Today Marshmallow shares some thoughts on a little book of history: BrainJuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed! written in poetic form by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Richard Thompson.
Marshmallow’s quick take: If you are looking for an amusing history book or like poetry, this might be the book for you.
Too many books? No time to read?
BrainJuice is just what you need.
We squeezed the facts, threw in some rhyme,
Twice the knowledge in half the time.
Whether slowly sipped or gulped with gusto,
Unconditionally guaranteed pure!
This is the poem on the back of this BrainJuice book. BrainJuice American History Fresh Squeezed! explains history in short, memorable poems. It teaches the reader about American history since 245,000,000 BCE when the dinosaurs were around. This is the first poem in the book:
The first Americans who roamed the prairie
Were kind of big and kind of scary
Some lived alone, some in a bunch,
A few of them ate the others for lunch.
Some were gentle, some were mean,
Some were spotted or dotted or green.
They hissed and growled and roared great roars—
The first Americans were dinosaurs.
The book contains a total of forty-one poems and ends with a moving poem about the Statue of Liberty, called The Lady.
Marshmallow’s review: Some people think that history is boring, but this book is proof that it is not. The poems are written in a style that will entertain and teach the reader about the American Revolution, the Presidents, and the “discovery” of the Americas. It is a great book for parents to get for their children / child if they want them to be interested in the fascinating history of America. But I think that this would be a good book for all ages.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is a great read for those who think that history is just memorizing dates and the events that happened on those dates. The poems are short so they are easy to memorize so soon you will know all of the main events that occurred in American history quickly and efficiently. Anyone who wants to learn about American history can get down some of the basic facts with this book.
The pictures in the book add a lot to the poems. I especially liked the pictures that had writing on them. Some of the pictures are funny and others are just more descriptive.
The pages of the book are split into two parts. There is a thin pink strip on the top of each page which is a timeline that starts in 245,000,000 BCE (when the dinosaurs are around) and ends on September 11, 2001 when “Over 3,000 are killed in terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.” The rest of the page typically contains a poem or a picture associated to the time period.
Another good thing about this fantastic book is that it explains well some very difficult events that might be challenging to explain to young children. It describes the Trail of Tears, for example, but it iis not all inclusive of course. For example it does not mention Japanese internment camps, which I read about in They Called Us Enemy.
Marshmallow’s rating: 95%.