Book review by Luca Giannini aged 7 years
Building and digging are two things in the world that I really love doing so when I was sent a book which allowed me to do both I was really excited. The secret is look past the cover of the book! I first thought that ‘Build! A Knights Castle’ was simply a book that let you pop out pictures and make them into a castle, I got something like this last year for Christmas where I made Wonka’s Chocolate Factory – however ‘Build! A Knight’s Castle’ is a whole lot more than that!!
Firstly it’s a fantastic history book, teaching the reader about soil and what’s hidden underneath the surface of the earth that we walk on. I’m learning about this at school at the moment, so it’s something I’m very interested in. The reader is invited to become an archaeological detective, which means you have to dig up the layers of the earth’s soil to find what historical treasures are hidden beneath it. As this book is about a Knight’s Castle, the reader is led into a medieval realm, whose treasures are packed in deep below the ground.
It’s fun because we have to keep our beady eyes peeled as we dig our way through the dirt, pulling up bits and bobs from the past and exploring historical records for clues about the past. The reader is taught how to think like an archaeologist, discovering how they used clues that they find in the earth to put together a jigsaw that makes up the big picture of history. In this first section, we learn about medieval life, what they used as implements and how they conquered other armies.
The second part of the book gives us pictures and clues that come from the site of a medieval siege. I found myself examining images and notes from an archaeological dig and learning even more facts about the castle and the weapons that lay siege to it.
Then it’s time for the fun to begin as we hit the third section of the book. This is where I got to pop out the paper pieces of castle walls and build them into a castle. Everything I’d learnt earlier in the book suddenly made sense as my castle took shape. It’s a little bit tricky to build and I think you really need to be about 11 years old to do this easily by yourself. However my daddy was just as excited about making the castle as I was, so he helped me to bring this brilliant creation to life. My sister wanted to get involved too, so we think that this book is a really great family activity. Take your time, enjoy watching the old stone walls link together with turrets, drawbridges and towers. There’s medieval knights with armour, plus horses to make too, so when you’ve finished building your castle, you may play with it again and again.
Kids – you really need to add this book to your Christmas list this year! It’s so much fun to read all the secrets about being an archaeologist and then to create your own castle. There’s an ‘Excavate Dinosaur’ book in this collection too, which looks even more fun – I’ve always wanted to dig up a dinosaur. It’s something that the whole family might really want to get involved with.
Build! A Knight’s Castle is written by Annalie Seaman. Published by Ivy Kids, it’s launched on 21 September Price: £12.99