The Dorling Kindersley (DK) Eyewitness Travel Guides are always a must-buy for me before any trip. We use these books months before heading out on a trip to get a general sense of the area and it’s history and culture. Then we use it again once we’re home to either refresh our memories or to write the all-important school report, “What I Did Last Summer”.
For our trip to Spain a few years ago, this was no exception.
While it does not specifically address the level of kid-friendliness of the area or attractions, the huge volume of pictures in Spain (Eyewitness Travel Guides) make the history come to life… and in the process, makes history much more accessible to kids. That alone makes this book worth it’s weight in gold!
Having pictorial access to the timeline of the political leaders, local customs and foods, along with historical landmarks really helps kids connect with the area on a deeper level than simply visiting common tourist attractions, or seeking out an American fast food chain. They’ll understand WHY it’s a tourist attraction and what’s so cool about it.
Information presented in little bite-sized chunks along with bright clear pictures, feels like you are discovering fun trivia tidbits to impress your friends. Which, for kids, is way more fun than reading countless paragraphs of words without pictures, regardless of their age or reading level. Do you know the difference between the tortillas in the supermarket and a tortilla de españa?
The maps and aerial-view drawings in this book are phenomenal. While in Seville, for example, the Street-by-Street: Santa Cruz map was indispensable. Years later, the maps and drawings refresh my memories of touring the palace and gardens of Reales Alcázares and its surrounding area. In fact, as I’m writing this, my mind is filled with the bright purple color and soft floral scent of the Jacaranda trees!
I have also used this book to supplement my son’s education and imagine it would be a great resource for homeschooling families. My son goes to a Spanish immersion school and each year has teaching assistants (they call them Language Ambassadors, or LAs) that come from different Spanish-speaking countries. There is almost always one or more from Spain. We find out where in Spain this LA is from, and see what we can learn about his/her home area in this book. Doing this also helps my son build a deeper connection with the LA and with Spain.
I love this guide because, even though it is heavy, it is like pictorial encyclopedia of Spain in the palm of your hand that no phone or e-reader can replicate. You can pick up a copy at Amazon by following this link: Spain (Eyewitness Travel Guides)