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A Kid's Guide to China - A Kid's Guide to Costa Rica - A Kid's Guide to Kenya Review by Pam Havens

Jack L. Roberts
Curious Kids Press
519 Jade Lane
Palm Springs, CA 92264

For the love of travel and exposing my children as much as possible to other countries, cultures, and people groups! Resources such as A Kid’s Guide to China, A Kid’s Guide to Costa Rica, and A Kid’s Guide to Kenya published by Curious Kids Press are amazing supplements that complement each country. Each single book, which costs $9.95, is a beautiful introduction to that specific country and provides the student with plenty of knowledge, facts, pictures, details, and information. All three books provide welcome pages giving a brief overview of the country you will explore and a passport page which includes that country’s facts, capital, size, population, language, and currency. The following pages give the reader an overview of where that country is located in the world, continent, brief history, exciting facts; how the people live; speak the language, customs of food, education, holidays, national sport, native animals; and what is unique about that country. The Costa Rica and Kenya books provide additional pages that relate a national hero or specialized people group. The illustrations and real-life pictures capture the essence of that country and supply a rich background for all the details displayed.

The age recommendations are for 9- to 12-year-olds or targeted to 4th through 6th grade, yet certainly can be modified for younger or older students. A younger student may need assistance with the vocabulary, sentence structure, or reading of the text. These books read more like a magazine, meaning that each page is simple in form, but does capture your attention with the bright images, colors, and wording. Each kid’s guide would be a fantastic unit study for that country or accompany well with any geography lesson. With being easy to read and comprehend, they would also work well for any writing assignment or research project. These delightful books could be used in a homeschool, private, public, or co-op setting, as they are a wealth of information, yet not overwhelming.

With having just traveled to Costa Rica this past spring, my 10-year-old was excited to read these books independently, and acquired more knowledge of this country. We were able to discuss in detail some of the facts he had already learned while perusing through the pages. What a wonderful way to reinforce and engage his memories made with fondness.

My son and I really enjoyed how these books brought to life certain aspects of Costa Rica, China, and Kenya. I have traveled to Costa Rica and Kenya myself and thought these books represent nicely how each country is special and unique. With all the colorful photographs portrayed throughout the book, it evoked feelings of wanting to return to that country. Our family highly recommends these supplemental and recreational books, as they will be a great addition to your personal library.

In reality, it is not always feasible to travel to certain parts of the world to learn about different countries, yet it is so important to provide students with a richness of geography and a love for different cultures and people groups. With these wonderful experiences, such as reading A Kid’s Guide to China, . . . Costa Rica, and . . . Kenya, children learn to appreciate the uniqueness of the world and all that it contains. To have a better understanding of diversity, which is the key for any student, to realize the value that each country has when pieced together to form the place we all live, the world! 

-Product review by Pam Havens, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September 2017