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Kids’ Book Reviews: Armchair Travel

The ultimate Where’s Waldo & a national parks pop-up book

America’s National Parks: A Pop-Up Book

By Don Compton, paper engineering by Bruce Foster, illustrations by Dave Ember
(W.W. West, $34.95; all ages)

Of the many good reasons to travel, the sheer awesomeness of what you can see ranks at the top. Nothing conveys that excuse to travel better than Bruce Foster’s pop-ups of America’s alfresco splendor. From the vivid reds and oranges of the Grand Canyon to the hanging moss and treetop snakes of the Everglades, the scenes draw you in and make you want to be there, snakes and all. The pop-ups are dazzling, but the text is also very informative about lesser-known parks like Cuyahoga Valley in Ohio (not lesser-known nearby, apparently, as the book notes that 2.5 million visitors go there annually). This is the perfect gift for inspiration to test the great outdoors.


Where’s Waldo? The Totally Essential Travel Collection

By Martin Handford (Candlewick Press, $14.99; Kindergarten+)

Whoever said getting there is half the fun never heard of back-seat ennui when what’s out the window is just a blur and opposable thumbs tire and create the opposable brain. The Where’s Waldo? The Totally Essential Travel Collection should solve that problem. It compiles every single Waldo book in a relatively light, convenient paperback format with an attached stretch bookmark to make each one of the 172 pages easily accessible. Of course, the book loses some of its allure once Waldo is found (or, in the Land of Waldos, once the shoe and 12 other travelers are found). But there are also checklists of other objects that create their own frustration and make the scenery out the window much more appealing!

Frank Lipsius is a contributing writer to MetroKids.

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