Lonely Planet has a long history of being a fun, quirky, and informative resource for travel information. And their expansion into the children’s book market with Lonely Planet Kids has proven to be equally as wonderful, as I’ve noted in previous posts. They have published two new books recently that continue this trend.
Young kids and grown kids alike love airports. Watching planes take off and land, people watching, imagining where everyone is off to, and going off on adventures themselves. But, as passengers, we only see the front-facing parts of the airport. The public spaces. What happens behind the scenes? And what are the explanations for what we do see?
A new book called How Airports Work is out now that allows readers to visually explore an airport and all that happens there, with plenty of fold-out pages to open and flaps to lift!
Each spread includes a clear but cartoon-y drawing of some area or aspect of modern or historic airports. Turn the page, open the fold-out, and hunt for smaller flaps to learn extra facts about airports, airplanes, people movers, security, baggage, and plenty of history facts and peeks into hidden parts of airports. You’ll take a closer look at the airplanes themselves, the air traffic control tower, the security area, baggage claim, the runways, taxiing areas, the cargo portions of the airport, and the airport property as a whole.
What happens before you get on the plane? After you get off? Where does your luggage go after you check it? How does the tower keep the planes safe? What is shipped in planes that don’t carry passengers? What does a cockpit look like? All of these questions are answered here.
At the very end of the book, readers get a glimpse into some of the world’s most unusual airports, and there is also a fold-out showing what an airport of the future might look like.
I think I get excited about books like this because they are exactly the kinds of books I loved as a kid. I wish I’d had one that focused on airports. But the “busy books” I had when I was younger allowed me free rein to just explore the pictures and see what everyone was doing. The fact that this book has plenty of images but also plenty of descriptions of what you’re seeing helps the book grow with kids. As they get older, they can learn to read the text themselves. This follow-up to How Cities Work (see our GeekDad review here) carries the concept to the airports. I can’t see what Lonely Planet Kids tackles next!
There is so much to see in How Airports Work: large drawings, smaller drawings, fold-outs, flaps, and all fascinatingly written by Clive Gifford and illustrated by James Gulliver Hancock. Kids will learn, imagine, and be ready to quote handy facts the next time you’re at an airport. If you’ve got a kid (or kid at heart) who loves all things airplanes and airports, this book will keep them occupied for hours.
Here is the book trailer:
If your kids prefer history and architecture to airplanes and air travel, another new book, Ancient Wonders Then & Now, takes them on a tour of the world, looking at ancient structures, seeing how they look now and comparing them with how they looked in their prime.
Like the airport book above, this one has plenty of flaps to lift, which is a huge part of the appeal for some kids (my daughter instantly liked a book if it had flaps to lift). This book covers more than just the surface information of these sites (literally), and kids can uncover the history and facts themselves. Visit this book with your kids again and again, and be sure to locate these sites on a globe or world map.
You’ll get tours of the Great Pyramids of Giza, Stonehenge, the Colosseum, Easter Island (Rapa Nui), Angkor Wat, the Parthenon, Chichen Itza, Petra, Cleopatra’s Sunken City, China’s Terracotta Army, Machu Picchu, and the Roman Baths in Bath, England. Each spread has flaps to lift for hidden information, and there are many fold-out pages for a deeper look into the significance of the sites and how they were used (and are used now). Everything you see is explained, and the book provides context for the site, including its origins, purpose, physical changes, and what has happened there over the centuries (and millennia). Don’t be surprised if your kids now want to embark on a world tour of their own, visiting some of these sites. Fortunately, they are spread out all over the globe, so one might be convenient to visit if you’re a family who travels the world.
Ancient Wonders Then & Now combines history, culture, and architecture all in one book, packaged up in a way that will be appealing to even the youngest kids.
Here is the book trailer:
I highly recommend both of these new books from Lonely Planet Kids to any kid or family who loves to explore, on their own or together. They are perfect gift ideas for any young traveler, as well.
Note: I received a copy of these books for review purposes.