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Author: Clive Gifford, Illustrator: William Ings

Discover the many wonders of the world in this amazing interactive illustrated tour of some of the most interesting places on Earth.

Each spread focuses on one destination, and the amazingly intricate artwork gives readers a visual flavour of the place, with masses to look at and discover the more you look. There are links from one place to the next – historical, geographical, natural history or just simple proximity – for example, there is an ancient Egyptian obelisk in NY’s central park, with two sister obelisks in Paris and London. Find the one in the Central Park using Google™ Earth co-ordinates and it gives you the clue to where you will be going next. The pyramids at the Louvre in Paris will whisk you off to the temples of Ancient Egypt, then find a connection from the Colosseum of Ancient Rome to the hot plains of Tanzania that team with wildlife, from flocks of flamingos to herds of wildebeest to prides of lions. The crater is actually a collapsed volcano; this knowledge then helps speed you to Mount Fuji and Tokyo. . . and so on.

In each location you have to find a souvenir to take with you. You will also need to solve a puzzle with the help of Google™ Earth to collect co-ordinates for your final secret location – again on Google™ Earth. For instance, the puzzle tells you to visit the Statue of Liberty on Google™ Earth and to count the number of points on its crown. This number is one of the co-ordinates you need to find your final destination at the end of the book.

From Publishers Weekly
Integrating print with electronic media, each spread of this interactive time-jumping, globe-hopping book contains digitally rendered illustrations of a world location, along with corresponding Google Earth coordinates. In ancient Rome, gladiators fight in the Colosseum, while a prompt points readers to the site’s ruins online. Other sights include the Great Barrier Reef, the Amazon rainforest, and the city of New Delhi. In addition to browsing the locations online, the book offers numerous puzzles, games, and seek-and-find questions, though readers may become engrossed in online browsing or in the book’s challenges, rather than moving back and forth between the two.

From Kirkus Reviews
This modestly oversized volume is a Google Earth launch vehicle for young grade-schoolers.

The book starts with an introduction to Google Earth (a free download): how to get it, how to navigate and special features such as a tilted look at the locale and zoom. Gifford's language is crisp and engagingly friendly as he proceeds to explain the book's game format, with quizzes and hunts for objects in the illustrations—like historical and geographical incongruities in the places visited—and the gradual accumulation of numbers that will lead to the final destination. The artwork is imposing, great two-page spreads, busy and colorful, in which Ings has drawn the images readers will see on their Google Earth photographs. The single most obvious drawback is that once the various hidden objects have been located and the quizzes have been successfully wrestled to the ground, those critical aspects of the book become moot. But this is overwhelmed by the canny sense of place the book imparts and its encouragement to let Google Earth guide you to other realms (both terrestrial and celestial).

Use in conjunction with a conventional atlas, which requires—better yet, allows for—more imagination.

Ages 8 to 14
$15.99 (hardcover)
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