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A Year in a Castle (Time Goes By) Paperback – March, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rachel Coombs lives in England.

Rachel Coombs lives in England.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Series: Time Goes By
  • Paperback: 24 pages
  • Publisher: First Avenue Editions (March 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580137962
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580137966
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 9.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Karlsson on February 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a classical educator, I tend to keep towards the best samples of writing and art I can find, but sometimes there are other books that have their place.

"A Year in a Castle" skips through the year (meaning it doesn't cover every month) telling a brief story -- moving in, wedding, Christmas, siege, etc -- and asking if your child can find this and that, but also suggesting your child keep his eyes out for the thief, check on what the prisoner is up to, and think about how each of these characters might tell their story of their life in the castle. With the break away sections to peek-a-boo at all aspects of life, it makes it easy to ask your child to tell you stories about the different people, to engage the imagination while introducing basic castle words (such as "bailey") and basic castle life. We had a lot of fun with this one
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I found one of these books in the Library "A Day in the City" and brought it home with in the day everyone of my children 20 years to 6 years had throughly scoured the book to find all the things that were recorded with in, It even entertained myself as I read it and searched the pictures with my youngest. I have since brought home "A Year on a Pirate Ship", "A year on a Farm" and "A Year at a Construction sight." I highly recommend this series of book for any family.
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This book is probably best for the 4-5 year old set as there is a big of explaining to do about some of the pictures (the prisoner in particular is a tough concept for a younger child). There is also a siege and some destruction of the castle which might be upsetting to a more sensitive child (and a very small picture of covered up bodies which my son hasn't even noticed). But the detail is great and my 2 and 1/2 year old loves to look at it even though he doesn't understand much of what's going on. One of the irritating things about it is that the center of the castle, where much of the interesting activity takes place, is right in the center fold of the book. It's impossible to see it in detail because of this.
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I ordered this book for my two youngest grandsons, but once I had it in my hands I was so amazed and fascinated that I'm having a hard time passing it on. This is easily the most creative, detailed and totally involving book I have ever seen. The concept of depicting the same view of the castle through successive seasons and events, and following the activities of the people inside and outside the castle, is brilliant! It's such fun to look for specific characters, or to peek into the interior and see how the servants, knights, cookstaff -- even the clever prisoner -- are behaving. There is no award high enough for this level of imagination and production. I am so excited to order other books in this series, but I expect they will be as difficult to give up when they arrive!
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It gets two stars because some of the text is really good for kids. I will use it. But it could have been done much better. Every page has pretty much the same overall view of the castle, just with different things going on. I never imagined that they wouldn't show the castle from different angles and close-ups. It is very hard to keep a child's interest when the scene is so similar on each page.
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The little boy for whom I bought this is not really a "book person" - at least not yet - but this book grabbed him. He often has it with him in places where he must sit quietly (sitting & quietly are both challenging for him), but he will thumb through it and sit for several minutes looking at one page. Each page has text and many lively pictures, so it's interesting and has a lot of information about castle life. This is a hit!
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great combination of elements: "I Spy" play, medieval castle (the theme of our son's bedroom) and cross-section displays (which I love). warning: it does contain some violence, as the castle comes under siege. all cartoonish, nothing explicit of course, but you may have to explain warfare and people wanting to hurt each other with pointy weapons. not a problem in our family, with a 4-year old who loves guns and swords.
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This book has amazing illustrations. You can spend lots of time looking at each one, so many details. The progression of the year is fun, always things to "spot" in each page, and even if a kid couldn't read they can learn a lot by just looking at the drawings!
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