Friday, August 24, 2012

Who Do You Think You Are?: Be A Family Tree Detective

Waddell, Dan. Who Do You Think You Are?: Be a Family Tree Detective. Somerville, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2011. (ages 7-12)

This book introduces children to some of the first steps to be taken in genealogical research. There are several flaps which children lift to read tips or to pull out activities to be completed as they are reading the book. There is too much information in this book for a child to digest at one sitting. It's a book that will need to be worked out a little at a time. The author used note cards to record family information. I would have preferred to see the child introduced to more conventional forms in a children's version for that information. The note cards are sure to be lost. The author has included some things that probably should have been left for a later age when the child gained a bit more experience. For example, there is information on family coats of arms. They are really not well-explained, but I think the author included it just so the child could make up his own coats of arms in the coloring activity in one of the pockets. The book opened with information about genealogy once being for the rich only and how many bogus genealogies were created. I'm not sure that was the correct place in the book for such information although it was told in a manner in which children can understand the problem. This book is somewhat useful, but it does have problems. I think the strength of the book lies in the encouragement to ask family members for information. I'm not certain that the forms and "memory book" give the child enough space to complete the activities, but it is a place to start. Hopefully children who are interested enough to continue to pursue genealogy will explore additional guides to further their genealogical education.

1 comment:

Jim (Hidden Genealogy Nuggets Blog) said...

If you want to get your kids or grandkids involved in genealogy, it sounds like a book at pick. I would also reccommend a book caled "Creating Junior Genealogists" by Karen Frisch. It's not for a kid to read, but for an adult. It provides a lot of ideas to get kids inviolved in genealogy and family history.

Regards, Jim
Genealogy Blog at Hidden Genealogy Nuggets