I visited 24 countries recently, all from the comfort of home thanks to Australia to Zimbabwe, A Rhyming Romp Around the World to 24 Countries by Ruth Fitts. This book became a nightly habit, one in which I fixed a cup of hot tea, settled into my comfy recliner and happily “traveled” to other lands.
Post Format: Top Five Things I Love About This Book
- The simple maps: The author chose 24 countries to highlight in this fun geography romp, one for each letter of the alphabet except W and X. Each country is introduced with its own black and white map, seemingly hand drawn. Farther in to the chapter, the featured country stands out in color amidst a world map in gray. Sure, the author could have used atlas-like images. But these simple ones help kids and even adults like me get their bearings much better.
2. The poetry: A “rhyming romp” leads off each country. In these clever, often funny poems, Fitts highlights the culture and history of each land. In the chapter on ETHIOPIA, a country once occupied by Italy, the verse sings:
All that Italy left behind
was pasta and espresso.
Espresso still is much beloved,
the pasta somewhat less so.
3. The captions: Let’s be honest. Aren’t the captions all your really read in a National Geographic magazine? That’s the beauty of this book. It’s all photos and captions, so I didn’t miss a thing.
4. The activities: From cooking to singing to crafts, Australia to Zimbabwe has ideas galore. Best of all–the activities are cheap and doable. In addition to hands-on fun, the author gives ideas for further reading and on-line adventures.
5. The passion behind the book: Writing this book was no small feat. The sheer number of photos and breadth of information given for each country is truly impressive. Fitts worked with embassies, scholars and people from around the world to create Australia to Zimbabwe. As a world traveler who has visited 35 countries and lived abroad, Fitts wants to “inspire kids to feel both fascinated by the world and at home in it.” This marvelous book accomplishes just that.