Book Review: Famous Family Trees

Famous Family Trees : explore 25 family trees from history written by Jari Mouge and illustrated by Vivien Mildenburger has recently been added to the junior collection.

"Family History is also world history. It tells of connections and beginnings" states the introduction to this lavishly and finely illustrated book in watercolours.  Famous names are highlighted with a brief history on the left hand side of the page with an abbreviated family tree with portraits on the facing side.

Although published as a children's book this would also be of interest to any budding historian or adult. The book however is marred by the fancy font and very small and detailed captions associated with the actual family trees.  The brief biographies given would probably satisfy the junior reader more so than the complexity of the family tree and I doubt would really hold their attention.

Most Australian children, I suspect will not have heard of some of the "famous" names.  (I had not heard of Desiree Clary or Maria Tallchief before).  That said a good spread of men and women from a variety of multicultural backgrounds and periods in history are represented including Ned Kelly.

This book could be shared between generations and used to start conversations about a child's own family history and to explore "connections and beginnings".

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