non-fiction nuggets…medieval history

Getting ready for company is a phenomenon familiar to most children.   Pick up the Legos, sweep up the dog hair, set the table…My husband remembers complaining when he was a child, sent to polish the chrome in the bathroom, “Why don’t we just show them how we really live?!”

 In A Medieval Feast, written and illustrated by Aliki, we observe the lord and lady of a manor preparing for a visit from the king and his entourage.  This whirlwind puts our modern-day meager preparations in a new perspective!  The whole estate’s population of serfs and servants are thrown into a tizzy at the announcement that the royal party will be stopping by, and we observe them redecorating bedrooms, building new fences for the extra horses, and especially, gathering the immense quantities of food necessary for the feasting.  Wild boar, roast swan, fish tarts and a stuffed pastry castle are only a small portion of the food paraded out for the party of over 100 people.  Elaborate dishes, complete with live jugglers jumping out of puddings, were apparently expected at these events.

Aliki is an incredibly talented, prolific author/illustrator.  Born to Greek parents living in the Philadelphia area, Aliki studied art, and gradually found her way into the world of children’s books.   She has a captivating style — vibrant, colorful, detailed, and well-researched, her illustrations are feasts for the eye.  She has written and/or illustrated over 100 books, and we have enjoyed quite a number of them.  This title is great for kids who are learning about the middle ages, but it is so fascinating that the whole family will enjoy it at any time.

Aliki Brandenberg