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Review: The Pilot and the Little Prince-France with children

Review: The Pilot and the Little Prince-France with children

 “Long ago in France, at the turn of the last century, a little boy was born to be an adventurer.”  Isn’t that what travel is about?  Adventure? Meeting new people, seeing new places, discovering new things-whatever inspires you to travel, The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry will inspire you to explore more. The story includes a biography of Saint-Exupery against a backdrop of the impact of the beginnings of aviation and the unfolding of the chaos of two world wars.  The author manages to weave the disparate themes together with wonderful illustrations and a passion for exploration and travel as Saint-Exupéry flies routes through France, Spain, Morocco, Western Sahara, Senegal, and South America. This is a beautifully illustrated book that captures the spirit and beauty of early flight, as well as a boy’s passions.  The limited text running along the bottom can be a little disjointed, but the illustrations and additional details on the history of flight provide a treasure trove of additional information and are very evocative of the Little Prince.  While the ending is sad, it doesn’t dwell on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s death, but is truly a celebration of his life and the joy of...

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Review: How the Sphinx got to the Museum- New York with children

Review: How the Sphinx got to the Museum- New York with children

How The Sphinx Got To The Museum written and illustrated by Jessie Hartland is the entertaining story of how the sphinx was built, broken, discovered, repaired and displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  In the style of “This is the House that Jack Built” and “I know an Old Lady who swallowed a Fly,” “How the Sphinx Got to the Museum” tells the story of the life of the sphinx from its commissioning by the Pharaoh Hatshepsut to its display in New York; describing the jobs of each individual who handles it along its journey and adding them to a repeating litany, all of the way back to the Pharaoh. At the end of the story, the entire chain of events that led to the placement of the sphinx in the museum is reviewed with, “[h]ere is the Docent, who loves museum, has read all about ancient Egypt, and likes to talk to visitors about the Sphinx that was …documented by the Photographer, painted and restored by the Artist, officially numbered by the Registrar, carefully lifted by the Riggers, repaired by the Conservators, welcomed by the Curator, packed and unpacked by the Art Movers, approved by the Department of Antiquities, uncovered by the Archaeologist, broken by the stepson, prized by the Egyptian priests, carved by the sculptor and ordered by the Pharaoh…and, at last, is ready to be visited by you!”  Whew! A mix of fact and fiction, How The Sphinx Got To The Museum is an entertaining tale of travel and discovery.  It provides an explanation of how museums acquire objects and the behind the scenes activities that take place before you see something in a gallery.  It was great at describing each person’s job and how they fit into the chain of events that led to the display of the sphinx.  The rhyming language and repetition in the story is particularly enjoyable for younger children and will definitely be of interest to any budding Egyptologists. The sphinx can be seen in Gallery 131 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art has tons of things to do with children including family maps, special guides, suggested itineraries and family audio guides just to...

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The Barefoot Book of Pirates

The Barefoot Book of Pirates

 The Barefoot Book of Pirates by Richard Walker and illustrated by Olwyn Whelan is a retelling of seven pirate stories from Scandinavia, England, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Scotland and Morocco.  The stories are well illustrated and entertaining while being refreshingly free from gore. The hardcover edition of the book is accompanied by a CD with Richard Hope narrating the seven stories, perfect for long trips! England Everyone associates Robin Hood with Sherwood Forest and Nottingham, but with references dating back to the 13th century and the earliest recorded ballads dating from the 13th and 14th century, it is difficult to separate fact from fiction and whether he was a real person or a conglomeration of many.  The origins of “Robin Hood and the Pirates” date back to 1858 at least and possibly earlier.  In the story, Robin decides to go on vacation and leave Sherwood Forest and Little John suggests a trip to Scarborough.  Today, Scarborough is the largest holiday resort on the Yorkshire Coast.  In keeping with the pirate theme, there is a treasure hunt in Scarborough which lets you explore the coast, castle and surrounding environs.   After a few days in Scarborough, Robin decides he’s bored and wants to go out on a fishing boat.  You too can go out on a fishing trip with Queensferry Cruises and Skylark Fishing Trips.  While you probably won’t run into pirates on the coast of England on your trip, in this story Robin manages to save the fisherman from the pirates and in true Robin Hood fashion, he shares the plunder with the fishing crew and the good woman who had rented him a room. Ireland Grace O’Malley (Granuaile) or “The Sea Queen of Connaught” is one of the few female pirates in history.  In “Pirate Grace,” she arrives at Howth Castle in Ireland and asks for dinner according to custom.  Lord Howth refuses as he is too busy eating his own dinner and doesn’t want to be disturbed.  In retaliation, Grace kidnaps his heir and holds him hostage on Clare Island.  Her demand for his son’s freedom?  An apology and that the Lord always lay a spare place at the dining table in case anyone should need it. Howth, now a suburb of Dublin, was originally...

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