Monday, May 16, 2011

Usborne Time Traveler

Usborne Time Traveler was originally published as a series of four books. This volume contains Knights & Castles, Viking Raiders, Rome & Romans, and Pharaohs & Pyramids.

The series uses time travels as a vehicle to interest children in learning about these time periods. The illustrations are cartoonish, but educationally relevant. Each book starts with a child putting on the time helmet, "setting the place indicator and the date dial" and then proceeds with the informational portion of the books. The first section of the book deals with the people the children will meet. In each series, the children meet a family. In the Middle Ages children follow Baron Godfrey's family. Children follow Knut and his family to learn about Vikings. Petronius and his family introduce children to life in Rome. Egypt is introduced through reading about Nakht and his family. Each book ends with a quiz for children to review the information they learned.

This is a fun series to engage children in learning about history. There is a great deal of information embedded in a fun format. This will keep kids reading and wanting to learn more about the topics.

From an educational point of view, having these as individual volumes makes sense. It can be distracting to try to teach kids about one topic and have children flipping through the other topics, instead. However, many kids love general interest books that cover a variety of topics. Therefore, this could be a great book for a classroom library or for a child's personal library.

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