Turn your kids into world travelers without leaving home.

Lafayette, California
February 25, 2004

Many a parent has encountered glassy eyes and whines of "I'm bored!" when the whole family goes sightseeing. The Travel for Kids Web site offers a compelling solution to the boredom problem, through recommendations of "fun books" that bring other places and times to life.

Kids from grade-schoolers to teens will be thrilled to visit the art museums of Paris after they've played The Impressionist Art Game. Ancient Rome will come alive for them after they've looked through books with transparent overlays of ruins then and now, plus a gladiator activity pack or Roman mysteries. Why go to Canada? Eh? to Zed will tell the story.

Travel for Kids, an internationally acclaimed Web site used by parents, teachers, and children worldwide, has been providing global travel advice to parents since 2000. The site now includes recommendations for reading and audiovisuals that will help get kids excited about a trip, learn more about what they've seen after they're back home, or enjoy imaginary – and imaginative – travel.

Travel for Kids reviews of "fun books" have been created for more than 30 countries and are keyed to the country, region or city page on the site. Staff experts have surveyed a wide range of formats and topics, including fiction and non-fiction for ages ranging from toddlers to teens – board books, picture books, easy readers, chapter books and young adult reading. Over 1,000 recommended books, plus selected activity packs, audio CDs, and videos, are available through the site for immediate purchase on

Reading kids' books before you go on a trip is fun for everyone in the family, whether it's a just-released historical novel, an old favorite, gorgeously illustrated picture books, a book for a new reader. For busy adults, children's books can provide quick historical overviews, too. "Before we went to India, I read the Ramayana out loud to my boys," said Camille Cattaneo, Staff Writer. "And when we were in India, we kept seeing the story everywhere – in paintings, in sculpture, in temples, in dance."

Going to London? Choose from a retelling of Oliver Twist, with illustrations of 1830's London, or an easy reader of Sherlock Holmes. Waiting in train stations, look for A Bear Called Paddington. Teens can dig into Victorian London in the Sally Lockhart Trilogy or a novel about the plague. Before visiting the Tower of London, check out You Wouldn't Want to Be in a Medieval Dungeon, Henry VIII and His Chopping Block, or historical fiction about Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I. If you plan to see a performance at the Old Globe, try reading Shakespeare stories aloud. Get to know the British monarchy before touring Buckingham Palace with a short guide to The Kings & Queens of England and Scotland or a charming picture book for toddlers, The Queen's Knickers.

Planning a vacation to the Yucatan? Dip into the mysteries of the Maya, plus books on coral reefs, sea turtles, dolphins and jaguars. Or discover the flora and fauna of Costa Rica in colorful books on the tropical rain forest, birds, butterflies, frogs.

Experience the color and magic of India with books about rajas, tigers and the Taj Mahal. For Japan, choose from the poetry of Basho, a day with the artist Hokusai, first book of sushi, adventures of samurai and ninjas. Bali sparkles with stories of geckos and ancestral spirits, exquisitely illustrated.

California has a wide selection of books – exuberant tales of the gold rush, or Chinatown, earthquakes and sea lions in San Francisco, easy hiking guides in Yosemite and Death Valley.

Whether you're looking for Scottish ghosts or the Loch Ness monster, richly illustrated Russian fairy tales, an introduction to the Inca in Peru, castles and knights in Wales, an Egyptian pop-up book, a teen novel based on a German fable, favorite stories of Singapore children, or a fictional diary of Isabel of Spain, every country has a story to tell. Find it on Travel for Kids.

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