Over the holidays, we finished the last books I wrote about, and read even more! I followed the biography on Mary Tudor with one on her father's early life, and read Ook & Gluk with the boys.
The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future - doesn't really sound that appealing, does it? For those familiar with the Captain Underpants series, this is by the same author, Dav Pilkey. It is written in comic book format through the eyes of George Beard and Harold Hutchins, who were also the fictional "writers" of the Captain Underpants comics. Ook & Gluk are cavemen who manage to go through a time portal into the future and learn Kung Fu from a master, enabling them to return to their own time and save it from destruction. I have to say, Pilkey really gets into the mind of the 6-8 yr old boy quite well! The boys were quite enthralled and are looking forward to seeing more books about this "cavemen from the future". The flip-o-ramma aspect helped as well - kids love that for the action shots!
So, the book on Henry VIII was called Henry: Virtuous Prince, by David Starkey. I've read his work before - a book on Elizabeth I and another on Henry's six wives. I have also watched a television series he did on the monarchy from Edward I's time through to the Victorian period, which makes reading his books a little odd now - I can hear him narrating the words for me! This particular biography takes Henry from birth, until the early years of his reign as King - after the death of his first son Henry (born to Catherine of Aragon in the first year of their marriage) and just as Wolsey is ascending in power. It shows how Henry's early life (as the second son, raised in his mother's household along with his sisters instead of separately as Prince of Wales) shapes his personality, and also his "coming into his own" - getting out from under his father's wing to become the Henry we know. As such, it was quite different from your typical Henry-the-Eighth biography and was a very interesting read!
The boys and I just started reading another book in the Diary of A Wimpy Kid series earlier this week, and I believe my next read will be a book I picked up on ADD. Stay tuned for our impressions on those ;-)