Dinobibi publishes an exciting interactive non-fiction series of travel books for children. The Travel Series is accessible to school age children and each book comes at $12 price point that parents will appreciate! Countries available to explore include Spain, China, Italy, and South Korea.
Dinobibi sent me two titles to review: France and Mexico. Each book is jampacked with information about the highlighted country, including history, weather, flora and fauna, food and culture, famous people, and major cities and attractions. They are professionally written, illustrated, and edited with the clear aim of engaging young readers. Each book includes a variety of photographs to help introduce readers to each country’s rich diversity.
The books are narrated by unique narrators from the featured country. 12year-old Gabby introduces readers to Mexico. Before talking about some of the things that make her home country special, she tells readers about herself. This allows readers to consider what childhood is like for other girls and boys. It is a smart and quite successful narrative strategy since it provides readers an intimate portrait of life in another country. Gabby lives with her parents, grandparents, and brother. Her family raises chickens and grows many of their own vegetables.
Gabby tells readers all about Mexico’s complex history with information about Mayan and Aztec civilizations as well as Spanish colonization. Beautiful images of the country’s beaches, volcanoes, forests, and rivers accompany detailed descriptions of each. Contemporary cultural cuisine and traditions are included to introduce would-be travelers to the food and festivities they’re likely to encounter.
In the French book, Victor guides readers through his country. He introduces us to his family and home of Saint-Malo before bringing readers on a whirlwind tour of France. Details about him include religion and education. Various fun facts about France are interspersed throughout, some more likely than others to interest children. For instance, readers are warned that bringing wine as a host gift is offensive. Most of the details are far more relevant to young readers, including information about Bastille day—what kid doesn’t get excited about fireworks?
Each book contains activity pages and quizzes to engage readers and prompt them to think critically about the culture they have encountered. This is a wonderful series I recommend for schools and libraries. The books are a bit text-heavy, so I recommend them to readers over sever-years-old. I can actually imagine a Travel for Kids Jr. series doing very well! The one thing I would have liked to see is more information about language. I think the series misses an opportunity to engage linguistic and cultural diversity. If these are meant to entice young travelers learning a few phrases would surely come in handy!