Got lots of requests to post photos of the timeline. Here you go, but I must point out that you didn’t specify *good* photos.
We began this timeline when Jane was about six years old. She was on a major Magic Tree House kick that year, and she got super excited by the idea of printing out little images of the book covers and gluing them onto a timeline. (Glueing? My spellcheck says no, but it looks better to me that way. Whatevs.)
I bought a roll of art paper and tacked it to the hall wall. The length of the timeline was determined in the following scientific manner: when I got to the end of the hall, I cut the paper. I drew a mostly straight line along the middle with a Sharpie. Then I measured the line (this is such a backwards way to approach it) and figured out how many centuries I wanted to include, and divided it up more or less evenly. I probably hollered down the hall to get Scott to do the math for me, because I can’t hold a ruler and divide at the same time.
Yikes, the fold-wrinkles really look awful in this picture, don’t they? They don’t show up that way in real life. I suppose it’s in pretty good shape considering it spent the last four years rolled up and semi-smashed under a poster tube. Why it wasn’t inside the poster tube, I cannot say.
I think if you click on the pic you’ll go to Flickr where you can see a larger image. And you’ll see it’s nothing fancy. The yellow tags at the top say ANCIENT HISTORY, DARK AGES, MIDDLE AGES, MODERN TIMES. These are, of course, rough divisions.
A few closeups. We began, as I said, with the time periods Jack and Annie visited in the MTH books. (Over the years, most of those pasted-on book covers have fallen off.) Later, we gradually filled in other events we read about. Sometimes we printed out pictures to help us remember, like the little illuminated manuscript we glued on probably six or seven years ago. It was fun to discover it again yesterday, just minutes after we’d clicked all over the internet looking at illuminations.
Look! One of the Magic Tree House covers survived!
This is my favorite section because it’s got so much of wee Jane in it. That wobbly six-year-old’s handwriting spelling out “Golden Age of Pirates,” couldn’t you just die? So sweet. The pirates’ heyday was hugely important to her, back then.
And the Little House girls. She had me cut them out and show her where to stick them on. She herself cut the blue gingham border and Little House logo off a notepad my editor had sent me; these were vital decorations, you understand.
It’s funny now to look back and think of all those books we read together, Child’s History of the World and whatnot, when she was So. Very. Young. We continued to add to the timeline after our move to Virginia in early 2002, but in that house it was up high on a wall over the piano and after a while I got tired of climbing on a stool to reach it, and we stopped adding things. And then in 2006, the move here, the dearth of wall space, the forgetting.
Well, it’s up again, and Beanie and Rose had a fine old time exploring it for what is basically the first time in their memory. Rose faintly recalls it from the old house. They like the book-cover idea and want to print out Adam of the Road and other covers. So off we go again. Yay!