South America travel books for kids - review
Working for Andean Trails and in general just in love with South America, Kat has been telling her two girls (2 and 4) a lot about South America already. Next year she is taking them to Ecuador, and here's how she is getting them excited...
"Apart from learning basic words and phrases, reading books related to the countries you’ll visit is a fantastic way to get everybody talking about the upcoming holiday, and to prepare them for what they might see and experience.
Little by little, more and more parcels arrived at our house, all bearing books with stories from afar. Here are some that I picked ahead of our Ecuador trip – and what me and my children make of them. "
We’re sailing to Galapagos, by Laurie Krebs & Grazia Restelli
What it’s about: a fantastic book of colourful pictures describing a week long cruise in the Galapagos and all the animals you will meet, from giant tortoises to blue footed boobies. Written in rhyme and with a little repeating “song”, it really sticks.
Kat says: I love the quirky, colourful pictures and how it gently introduces the wildlife of Galapagos. It’s easy to understand for the littlest ones and reads really well.
Lina (4) says: I love the blue footed boobies and their funny feet
Mattie (2) says: Can we sing the song, Mama?
Tomás and the Galapagos Adventure, by Carolyn Lynn and Ashley Rades
What it’s about: A little boy lives in the Andes and loves riding his horse. On an outing he falls off and bumps his head, sending him into a dream … about the Galapagos islands. There he meets tortoises, swims with hammerhead sharks and picnics with pirates as volcanos erupt.
Kat says: I enjoyed the pictures and the general introduction to life in Ecuador and the Galapagos it gives, although as an adult the "dream of Galapagos" was a touch far-fetched. My children of course didn’t see anything odd about it, and really enjoyed it – and it taught Lina about volcanoes.
Lina (4) says: I like the volcano page best.
Mattie (2) says: Why he bump his head?
We’re roaming in the rainforest, by Laurie Krebs and Annie Wilson
What it’s about: The rainforest! It’s a brilliantly illustrated account of a day in the rainforest and the animals you can find there – written by the same author as “We’re sailing to Galapagos”, it too is written in catchy rhyme.
Kat says: It’s a really easy book for any age and we’ve been looking at this book from an early age because the illustrations are beautiful and the children are intrigued by the exotic animals – the sloths, the pink river dolphins and the monkeys in particular.
Lina (4) says: I like the dolphins because they are pink and I like the monkeys. I think they are cheeky.
Mattie (2) says: Snap snap! (says the crocodile)
For anybody speaking (even a basic level of) Spanish, I can also recommend La Reina Tratamundos en Ecuador, by Montse Ganges and Pep Monserrat, which follows the “queen of globetrotting” around Ecuador and gives some nicely packaged facts about the country and its traditions, Quito and the Galapagos. If you can translate a few sentences and read out others in Spanish it’s a lovely way to introduce some Spanish, too.
Get in touch if you are thinking of taking your family to South America, and let us help you make it a trip to remember.
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