My First Travel Books: The Seven Natural Wonders of the Earth by Anna Othitis. Book Review.

 Click on the cover to buy a copy of this book.

The book begins with the seven flags of the countries where the natural wonders are located. It then shows up world map marking the special places.

The first natural wonder featured is the spectacular Northern lights or aurora borealis in the Arctic. The yellow airplane featured in the travel book series is superimposed on a altered photograph.

The book is written in rhyming couplet of varying syllable counts:

  • Look at the flaming lights shining high in the sky, 12 syllables
  • like beautiful colored party ribbons they stretch and curve as we fly. 16 syllables
  • Waving like dancing figures, jumping left to right, 12 syllables
  • they show off their brightness in the darkness of night. 12 syllables
  • Clashing together, the colors so bold. 10 syllables
  • Blue, green, pink and red story is told. 9 syllables

Unfortunately, when a book rhymes the reader automatically tries to read rhythmically which doesn’t work if the syllabication varies. This is a book that would be better told in prose or free verse without the rhyming. Fortunately, the author breaks away momentarily while she expands upon the information about the northern lights. She then includes a list of questions on the material previously presented  which would help children solidify what they have read.

Readers also visit the Grand Canyon in the United States, Paricutin Volcano in Mexico, The harbor of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, and Mount Everest in the Himalayas. The information is very interesting. I knew nothing previously about the volcano in Mexico. It might have been worth noting that Everest is in question as the highest mountain for several reasons.

There is one photograph for each of the seven wonders. They look as though they have gone through some strange PhotoShopping.  I think clearer pictures would have been advisable and perhaps two or even three for each wonder.

This is an interesting topic for children and adults alike. Using the gimmick of flying around the world with Angelic Airlines and Captain Frankie will give children a sense of inclusion. As well continuing with this format might encourage them to read more books in the series. I like the boarding pass included at the end for the next trip. I think it would’ve been cool to have one at the beginning, perhaps one that could be cut out and played with.

All in all, children and adults who are interested in travel and the world around them will enjoy this book.


Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages


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