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The Adventure Begins With a Turn of the Page

Even the shortest excursions can lead to big adventures for little ones.

By the Side of the Road
All Ages
By Jules Feiffer
Hyperion Books for Children, ISBN: 0-7868-0908-6, $15.95

When Richard, a boy of seven or eight, refuses to stop fooling around in the back seat of the family car with his younger brother Rudy, his angry father warns: "If you don't behave, I'm gonna pull over right here, and you can wait by the side of the road till I come and get you." Sure enough, that's what happens.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Ages 3 - 7 yrs.
By Mark Teague
Random House Children's Books/ Yearling, ISBN: 0517885565, $6.99

Wallace Bleff recounts his summer vacation, which includes a train trip Westward "to visit Aunt Fern in her house on the plains" (an abode resembling Aunt Em's in the Wizard of Oz); a kidnapping by some rough and tough cowboys, plus a narrow escape from a herd of stampeding cattle. There's never a dull moment.

Sally BooksSally Goes to The Beach
Ages 2 - 4 yrs.
By Stephen Huneck
Harry N. Abrams, Inc., ISBN: 0-8109-4186-4, $17.95

This handsome, oversized book, illustrated by bold color woodcuts, gives youngest listener/viewers a dog's-eye view of a summer vacation at the beach. Sally, a black Labrador, takes a first timer's enthusiastic delight in the sights, sounds and sensations of a day in the sun, sea and sand.

Sally Goes to the Mountains
Ages 4 - 8 yrs.
By Stephen Huneck
Harry N. Abrams, Inc., ISBN: 0-8109-4485-5, $17.95

Join Sally, our curious black Labrador, on her first camping trip to the mountains.

Uncommon Traveler: Mary Kingsley in Africa
Ages 4 - 8 yrs
By Don Brown
Houghton Mifflin Co., ISBN: 0-618-00273-1, $16.00

Undaunted by heat, insects, or crocodiles climbing into her canoe, Mary Kingsley embraced explorations almost unknown for a female of her day.

Mountain TownMountain Town
Ages 4 - 8 yrs.
By Bonnie Geisert, Illustrated by Arthur Geisert
Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine Books, ISBN: 0-395-95390-1, $16.00

This picture book's detailed, meticulous color etchings draw us into the mountain town the author and illustrator have created, inviting readers to explore this unique bit of Americana.

Benny: An Adventure StoryBenny: An Adventure Story
Ages 4 - 9 yrs.
By Bob Graham, Illustrated by Bob Graham
Candlewick Press, ISBN: 0-7636-0813-0, $16.99

Benny, a very talented dog, is summarily fired from his job as an assistant to Brillo the Magician because the audiences are beginning to applaud him more than the star. With skills in hand, he bravely hops a freight train (after spending his last few coins "on a can of dog food and a can opener") and sets forth on an odyssey across the country to find a place where he will fit in.

Bus Route to Boston
Ages 5 - 8 yrs.
By Maryann Cocca-Leffler, Illustrated by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
Boyds Mills Press, ISBN: 1-56397-723-0, $15.95

This urban adventure vividly details the story of two young siblings on their bus trip through Boston. The author-illustrator captures the look and feel of a suburb (with city skyscrapers beckoning in the distance), and the excitement of shopping, eating, and exploring in memorable Boston spots.

The Girl on the High-Diving Horse: An Adventure in Atlantic City
Ages 5 - 9 yrs.
By Linda High, Illustrated by Ted Lewin
Penguin Putnam Inc/Philomel Books, ISBN: 0399-23649-X, $16.99

Ivy Cordelia is plain lucky. It's the summer of 1936, and she gets to stay in Atlantic City all summer long, where there's so much to see: boxing kangaroos, human cannonballs, card-playing cats . . . and high-diving horses! Ivy's dream is to be that girl on the high-diving horse. But could she ever be that brave?

Kids' Road AtlasKids' Road Atlas
Ages 6 - 12 yrs.
Rand McNally, $3.95

Getting there is more than half the fun with the assortment of word and math games in this colorful United States atlas. Each state listing includes a kid-friendly map, state symbols and a game that describes the state’s history, geography or folklore.

National Geographic Beginner's World Atlas
Ages 5 - 8 yrs.
Edited by National Geographic Society, $17.95

An acceptable young children's guide to understanding maps. Color photos illustrate the text and add interest to this well-organized first atlas.

Don't Know Much About the 50 StatesDon't Know Much About The 50 States
Ages 8 - 12 yrs.
By Kenneth Davis, Illustrated by Renee Andriani
Harper Collins Childrens Books, ISBN: 0060286075, $15.95

Answers to trivia questions, along with other interesting factoids, can be found in this entertaining book. Each of the 50 states, plus Washington, D.C. has a page or two dedicated to its local customs, folklore, and other factual tidbits. Renee Andriani's colorful, cartoon-like illustrations complement the text's light-hearted tone.

The Amazing Pop-Up Geography Book
Ages 8 & Up
By Kate Petty and Jennie Maizels
Penguin Putnam/Dutton Children's Books, ISBN: 0-525-46438-7, $22.99

Ingenious paper mechanics pique kids' curiosity and give geography lessons 3-D pizzazz. Between the covers of this book are pop-up mountains and volcanoes, lift-the-flap continents and countries, swirling storms, jittering earthquakes, and much, much more.

DK Student Atlas
Ages 8 & Up
Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc., ISBN: 0789490528, $19.99

From Aachen, Germany to Zyryanovsk, Kazakhstan and everything in between! Understanding the changing geopolitical world is vital for today's students. This updated edition of DK's revolutionary approach to mapping the world teaches essential map skills while touching on important themes, including, climate, environmental issues, land use, industry, population, and much more.

National Geographic United States Atlas for Young ExplorersNational Geographic United States Atlas for Young Explorers
Ages 8 & Up 
Published by National Geographic Society, ISBN: 0-7922-7115-7, $24.95

The states of the Union are addressed through vivid maps and brief, concise entries of each state’s major statistics, factoids and history in this authoritative, introductory guide. Overview maps highlighting topography, natural environment, political landscape, population figures and more add to the usefulness of this helpful, handsome atlas.

The Blackbirch Kid's Almanac of Geography
Ages 10 & Up
By Alice Siegel and Margo McLoone
Blackbirch Press, ISBN: 1-56711-3001, $39.95

By using an innovative, kid-friendly format, thousands of geographical facts are brought into instant focus.


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