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Maria Salvadore

Reading Rockets' children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids' books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

Books just in time for vacation

July 17, 2013

The weather says it is definitely summertime — often travel or vacation time.

Lots of families will take road trips; many will visit some of the wonderful national parks across the country. And a great time it is, too; after all, July is Park and Recreation Month.

In addition to summer pleasure reading, two recent books are must-haves on these excursions.

National Geographic Kids National Parks Guide U.S.A.: The Most Amazing Sights, Scenes, and Cool Activities from Coast to Coast! captures the best of what Geographic is known for: crisp, well placed photographs, and clear, well defined maps with child-centric things noted. It's all well organized and clearly presented — just right for planning a trip or even armchair travel.

Crispin Boyer's National Geographic Kids Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas: Maps, Games, Activities, and More for Hours of Backseat Fun uses a similar approach but with trivia (there's a law in Louisiana that says "alligators must stay at least 200 yards away from the Mardi Gras route.") and suggested activities sure to break backseat boredom (to take pictures of all of the upside down books one sees in Nebraska, kids have to look for them, right?). Of course the sites suggested are appealing to children and families.

Though they may be lost on children, adults will appreciate the terrific text features (index, map keys, etc.), making these vacation take-alongs an easy way to inform and entertain.

Add a camera and a journal and vacation memories can be revisited long after summer is over.

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"A book is like a garden, carried in the pocket." — Chinese Proverb