Tuesday, April 3, 2012

An excellent travel tool for the kiddies and useful for parents, too!

Of all the books at my recent book fair, "National Geographic Kids Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas" was my favorite. I'm the librarian/chair of the book fair, thus I familiarize myself (more or less) with every book on the case shelves. As a cartophile (map lover), I immediately grabbed this book and Aha! thrilled to its pages!

I evaluate such a book of the 50 states by what is written about my home state, Louisiana. I begin there/here. Each state is allotted two pages. The state map fills one page and information and state symbols the other. The little roads are missing--after all, it takes a big fold-out to include those--but all the state and federal roads are intact. How do I know? A rather narrow state road, 28, runs between Federal Highway 171 and Interstate 49. So what? My grandparents lived in a small community, Simpson, along 28. No, Simpson didn't make the map, but 28 is there.

What is included for each state are these items:
1. 5 Cool things to do here (In Louisiana you can visit the Rose Garden in Shreveport, take a Bayou Boat Tour, visit the Aquarium of the Americas, go through Cajun Country, and tour the French Quarter of New Orleans. A green line exactly locates each place.)
2. A summary paragraph about the state
3. Roadside attractions, like Mardi Gras World, a museum showing how a float is made
4. Odd information: Did you know that alligators must stay at least 200 yards away from the Mardi Gras parade route (Are you chuckling?).

Each state is set up similarly. Imagine how children can have fun with this--and learn during the summer on those ghastly road trips. The U. S. Road Atlas is most beneficial.

I just flipped open to a particular state. Question: Which state is divided into two parts by the Chesapeake Bay? Yes, if you live near this region, you can answer that. I could not have answered the question. Or this one: In which state is the Wild Horses Assateague State Park? Answer to both questions is Maryland. OK, one more about Maryland: Which state gave up some of its land to form Washington, D.C.?

At an incredibly low price, you can have this book for your children, your students, or, ahem, for yourself. I bought (with library funds) 10 copies for a project I plan to do soon with my middle elementary students.

I gave my sister, a frequent driving traveler, a copy for her long two-day trip back and forth from Virginia to Louisiana. She has already found some things to do in a couple of states through which she drives.

The back of the book contains a number of activities for the kiddies.

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A favorite souvenir

A favorite souvenir
These are my two girls from Ireland!

Judy's shared items

Books on my very ambitious TBR list (*denotes read)

  • *Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox
  • The Odd Women by George Gissing
  • The Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson
  • How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell
  • The Cod Tale by Mark Kurlansky
  • In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden
  • *Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
  • Dag Hammarskjold by Elizabeth Rider Montgomery
  • The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet by Rabbi Michael L. Munk
  • Children of Strangers by Lyle Saxon
  • Spiritual Writings by Flannery O'Connor
  • Nightmares and Visions: Flannery O'Connor and the Catholic Grotesque by Gilbert H. Muller
  • The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor
  • Flannery O'Connor's South by Robert Coles
  • Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
  • Sylvanus Now by Donna Morrissey
  • *Vincent de Paul by Margaret Ann Hubbard
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  • A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  • The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel
  • Readicide by Kelly Gallagher
  • *Ruined by Paula Morris
  • Say You're Not One of Them by Uwem Akpan
  • Wandering Star by J.M.G. Le Clezio
  • Silence by Shusaku Endo
  • *The Assault by Harry Mulisch
  • Kari's Saga by Robert Jansson
  • *The German Mujahid by Boualem Sansal
  • Western Skies by Joseph Conrad
  • *The Giver by Lois Lowery
  • *Imperium by Ryszard Kapuscinski

School Library Journal - NeverEndingSearch


A semester course in one book about the Soviet Union. Click on image for my review.