Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The Great World Search and The Great City Search

2009, Usborne Children's Books
48 pages each, hardback
Review copy

Non-fiction, 4 years +

World exploration, different cultures, fashions, animals, jobs, transportation, places to live, places of worship, places to visit, activities

Summary from Usborne Children's Books
The Great World Search
A fabulously illustrated puzzle book showing scenes from around the world and up to 100 people, animals and objects to spot in every double page scene.

Scenes include an airport, a floating market in Thailand, a colourful carnival in Trinidad and a forest village on the River Amazon.

Includes short captions with information and fascinating facts.

The Great City Search
A superbly illustrated puzzle book showing fabulous big city scenes, with around 100 people, animals and objects to spot in every double-page scene.

Scenes include a busy station, a museum, a park, going shopping and a crowded street scene.

Includes short captions with information and fascinating facts.

Nayuleska's thoughts
I could have spent an awful lot longer looking at these books. The concept is brilliant: the reader has to follow a character on their journey.

  • The Great World Search has the reader following Great Aunt Marigold around the world. Additionally the temperatures of the place is included.
  • Areas travelled to are
    • Airport
    • Floating Market (Thailand) 
    • Beach (Australia) 
    • Desert (Middle East)
    • City (Japan)
    • Pool (Iceland)
    • Antartic
    • Carnival (Trinidad)
    • Souk (Morocco)
    • Mall (USA)
    • Ski slope (The Alps) 
    • Safari (East Africa)
    • Town (China)
    • Forest (The Amazon)
    • Island (Greece)
    • Street (India)
    • Reindeer races (Siberia) 
    • Cruise ship 
  • The Great City Search has the reader following Mayor Maurice on a day of his life. 
    • Areas visited include
      • Station
      • Museum
      • Hospital
      • Park
      • River
      • School
      • Shopping area
      • Underground
      • Building Site
      • Street
      • Pool

Each place has a double page. Around the outside of the picture are objects and people that the reader has to find (a certain number of each). Aunt Marigold/Mayor Maurice has to be found on each page, participating in the activity scene, as does a particular character from a group who are showed at the beginning of the book. Don't worry if you can't spot them all - there is an answer page at the back which has little dots showing where each item is.

This is not something that can be finished within minutes. Each scene is chock full of illustrations, making these perfect books for travelling, when in hospital, or just for a spare couple of hours. Equally if the reader is short on time they could try and find just a couple of objects for that session.

The book isn't read in order of the pages. A unique feature of this series is that the reader has to look to the bottom of the page where symbols are given for the next leg of the journey. This can be a person, train, plane, boat, bus, tax (varies from book to book) At the end of the book answers are given for the order that the book should be read in. (You can read the pages in order, but the fun of it is that the reader doesn't know where they are heading next). There are some additional puzzles as well for the reader. How to use the book is fully explained at the beginning.

I loved opening up the pages and not knowing what I would spot next. There are people having fun, a few in mild peril, others getting on with their lives. There's so much to see that my imagination was fired up just by flicking through the book. I feel that these books help readers know what to expect from the world. If they are taking a trip to a place shown in the book, they can find out in advance what kind of things are there, and can try and find objects that they've seen in the books. Additionally there are no stereotypes in the book - there's a female plumber! Yay!

Final conclusion
Hours of pleasure to be had finding objects and people around the world.

You can have a peek inside the books The Great World Search and The Great City Search


Rose Works Jewelry said...

Wow - these look like so much fun! I ordered the first one from the library :D

Nayuleska said...