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Summary: Adele and Simon visit their Aunt Cecile in New York City. They take a train trip across America from Boston to San Francisco. Along the way they visit different historical landmarks, as well as stop in Washington, DC. Simon loses something at every stop even though his sister Adele keeps reminding him to keep better track of his stuff. Aunt Cecile knew Simon would have trouble, so she wrote his name and address on all of his things. When they get home all of Simon's things are there because the people who found them were nice enough to mail them to him. This is a picture book that introduces travel, geography, and US landmarks.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9
Interest Level: 4 to 8
Age of Child: Read witha 5-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: My daughter laughed at each page when she realized Simon had lost something again. She also asked if he was going to get any of the objects back. She did not want to put the book down until we were done even though the phone was ringing. She liked hearing about the places the brother and sister visited and looking for the objects Simon lost along the way. This is one we've read several times.
Adult Reader Reaction: I picked this book because it said it was a look and find book, as well as a story. I liked it, and it has some unique traits. It is not like other look and find books in part, because it has a real story and introduces some US historical sights. I liked that she enjoyed not just looking for the objects but looking at the pictures and listening to the story.
Pros: Everyone can enjoy this book. In addition to learning about the United States, kids can participate in the activity and get a lesson in personal responsibility, too.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a fun book to read.
Educational Themes: This is a great book to read if you're preparing for a trip. Kids can learn about US landmarks and the history behind them and discover the country. Simon's tendency to loose things adds to the fun and offers a reminder about taking care of what belongs to us. There's also a nice message about being a Good Samaritan and returning things to their owner.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, travel, history
Date(s) Reviewed: March 2009
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