Books for Kids

Old Jun 9th, 2008, 02:45 PM
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Books for Kids

I'm moving my family to London in a little over 6 weeks! We expect to be there 3-5 years, potentially indefinitely. My kids are well traveled (the older two have spent over four months in Europe, among other places) and I always involve the kids in our travel planning and preparations. For instance we are going to Alaska in a couple of weeks and my older son is reading a book for kids on Alaska. Together as a family we have read other books on related subjects (wildlife, glaciers, etc.). Family travel is far more rewarding when we make the effort to prepare in this way. Before our four-month London stint a couple of years ago I dusted off the old humanties texts and looked through and discussed the images with the kids. Once we got to places like the National Gallery we had fun on a sort of art treasure hunt and that led to more discoveries my oldest child made on his own. So I am moving my family over for an extended period (we plan to do lots of traveling throughout Europe) and I am in search of materials to build a small library to bring to London that we can refer to throughout our time in Europe. I'd love suggestions for books on art, archtecture and culture for kids. I'd also love childrens stories that are set in Europe that might be a fun association to our time there. I came across a series called Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists by Mike Venezia. Anyone have any experience with this series? Or another range of books like this? What about stories? Things like Tino Turtle Travels to London. Any suggestions? Thanks!
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Old Jun 9th, 2008, 02:51 PM
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I suppose a little info on the kids might help!

My son is 8 heading into third grade and reads above his grade, my daughter is 5 heading into kindergarten and is already reading and my youngest son is nearly 18 months.
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Old Jun 9th, 2008, 03:19 PM
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Look on Amazon for books by the author Miroslav Sasek. These are great books to introduce children to cities such as Paris, London, Rome, etc. For example, This Is London will feature landmarks throughout the city and is a great introduction to geography, history, and the love of travel. These books cost about $12 and are hard cover. They have been around for a long time so some material is somewhat dated but they are delightfully illustrated.
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Old Jun 9th, 2008, 03:32 PM
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David Macaulay's Cathedral, Castle and Roman town are all good.

When my kids were young we had a set of cassette tapes about Beethoven (B. lives upstairs) Bach (Mr. Bach comes to call) and other composers by Classical kids. I think they are still available on CD. Very well done

I'd get some version of Arthurian legends and Greek myths for kids

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Old Jun 9th, 2008, 04:53 PM
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Nini, Iím already in love with these Sasek books! How adorable! Iíve put them all in my Amazon cart. Thanks for the tip!

Vttraveler, these Macaulay books look fabulous too. I think these will be perfect for my older son. The underground one also looks interesting and I might add that to the others you mention since we will be living in a city. Is this the audio series youíre referring to? There are so many composers to choose from, Iíll have to pick my favorites.

Thanks for the great tips. I hope others will share more!
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Old Jun 9th, 2008, 11:54 PM
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A lateral thought- I appreciate this is pre-planning- but London is a WONDERFUL city for bookshops, and, indeed libraries.

I think you'll find a larger selection there than in the US. Might be worth waiting?

Do come and visit us in Scotland!
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Old Jun 10th, 2008, 04:24 AM
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Yes, the CD series you found on amazon is the one I meant. I don't remember Mozart's Magnificent Voyage--we had Mozart's Magic Fantasy which is based on the story of the Magic Flute--but the others are the same ones our family had.

All of the David Macaulay books are great. There were also some TV shows based on them with footage of actual cathedrals, castles. We don't have Underground but I am sure it is good. All of his books are excellent

I agree with Sheila that since you are going to be in England you can certainly wait to get some there. I don't know what access you will have to libraries but certainly you will find a huge selection in bookstores.
I am sure as your kids develop as a readers in the next years they will find favorite authors and series. Many books are great read alouds

My kids (boys) really enjoyed fantasy books by British authors like the Reluctant Dragon, books by by Eva Ibbotson, the Borrowers, the Lloyd Alexander Prydian series, Roald Dahl's books, the Narnia series, Susan Cooper's excellent The Dark is Rising series, books by E.Nesbit, the Redwall books. My older son read all of the Lord of the Rings in elementary school (and re read later!)--the Hobbit is more likely to appeal to most kids

When your daughter is a little older (or for read aloud soon) she might like the noel Streatfield Shoes books and classics like Mary Poppins, the Secret Garden, Alice in Wonderland
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Old Jun 11th, 2008, 05:31 PM
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Thanks for the further replies. I've been down with a bad cold.

Sheila, you're absolutely right, and I look forward to book finds once we get to London. As I prepare I thought I'd add to my library of books while I'm still in the US where things are far cheaper. And Scotland is high on our list!

Vttraveler, sounds like your sons have similar taste in books as mine does. I'm jotting these titles down. My daugher loves the Shoe books! And those classics are great suggestions--sometimes the best choices are the most obvious (and sometimes it takes someone else to point that out to you!).

Thanks again.
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Old Jun 11th, 2008, 06:30 PM
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Any ideas for younger kids? We are taking our daughter to Paris and I'd love to show her some picture books. She is only a year and a half so no great story lines needed. Maybe just a dog in front of the eiffel tower or something like that.
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Old Jun 11th, 2008, 08:37 PM
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Sally30, Catherine Stock's A Spree in Paree has wonderful pictures of farm animals visiting Paris. Check it out on Amazon. My granddaughter loves it.
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 01:08 AM
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There's a series by Mike Venezia called "Getting to know the world's greatest artists." There's a picture book series by James Mayhew about a girl named Katie. Some titles include "Katie in London" and "Katie meets the Impressionists."

There's also a couple of books about places in Britain that have inspired various children's books:

How the heather looks : a joyous journey to the British sources of children's books / Joan Bodger

Once upon a time in Great Britain : a travel guide to the sights and settings of your favorite children's stories / Melanie Wentz
children's books:

For history, there's the "Brilliant Brits" series by Richard Brassey.

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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 04:20 AM
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Have you seen the Kids Go Europe: Treasure Hunt series? They look great although I haven't ordered them yet. When you pull them up on Amazon, it shows other similar books & plenty that my kids would love to read before an upcoming European trip.
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 06:22 AM
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My suggestion is not for your kids, but for you to read! It's called "How to Talk to Children about Art" by Francoise Barbe-Gall. That pretty much sums it up -- but it's very well down. It breaks children down into age groups, 5-7, 8-10, and 11-13. It talks about what they see when they view a painting and what you can tell them/ask them and discuss with them so that they can appreciate it more. It gives overall pointers but it also focuses on many of the major pieces that you'll probably get to see during your travels.

Once you get here, Usbourne books are everywhere! They are great little books for all different ages. Lots of dragons, castles, princesses, kings and queens, etc. They usually manage to sneak in some actual facts for the kids as well!

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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 01:56 PM
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I usually check the website

when we are planning a trip.
This site gives great reading suggestions for many reading levels.
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