Thursday, December 30, 2010

MasterBooks/New Leaf Publishing Book Review: Passport to the World by Craig Froman

Publisher's Book Description:
Encounter people from around the world without ever leaving home! Fill up your passport with stickers from around the world as you read about children and their unique cultures and customs. Children learn the amazing truth that we are all of one race, all Gods children. An out-of-the-ordinary geographic journey of 26 language groups from A to Z! Experience a wondrous global journey within the pages of a book, encountering places and people from around the world in a scrapbook like no other! Children will gain knowledge of intriguing facts about countries, including their capital cities, maps, flags, populations, and religions. Gathering stickers for their passport, readers learn greetings from 26 different languages, as well as interesting language tips as well. This is an attention-grabbing exploration of the world through the eyes of children. 

First off, Welcome Back! I don't know about you, but my holiday "vacation" (really, is it truly a vacation - because I'm always exhausted by the time the holidays draw to a close!) was amazingly busy!

I've been very excited to bring you my review of this book. I think it's been put together exceptionally well and I can assure you that it will have a spot on the bookshelf in this homeschooling family's home for many, many years.

To start, the cover is bright, engaging and and you immediately have an idea about the subject matter of the book. One of my (many) pet peeves in regards to educational children's books is when a child cannot tell just by looking at the book what it's about. Children are very visual, so I feel that this is an important - and too often overlooked - aspect of book design and publishing. 

The first thing you see when you open the cover is a little pocket inside that holds a 'passport' for your child. What a truly original concept! Even my 3 year old was excited to learn about the different countries and languages so that he could place the sticker 'stamp' for each location on the pages of his very own passport. I was so impressed by not only the idea, but the execution of it.

 Now, a look at the inside pages. Again, I was very impressed by the execution. Very engaging, very fun. I hate to see a book meant for elementary aged children that is laid out like a Dictionary. Those tend to be boring and children lose interest far too quickly - such is not the case with this book. As you can see by the picture above, The pages are colorful, full of fun pictures and are really just about as interactive as you could want in a book. I particularly loved the local proverbs on the visa picture in each spread.

Each language - and the primary country where spoken - has a 2 page spread which covers Country Fast Facts (Population, Life Expectancy, Literacy Rate, Internet Users, Internet Code, Monetary Unit, Square Mileage and a comparison to a similar sized U.S. State), A 'Letter' from a child which speaks the featured language which includes sample language phrases (the same phrases for all languages - Hello, Goodbye, Thank You and Peace), a picture of the local currency, their most common food items, a local proverb, landscape photos, a photo of traditional dress, and some interesting trivia in regards to the language and country being represented.

At the end of the book you will find pages for important facts, name that flag and name that country. I felt that this was a nice reference addition to the book and should prove to be useful to my children in the future. It was also a very nice way to wrap up the book.

All in all, stellar book. I highly recommend this book - and anything else in the future from Craig Froman. Go buy it and I promise you will not be disappointed.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, New Leaf Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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