksmiths, Tailors, Kitchen Workers and pets. 

The topic was picked and voted upon by Fly Guy readers. This should appeal to kids who like fairy tales, princess books and adventure stories. This book was published on Jan 6th. Neither the Sonoma County Library nor Accelerated Reader have it listed. Most of the Fly Guy Presents books have an AR around 3.2-3.7. 

Up next is a Tedd Arnold bonus book, Vincent Paints His House. Full disclosure:  have loved Vincent Van Gogh almost my entire life. In High School, I did a self-portrait in his painting style, spent two weeks in August many years later visiting places he lived in France including the sanitarium in Saint-Remy, ate lunch at The Little Yellow House in Arles and spent a day at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam viewing his paintings in chronological order. When I found this book, I had to buy it.

The story is simple, Vincent wants to paint his house. He thinks white might be nice. The next page shows four tubes of white paint: Snow, Ivory, Titanium and Cream. A spider says, "Stop! This is MY house and I like red". The next page has four tubes of red paint, each a different shade of red. And so it goes as a caterpillar, beetle, bird, butterfly, snake, mouse and bat state their preferences. Vincent decides to use all the colors and the last page has the multi-colored house in front of the Starry Night sky. 

This is a very accessible book for a beginning reader because there is so much repetition, picture clues, an easy to read font and lots of white space. The AR is 1.1. The Sonoma County Library has four copies.

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