'The Not-For Parents Travel Book'
Published on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - 12:05pm
The Not-For-Parents Travel Book, written by Michael Dubois, Katri Hilden and Jane Price, is a fantastic book. It covers 199 countries, grouped by region/continent, from North Korea to Mauritius, Saint Lucia to East Timor. Each country gets one full-color page, which contains a small map, some key facts (size/population/language/currency) and then interesting facts about that country.
For example, for Benin in Africa, we learn:
- It's the home of voodoo;
- About the history of human sacrifices in ancient times;
- About some of the amazing animals that live there;
- How taxis get loaded up with all sorts of items;
- About a village built on stilts to escape a water demon;
- About beautiful tribal art.
There are lots of beautiful photographs on each page; there is also a flag and the name of the capital for each country. The pages are color-coded for each continent and the layout, similar to a scrapbook, makes this travel book more reader-friendly for avid readers as well as reluctant readers.
I've always loved learning about all the different cultures of the world, and I think that's what I like most about this book. It isn't just a book with dry information; it also goes into detail about the unique cultures in those countries. I like how the book shares interesting facts, such as:
- In Indonesia, the rarest and most expensive coffee in the world is made ... from cat poop.
- Luxembourg has the most cell phones per person of any country in Europe and its Fortress is one of the best defended castles in the world. Beneath it lie 13 miles of secret underground passages for sneaking around.
- Did you know that Velcro was invented in Switzerland? In 1948, a Swiss inventor took his hairy dog for a walk, the dog home covered in grass seeds. The hook on the seeds gave the owner an idea for a new fastener and Velcro was invented.
- In Ukraine, the statue of Christ on Boims chapel is the only one in the world that shows him sitting on the cross. The crazy fact about Ukraine is that it’s good luck to find a spider or spider web on Christmas Day. So guess what the clever Ukrainians decorate the Christmas tree with? Yes, spiders are more popular than tinsel in Ukraine.
The Not-For-Parents Travel Book has so many fun facts that you must check the book out if you want to travel the world while staying at home, whether you are with your family, or alone. This book is more than just a travel book: It makes it easy for children to learn about other countries and cultures in a fun way that they will remember for years; it feels like an adventure around the world. It's full of interesting trivia, but it sparks interest in travel and research with which pure non-fiction cannot compete.
While the title indicates it is "not for parents," I'll advise parents with younger children to scan through prior to giving it to their children. Some of the history features are often quite graphic, highlighting murder, genocide and cannibalism (as in the "Cannibal Kitchen" of Vanuatu.)