Rating: 5 stars
I know I have said it before, but I really like to provide Lorelei, Ben and Kiefer books about places we're going to visit before we actually get there. Whether it's a baseball game or art museum, dairy farm or Washington, D.C., they like to know what they're getting themselves into. Or, because I prefer to deny them the luxury of opinions at this young age, they like to know what I am getting them into. Yup, that's a bit more accurate!
So it was with our recent trip to Northern California. My husband travels there for work from time to time, so he got for the kids this classic travel book about a year ago. They've loved it ever since--at first, only because Daddy got it for them, but then they realized the pictures were really cool. They quickly realized that this city called San Francisco was very different from our sleepy ex-burb town in Northern Virginia. And finally, they loved it because they knew we were going there for Spring Break.
|Steep, steep hills!|
This book is vintage cool--even though your kids will have no idea what you're talking about if you tell them that, you'll know it by flipping through the pages. Sasek was born in Czechoslovakia in 1916, and worked for Radio Free Europe in the 1950s before he began working on his "This Is..." series--his first was This is Paris. This is San Francisco was first published in 1962, and reprinted in 2003. Like the other books in the series, it is true to its original within the main pages, but has updated information in the back of the book.
For your child, the book is like a tour of the city without leaving your lap. Lorelei was fascinated with the crazy angle of the streets in the pictures, and was delighted to find that the streets really are that steep (even after trudging up them to check out Lombard Street). Ben loved the Golden Gate Bridge best, and for months he'd find it on our placemat map. He was so thrilled to see it from afar, then actually go over it last week!
|Kiefer and I on steep Lombard Street...|
he got a deal, I got a workout!
There are a lot of words in this book, which makes for a long read and therefore best for kids older than 4, but the pictures are so engaging that younger kids will get wrapped up in it, too.
Sasek's "This is" series is good to know about. We've given This is Washington, D.C., to friends of ours who, like us, live near D.C. But there are a bunch more--London, Paris, New York, Rome, Texas, and more (click here for complete list). They make great gifts for kids who are moving or traveling to one of these areas.
Reading plus exploring (whether that's traveling a long distance or some place right down the road) is a great combination.