What fun it was to receive this book in return for an honest review. I spend a week in London seeing the sights and recognized several of the places pictured and explained in this book. Although it is written for young people, the adults supervising the activity will enjoy and learn from the activities featured in the text as well.
The reader is invited to become a secret international agent and search for clues throughout London, England. Once the scavenger hunt is completed and the points added up, the reader can further her experience by going online and printing out a certificate and entering a photo contest. At the site, other books about Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Washington DC, and New York are featured. The trick using these books is to convince the child it will be a fun, shared activity and not improvised homework. With the right attitude, this could be a memorable and valuable experience for both adult and child.
While using this book, the reader seeks out details in such places as Westminster Abbey, Parliament and Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery, the British Museum, the British Library, the Temple Church, and the Tower of London. It is not necessary to travel to each of these destinations in order to earn enough points for a special agent certificate. There are also ways to earn bonus points by noticing things featured throughout the city.
As well as using intrigue to motivate the reader, Catherine Aragon (is that her real name?) injects humor throughout. For example, when searching the British Museum for Selene’s horse’s head, Aragon writes, “The horse may appear a bit tired because he just led the chariot of Selene, the Moon goddess, across the sky.”
Readers not only search for items and check them off but they are also encouraged to interact with their environment. In order to imitate Queen Victoria wearing a corset, “Suck in your stomach as far as you can and read the quote on the next page, while appearing as serious as possible.”
If you’re the kind of family that likes to globe trot, this series of books is for you.