Posts tagged ‘maps’

NATURE’S BEAUTY

My First Summer in Sierra

Written by John Muir

Published by Digireads.com

This book is a travel diary written by John Muir, in the summer of 1869. After the Civil War when John Muir returned from Canada, he secured a position with Carlo, a shepherd who was moving a herd of 2500 sheep up to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Muir, who loved nature and the Yosemite region, jumped at the chance to join the group as a naturalist. He would document the journey, the wildlife, and the scenery along the way.
Readers read Muir’s recollections which are sometimes verbatim details, but also feel the emotion in his voice as he describes the grandeur and majesty of his surroundings. Muir’s love and appreciation of life forms in their natural surroundings come through as he excitedly reports his discoveries. This edition includes maps, drawings, and sketches. For those who appreciate the beauty of the planet, but cannot trek 9,000 feet up into the Sierras, one learns to appreciate the wildlife, the majesty of the sequoias, and the beauty of its pristine waters. Recommended for nature and travel lovers.

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THE CITY BY THE BAY

Kid’s Travel Guide: San Francisco- The Fun Way to Discover San Francisco, Especially for Kids

Written by Kelsey Fox and Shiela H. Leon

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Fun way to introduce school age children to the city of San Francisco. The book is a guide book and travel diary of sorts. Children will have lots of fun learning how to prepare for their trip and what to pack. Authors include a short history, what to see, and how to get around. Points of interest covered of special interest to kids are spots like Chinatown, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Telegraph Hill.

All of the information is presented by using fun activities, puzzles, games, coloring, and lots of interesting illustrations. Near the end of the book, children are encouraged to summarize their trip and are presented with the challenge of a fun to do quiz to test their vacations smarts. When all is said and done, the completed book becomes a souvenir for the child and all those who participated in the experience with her. Recommended for children ages six through twelve; a worthwhile investment for parents, grandparents and teachers.

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KANSAS KIN

Butter in the Well: A Scandinavian Woman’s Tale of Life on the Prairie

Written by Linda K. Hubalek

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Dedicated to Maja Kajsa Svensson Runneberg, the homesteader who settled the Kansas farm on which the author grew up, this work of historical fiction is written in first person as if the journal of Kajsa, the protagonist. The author carefully researched her life in the late 1800’s in the Smoky Valley of Kansas. Many Swedes emigrated because famine, crop failure and social structure prevented Sweden’s farmers from earning a living. Large numbers of families sold their possessions to buy passage to America; many wound up in Kansas after the Homestead Act of 1862 offered free land to those willing to settle there.

Kajsa and her husband Carl arrived with their infant daughter in 1868. They did not know the language, brought little money, and had no roof over their heads. Brutal winters, hot summers, crop failures, insect plagues, windstorms, and disease claimed many of the settlers’ lives. Kajsa’s story traces her journey, living underground in a sod house, making friends with neighboring Swedes, the arrival and death of family members. As they alternately take steps forward and face calamities, Kajsa enjoys the heights of joy and falls to the depths of despair when Carl is struck and killed by lightning. Time passes slowly, but within the next twenty years, the Smoky Valley will see the rise of churches, schools, towns, and even railroads.

The reader wants to cheer and cry while following Kajsa’s journey. Hubalek says the book is appropriate for ages nine through ninety-nine. Those who have an interest in history, memoirs, or psychology will enjoy the book. Though the plethora of details provided sometimes become tedious, the photographs, maps, and recipes are a pleasant addition. Teachers interested in giving students a unique perspective on Westward expansion will find this book useful.

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DELVE INTO DISNEY

Planet Explorers Walt Disney World 2013: A Travel Guide for Kids

Written by Laura Schaefer

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This book is billed as a travel guide for kids, but is just as useful for adults planning a trip to Walt Disney World in Florida. The author has really done a thorough job. She provides everything from the origination of the idea with Walt Disney and the history of the site to updates of most current information. There are maps and photos of street scenes, rides, restaurants, hotels and venues. The author advises the best way to negotiate the theme park as well as Epcot Center and how to find the fastest lines. Information on regulations, safety, and transportation is provided.

Readers will learn about things like where to find the characters throughout the parks, lots of plans that were never carried out, and where to go to find the best entertainment, restaurants and hotels. Advantages and disadvantages of the resorts are laid out to compare and contrast. There is even an informal tour of the Disneyland Hollywood Studios and the Animal Kingdom. Schaefer teases us with lots of fun facts of which I was completely unaware. For example, did you know that the whole park is built over structures called utilidores? The actors and personnel can walk around freely underneath the park! The science fiction writer, Ray Bradbury, helped design and write the script for Spaceship Earth. No one visits the park without jumping on some of the famous rides so the author even provides a key to classifying them with the following code letters: S D T W or A. These letters stand for Scary, Dark Thrilling, Wet, and Awesome.

The book is organized by the sections such as Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Movie Studio, Animal Kingdom. Entertainment, Special Tours, and Resorts. I can’t think of anything that has been left out. Near the end of the approximately one hundred twenty seven page guide is a list of Disney isms which explain its unique characteristics. Maps of the monorail and railroad are also included. Finally, the author writes a quiz to see how well you have been paying attention. She ends with last minute planning tips to remember before you embark on your trip.

I have visited the Disney Park many times and still found so much I did not know about it in this guide. Some critics complain they would like to see it in book form, but I am very happy with this kindle version, which I will definitely review before my next trip to Disney World. Happy Travels!

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