Biographies with a Twist

I picked up a copy of a biography (for me to read) about Nelson Mandela from the DK Biography series (of which there are numerous biographies available), and subsequently did a search to see what other types of biographies for kids are available.

Bingo!  Although the DK series appears to be adequate, they are rather standard fare.  The biographies highlighted below have a little something more to offer as far as creativity:

Ben and Me:  An Astonishing Life of Benjamin Franklin by His Good Mouse Amos

Apparently a not-so-humble mouse played an important role in American history! An Amazon review states, “In A New and Astonishing Life Of Benjamin Franklin As Written by His Good Mouse AMOS, young readers will discover that while the good Mr. Franklin got considerable credit, many of his most important contributions really originated with Amos, a less-than-humble rodent. Oh sure, his manuscript was found by author-editor Robert Lawson and published first in 1939, but discerning readers ever since have figured that it’s the mouse who’s the fellow with the … tale.”

Mr. Revere and I:  Being an Account of Certain Episodes in the Career of Paul Revere, Esq. as Revealed by His Horse.  Paul Revere’s mare, Sheherazade, tells this tale.

I Discover Columbus:  A True Chronicle of the Great Admiral and His Finding of the New World. The parrot Aurelio traveled with Columbus to America. This is the bird’s story of how the penniless mapmaker was granted an audience with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella and how Columbus had to be bamboozled into his own flagship.

Robert Lawson is the author of these ‘biographies’; he is also known as an illustrator of books for children.


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