Today, I’ve something different for you. Mother Daughter Book Reviews is coordinating a Blog Tour for the new titles recently released by Lonely Planet Kids (an imprint from Lonely Planet, the world’s leading travel publisher), from October 15 to 31, 2015.
Now, I’ve used a lot of Lonely Planet books in my time, and I’ve got a lot of good things from them for places as far-spread as Cuzco (Peru), Cairo (Egypt) and Christchurch (New Zealand). The tip on the hotel run by people to raise money for the streetkids in Cuzco is especially memorable. It was a great place to stay, and they help a lot of orphans.
Now they have Lonely Planet Kids, which aims to enhance learning, interaction and appreciation for the planet’s rich diversity of people, places and cultures – for kids. “Immersive, engaging and educational, the new Lonely Planet Kids books continue to explore the world and inspire a whole new generation of travelers as only Lonely Planet can.”
There are four books in the series, and I’m reviewing The Travel Book below. You can check out the other people on the tour to see what they thought of the other books. Then you can enter a giveaway – but stop along the way to check out one of the quiz sheets from the Travel Book!
The Travel Book
Title: Lonely Planet Kids – The Travel Book: A journey through every country in the world | Publication Date: September, 2015 | Publisher: Lonely Planet Kids | Pages: 212 | Recommended Ages: 8+
Description: Where can you climb a giant tower of sticky buns? What is a bokikokiko? Discover the answer to these questions and hundreds more with Lonely Planet Kids The Travel Book: A Journey through Every Country in the World the new, kid-friendly (ages 8+) version of Lonely Planet’s best-selling The Travel Book. In Lonely Planet Kids The Travel Book, every country from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe gets a dedicated page spread packed with amazing facts on animals, culture, sports, food and much more, bringing the world to life with eye-popping photography and illustrations.
There aren’t that many books I read that have glorious drawings, diagrams, flags, and games to play. But then, I haven’t read a Lonely Travel Kids books before.
I pored over the Contents page, trying to spot any country that they had left out. I’m not absolutely convinced that Svalbard is a country in its own right now, or whether it still holds a special relationship with Norway, but it is inconsistent with the inclusion of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales as separate entities, and a little political difficulty of listing them in the order Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland…. But away from the minor detail of “what is the United Kingdom?” they do include Tibet, a controversially autonomous region of China. Come to think of it, Lonely Planet do separate guides to each of the UK’s constituent countries, and Tibet, but Svalbard is included in the one to Norway, so that may be the rule in their minds.
Each country has a page of its own, with a box (in the form of cool cards) with essential facts, which make this book the quiz-goers Bible, since it’s so enjoyable to find that the capital of Belize is Belmopan. In the beautifully displayed information I found that the Great Blue Hole is a divers paradise sink-hole first discovered by Jacques Cousteau. It must have been difficult to decide which facts to include in a travel book of this nature. I think they’ve done well to include a reasonable range of historical, cultural, and natural phenomena (geological or biological). I remember my Children’s Book of Facts, which still sits on my reference shelf, and think, yes, these are the things I’d find interesting – like the “Black Napoleon”, Toussaint L’Ouverture, leader of a revolution to free slaves in Haiti.
Further on you can find recipes for various foods, scattered about – goat water stew is a favourite in St Kitts & Nevis – and also check your moves for the Merengue, with a foot-placement chart on the Dominican Republic page! I think the capybara is more often compared to a guinea pig than a rat, but they included a photograph of a roast cavy dinner in the Peru page, which is rather insensitive, and could be distressing to some readers. Including some adults I know. The more I think of this, the more I feel this was a big mistake, and insulting to some cultures. I’ve docked it a whole star just for this photograph. Would they picture a roast dog in Korea? I think not.
Probably you can only get a real idea of how well these pages represent the facts, or things about travelling in a country, is to look at those you know best. Would these things represent your country? Is that how you would like a child from another country to think of your homeland? There is a mini-quiz on the Scotland page that indicates that those traditionally Scottish items, haggis, bagpipes, sporrans and tartan, came from entirely different countries. Is that a fair representation? England is reduced to Big Ben, Henry VIII, the Beatles, Stonehenge and William Shakespeare. Oddly, it includes the Eden Project, so I suppose it’s good for Cornish tourism, and maybe that’s the point; these are the things most visitors would want to see. Does that translate to other countries? Well, Greece gets Zeus, the Olympics, Pegasus, the Parthenon, Santorini, honey, and the labyrinth. Maybe the UK’s done better out of the layout than Greece. Germany seems to me to be extremely short-changed. France and Monaco, on opposing pages, is a contrast that would have the French reeling. One of Europe’s largest (642,000 sq. km) and most diverse countries, France is reduced to the Mona Lisa, the Louvre, Versailles, bread, croissants, Jules Verne, the Tour de France and a tongue twister. Monaco, all 2.02 sq.km of it, gets the Grand Prix, the Grimaldi family, casinos, the palais de guard, and the oceanographic museum!
It must be really hard to get the world into 212 pages, and as I said, it is a great way to get a flavour of the various countries coupled with basic facts. I found it very useful to make more distinction in my own mind between the various Pacific Island States. The occasional quizzes and tongue twisters and other games, plus occasional cross-references, make for an entertaining book for younger readers. I suspect their parents will enjoy it after the kids bedtime. There is plenty of bias in the choices made, but then, he who writes the history makes the history, and maybe it is the same with geography. I’m still tempted to buy a copy for myself, but I haven’t researched alternatives, and when I came to pop this on my Goodreads list, I found there is a grown-up version with a double page spread for each country, so twice the size, dating from before 2005.
While you think about whether you’d buy a copy of either, why not click this link for TheTravelBook_QuizSheet, to keep you amused!
You may also be interested in…
About You Rule!: Create Your Own Country
Title: You Rule!: Create Your Own Country | Authors: Scott Forbes & Emma Laura Jones | Publication Date: September, 2015 | Publisher: Lonely Planet Kids | Pages: 96 | Recommended Ages: 8+
Description: Think you can run a nation? You Rule!: Create Your Own Country by Scott Forbes and Emma Laura Jones shows ambitious young leaders (ages 8+) how to create a new nation completely from scratch. Decide on laws, establish borders, design a flag, gain citizen support and more. Be king, queen, chief, emperor, president or dictator – you decide, because right here, right now, you rule!
About Lonely Planet Kids
From the world’s leading travel media company comes Lonely Planet Kids, a children’s imprint that brings the world to life for young explorers everywhere. We’re kickstarting the travel bug and showing kids just how amazing our planet can be.
We will inspire and delight curious kids, showing them the rich diversity of people, places and cultures that surrounds us. We promise to share our enthusiasm and love of the world, our sense of humour and continual fascination for what it is that makes the world we live in the diverse and magnificent place it is. It’s going to be a big adventure! Come explore.
Lonely Planet Kids Blog Tour Schedule
Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch & Giveaway)
Cherry Mischievous (Spotlight: Adventures Around the Globe)
Rockin’ Book Reviews (Review: How to be an International Spy)
Domestic Chanteuse (Spotlight: The Travel Book)
Reading Authors (Review: You Rule!)
Adalinc to Life (Review: Adventures Around the Globe)
Geo Librarian (Review: The Travel Book)
2ReadBook (Review: How to be an International Spy)
Tea Time and Books (Spotlight: You Rule!)
The Blended Blog (Review: The Travel Book)
Icefairy’s Treasure Chest (Review: Adventures Around the Globe)
Bookworm for Kids (Review: You Rule!)
Mami Tales (Review: How to be an International Spy)
Here’s the Story (Review: The Travel Book)
Alwaysjoart (Review: You Rule!)
Tina the Bookworm (Review: How to be an International Spy)
Sunshine Girl Blog (Spotlight: Adventures Around the Globe)
Fuonlyknew (Review: Adventures Around the Globe)
Books for Books (Review: You Rule!)
Jemima Pett (Review: The Travel Book)
Published Bestsellers (Spotlight: How to be an International Spy)
K&A’s Children’s Book Reviews (Review: Adventures Around the Globe)
Christy’s Cozy Corners (Review: The Travel Book)
My Soul Called Life (Review: How to be an International Spy)
I Read What You Write (Review: You Rule!)
Blooming Brilliant (Review: Adventures Around the Globe)
Writer With Wanderlust (Review: The Travel Book)
View From the Birdhouse (Spotlight: The Travel Book)
Kevin Gerard, Author of Diego’s Dragon (Review: You Rule!)
P is for Preschooler (Review: Adventures Around the Globe)
The Logonauts (Review: The Travel Book)
Oh My Bookness (Review: How to be an International Spy)
Blog Tour Giveaway
Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice
Giveaway ends: November 8, 11:59 pm, 2015
Open to: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by Lonely Planet Kids and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.