Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pop-Up Geography

My children have several relatives who live outside the United States, and whenever we see a map anywhere (even the NYC subway map:) they start asking where grandma and grandpa live, where uncles, aunts and cousins live, and of course where they live in relation to everyone else. So, I began searching for a "kid-friendly" map of the Earth for them, and found it in "The Amazing Pop-up Geography Book." This book lives up to its name, it is amazing- it has information on everything from the Earth's position in the solar system, to natural disasters, to where major rivers and mountains can be found. It is filled with pieces to lift, wheels to turn, tabs to pull, and pieces that (of course) pop-up. My kids favorite part of the book is the expandable globe that comes along with this. It is a 3-D paper globe that folds flat inside the book and is attached inside with an elastic cord. My kids love this book, and it ends up being a great "take-along" item whenever I need something to hold their attention for a while- i.e doctor's appointments, church meetings and long subway rides.
There are really only 2 downsides to this book. One, is that the solar system section is a little out of date ever since the "Pluto is not a planet" announcement. The other downside is the fragility of the pages, and this is true of any pop-up book. It is great for kids 6+ to view independently. I would, however, sit down with any child younger than this and guide them through the pages rather than let them go it alone. My 4-year-old got a little too excited about the tab that creates an "earthquake" on the page, and ever since, it has just not quite been the same effect.
With that said, I still think this is the best little book about geography for kids that is out there.
You can find this at, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art gift shop. List price is $24.99, but you can find it for around $17.

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