Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Child's Geography: Explore the Classical World

This geography book was truly a page turner!  Terri Johnson is the quintessential tour guide to lead you through not only the geography of the Classical World but through some of its historical roots as well. Terri Johnson is also a mapmaker extraordinaire.  I have long appreciated the map books that Terri has created and she uses this skill to help navigate the reader through each stop on the journey visiting ten countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea.

I love the upbeat, conversational tone that the author uses to talk directly to the reader, painting vivid pictures of each region and its sights, sounds and even smells.  I really liked how Terri employed some fictional characters who introduced themselves and told a bit about their homeland.  There are breathtaking photos and satellite images that will really help the visual learner experience each setting. It helps the reader feel like they are really there experiencing the sights for themselves.

And like any good vacation, food plays prominently in this tour of the Classical World. Many chapters include a stop to refresh and experience the cuisine of the area.  Recipes are included so the reader can enjoy for themselves the savory side of geography.

Also included are the Greek myths pertaining to the locations mentioned. I had never really thought geographically about such stories as the Minotaur or Helen of Troy.  Terri really helps connect the dots between history and geography in an extremely engaging way.  The stories that seemed so remote and ancient suddenly take on a new dimension when you realize where they took place.  Realizing where philosophers and apostles traveled brought new meaning to their history as well.

I cannot fully describe what a truly marvelous book this is. I've been homeschooling for over twelve years and have purchased nearly as many different geography books over those years.  This by far is the most entertaining, most in depth and most well-rounded curriculum I have ever seen or tried to use. This is a keeper and one I think my children will enjoy sharing with their children.

Thank you, Terri, for being so passionate about geography and history--your love for the subject shines through every page of this book. As an adult, I learned a tremendous amount of information and the creative and fun extension activities provide many hands on ways of making the material come even more alive.

Things I loved about this book:

  • Although the third in A Child's Geography, it can stand alone
  • Suggestions provided for completing over the course of a semester or over a whole year
  • Variety of activities that will appeal to students of various ages 
  • Overflowing with photos, illustrations and maps
  • Recipes to bring the flavor of each culture alive
  • Weaves history and geography together in a seamless fashion
  • Written in a conversational way (no dry, boring textbook-ese!)
  • Designed for a family to do together (target audience is 1st-6th grade but this will be enjoyed by all ages and can be adapted for both younger and older students)
  • Vocabulary words in bold 
  • Pronunciations provided where needed
  • Media links given for more information
  • Recap of dates to create a timeline
  • CD with bonus material
Visit the Knowledge Quest website to read reviews and download a sample of the first three chapters.  The book is available in softcover or ebook versions. Grab your copy today and take the trip of a lifetime through the pages of this fabulous book!  

Disclaimer: I received a copy of A Child's Geography: Explore the Classical World for the purpose of review.  A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.  No other compensation was received.

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