Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I hope you find much to be thankful for. I know I do. Our family is coming to visit, including the new granddog, Titan, a Standard Poodle. But some of you may be traveling elsewhere, so I thought I’d include three books having to do with travel. Two of them are not actually stories, but rather activity books. Books to keep children occupied.
This book is bound to keep anybody occupied for a very long time. And it’s lots of fun if you like to solve puzzles of any sort.
Can You See What I See? Big Book of Search-and-Find Fun
Illustrated by Walter Wick
This book should come with a warning: Do Not Open Unless You Have Time to Fritter Away. You’ll find it hard not to try just one more puzzle. Plus, it’s a sneaky way to encourage early readers to increase their vocabularies. The lists are ten words each and have themes such as magic castles, fairy tales, ordinary objects such as an assortment of buttons and jewelry. The objects to be found vary from hard to see to right in front of the reader’s eyes. And the types of objects vary from animals to needles to plants. There is a robot-type creature that crops up in various puzzles which are marked with a picture of a wooden block carved with the letter s. This book is a keeper for home and classroom, but, be careful, it is addictive. Plus, it’s a compilation of pages from early versions of this book.
BIBLIO: 2016, Cartwheel Books/Scholastic Children’s Books/Scholastic, Ages 5 +, $12.99.
REVIEWER: Sarah Maury Swan
FORMAT: Early Reader
Perhaps young cousins are gathering together and they don’t know each other well. This book will put at least the girls at ease in a hurry. They will be fast friends by the end of the visit.
For Me & U! Fun for BFFs
Illustrated by Kyla Mae Pty Ltd
This book is fun for a group of seven girls at their first slumber party. There are spaces for the girls to fill in their preferences and paste their special stickers in each of the thirty sections. The stickers are at the end of the book. The book starts with small rectangles where each girl may put down her name, age, grade and school, along with a circle for her personal sticker. The second section has areas for “Selfies” and section three is a list of personality traits for the girls to circle. Then the girls get to design their cell phone cases, what toppings they’d put on their favorite flavor ice cream, pick where they’d like travel, what fun things to do with friends, and what kinds of clothes they wear. There are also sections on decorating cupcakes and giving preferences of activities such either going to the movies or a concert. The girls get to pick what they’d like to be when they grow up—lawyer, actress, scientist or writer, among other choices. There are sections for coloring and noting favorite books, plus drawing a favorite celebrity. The girls may check off their favorite school subjects in addition to designing the perfect pizza and ordering the best dinner. What animal is each girl’s favorite and where to go on vacation make up two more sections. The final section is to draw a family portrait, including pets.
BIBLIO: 2014, Scholastic, Inc. Ages 7 to 9, $8.99.
REVIWER: Sarah Maury Swan
FORMAT: Chapter Book
First time flyers are frequently frightened by all the confusion at an airport, what with lots of noise and people making them go through scary machines. This book will help calm fears.
The Airport Book
Illustrated by Lisa Brown
Preparing your youngsters for what to expect when they’re traveling by airplane is probably a good thing to do. This story starts at home while the family is packing. Mom reminds her daughter and her husband to make sure the toy monkey is packed. Then they take a cab to the airport and go through all the lines one needs to go through. The reader follows the luggage because the monkey’s tail is sticking out of the bag. Little sister cries when she goes through the scanner because she doesn’t know what’s happening, but she is comforted by her mommy and when they’re done, big brother holds his sister’s hand so she won’t get lost. Finally everyone is on board and happily buckled into a seat. Monkey has an adventure of his own in the cargo hold when a dog gets out of his crate, pulls Monkey out of his suitcase and snuggles with him during the flight. But Monkey is back with his suitcase when the plane lands and everybody’s happy. Cute book that will give grown-ups a chortle as it comforts little ones.
BIBLIO: 2016, Neal Porter Books/Roaring Brook Press, Ages 2 to 6, $17.99.
REVIEWER: Sarah Maury Swan
FORMAT: Picture Book
This post is probably a bit late for those of you traveling for Thanksgiving, but December holidays are right around the corner. Now you have time to prepare. Safe travels and happy family get togethers.