1492: New World Tales, by Richard and Judy Dockrey Young | Book Review
Elizabeth Varadan | The Children’s Book Review | February 22, 2015
By Richard and Judy Dockrey Young
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: August House (October 7, 2013)
What to Expect: A collection of multicultural tales centered around the year 1492.
This unique book is a potpourri of re-told stories from several cultures on both sides of the Atlantic as they might have been known in 1492, the year Columbus set sail for India and found what is now known as the Americas. In this collection, storytellers Richard and Judy Dockrey apply their gifts to the written word.
Their writing is succinct and visual, as in the case of the retold Aztec story of star-crossed lovers in “The Smoking Mountain”. (See quotation from the book.) Some tales are retold classics, including an excerpt from the epic poem of the Spanish hero from Valencia, El Cid. Others have a fairy tale quality, as in “The Iron Dancing Shoes,” an ancient story from Portugal. Whether attributed to European explorers or their sailors aboard the ships or to Mocama Indians in what we now call Florida, the stories in this collection are presented as tales that would have held various listeners spellbound in 1492.
“The moon had risen in the afternoon, and the lake was lit by moonlight as the sun set. They climbed into the reed boat and Strong Mountain paddled them past the painted pole to the opposite shore.” (From “The Smoking Mountain”)
Preceding the sections introducing a new scenario, the authors present an introductory historical page to orient the reader. A few vocabulary words are woven into some stories with pronunciation guides, and the back matter includes information for parents, teachers and librarians, as well as a glossary of terms. The book is listed for readers in grades 3 to 7, and certainly this is a fine addition to elementary and middle school libraries. This reader felt for individual reading, the book would be more suited to readers grades 6 to 9.
This book will appeal to older readers who are curious about cultures involved or existing during the time of the “discovery” of America and are interested in what cultures were like in the Americas before the age of exploration.
Add this book to your collection: 1492 New World Tales, by Richard and Judy Dockrey Young
About the Authors
Richard and Judy Dockery Young have co-authored 9 books together. Richard comes from a family steeped in sharing tall tales. He retired from teaching to concentrate on his love of writing and telling stories. Judy earned her Master’s Degree from the Dallas Theatre Center in Children’s Theater before pursuing a career as a performer. They share a commitment to thoroughly researching a topic, then crafting a highly engaging and authentic tale. They split their residence between Houston, Arkansas and Branson, Missouri.
1492: New World Tales, by Richard and Judy Dockrey Young, was reviewed by Elizabeth Varadan.