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A World of Wonders: Geographic Travels in Verse and Rhyme Hardcover – March 4, 2002


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A World of Wonders: Geographic Travels in Verse and Rhyme + ABC: A Child's First Alphabet Book + I Took the Moon for a Walk
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Dial (March 4, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803725795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803725799
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.4 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #633,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Beautiful crackle-varnished pictures (like an old, old world globe) set this playful and informative collection of travel verses apart. Author J. Patrick Lewis explores the world through unconventional poems and riddles, accompanied by illustrator Alison Jay's oil paintings, seen behind a delicate web of wiggly lines in antique-map shades of blue, tan, and green. The quirky verses feature exotic destinations, amazing explorers, and fascinating trivia about geography. (In "One Square Foot Per Person, Please," Lewis writes: "Did you know that all the people / in the world could stand shoulder / to shoulder in a space the size / of the Indonesian island of Bali? / And if they did? / How jolly!") Young readers who wonder why the Red Sea is red, where they can ride a bullet train, or what the difference is between latitude and longitude will get a mini education in this thoughtful and witty picture book. Lewis's previous titles include Doodle Dandies and A Book of Firsts, while Alison Jay's lovely illustrations can be found in Picture This and several others. (Ages 5 and older) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly

In Lewis's (A Burst of Firsts) witty and fact-filled collection of poems, the narrator of the opening poem urges readers to "Discover the world of GE-OG-RA-PHY!" and recommends "traveling by poem." The poet examines not only the explorers (Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, etc.) themselves, but enough odd places and names to intrigue and tickle young readers. He offers a series of riddles about famous cities and facts about the globe ("Did you know [that] 27 Eiffel Towers and Mount Everest are equally tall?") as well as helpful mnemonic devices (e.g., in "How a Cave Will Behave": "A stalactite drips down from the ceiling./ A stalagmite grows up from the ground"). Lewis's verbal somersaults, both whimsical and plentiful, pepper the volume. As two men sit on a hilltop watching the aurora borealis, the speaker sees "clouds go by/ in colored thunderwear"; another tells of an "Archie fellow that I know/ [who] lived on an archi-pel-ago." But he and Jay (Picture This) also convey a sobering message in "Two Animals Talking": a boy says to a beetle, " `Behold all we have conquered, and/ The continents we've crossed!'/ `But since you always win,' said Beetle,/ `What have others lost?' " as the artwork shows a dark billowing cloud from a smokestack and a man chopping down a tree. The artist's many bird's-eye views brim with easy-to-recognize landmarks. She overlays each illustration with a crackle-glass web of lines. A full-scale treat for the armchair traveler. Ages 5-up.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


More About the Author

After nearly three decades as a professor of economics, J. Patrick Lewis turned to poetry. He is the author of more than 75 children's books including A Hippopotamusn't (1990), BoshBlobberBosh (1998), Please Bury Me in the Library (2004), First Dog (2009), Spot the Plot (2009), and The House (2009).

He has recently been named the third U.S. Children's Poet Laureate (2011-2013) by the Poetry Foundation.

His books have been published by Creative Editions, Knopf, Atheneum, Dial, Harcourt, Little, Brown, National Geographic, Chronicle Books, Scholastic, Candlewick, Schwartz & Wade, Holiday House, Sleeping Bear Press, Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press, Dawn Publications, and others. Gulls Hold Up the Sky, his first book of adult poems, was published by Laughing Fire Press (2010).

Pat's children's poems have also appeared in CRICKET (26 times), SPIDER, LADYBUG, CICADA, ODYSSEY, RANGER RICK, HIGHLIGHTS FOR CHILDREN, Ms. Magazine, YOUR BIG BACKYARD, CREATIVE CLASSROOM, STORYTIME, STORYWORKS, CHICKADEE, AHOY, LANGUAGE ARTS, JOURNAL OF CHILDREN'S LITERATURE, BOOKBIRD, READING TODAY and over 100 anthologies. He wrote the 1992 National Children's Book Week poem, printed on one million bookmarks and distributed nationally.

Lewis has received numerous awards from the American Library Association, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and others. He was the recipient of the 2010-11 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Excellence in Children's Poetry Award, presented every two years.

WHERE I'LL BE NEXT--Schools, Bookstores, Conferences

October 14-16, 2011 Poetry Foundation--TED Lecture Chicago, Illiniois
October 23-25, 2011 NY State Reading Assn. Rye Brook, New York
October 28-31, 2011 Keystone State Reading Assn. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
November 5, 2011 Buckeye Book Fair Wooster, Ohio
November 8, 2011 Ashland University Ashland, Ohio
November 15-16, 2011 St. Joseph's College Rensselaer, Indiana
November 17-20, 2011 NCTE Convention Chicago, Illinois
December 1, 2010 Hillview Elementary Newark, Ohio
December 8, 2011 West Chester University (Dan Darigan) West Chester, PA
January 18, 2012 Richard Avenue Elementary Grove City, Ohio
January 24, 2012 Fouse Elementary Westerville, Ohio
March 1-3, 2012 Charlotte Huck Ch. Lit. Conference Redlands, California
April 3-5, 2012 Holland Hall Primary Tulsa, Oklahoma
April 12, 2012 Washington-Centerville Public Library Centerville, Ohio
April 13, 2012 Stingley Elementary Centerville, Ohio
April 17-25, 2012 Anglo-American School Moscow, Russia
April 29-May 2, 2012 IRA Convention Chicago, Illinois
May 10, 2012 Wynford Elementary Bucyrus, Ohio
March 22, 2013 OCTELA Conference Columbus, Ohio

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on June 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"So many places have fabulous names./Like Fried, North Dakota,/The Court of St. James./Siberia, Nigeria, Elyria, Peru,/The White Nile, Black Sea,/And Kalamazoo!/The Great Wall of China, South Pole and Loch Ness,/And 104 Fairview - that's my address!// Thousands of spaces are places to be-/Discover the World of GE-OG-RA-PHY!// Travel by boat or by car or by plane/To visit East Africa, Singapore, Spain./Go by yourself or invite a good friend,/But traveling by poem is what I recommend." J. Patrick Lewis takes the reader on a marvelous geographic journey through poetry. From those who discovered and mapped our world, Columbus, Magellan, and Marco Polo, and amazing phenomena, the Aurora Borealis, San Adreas Fault, stalactites, and stalagmites, to oceans, islands, mountains, places, names, and geographic terms, Mr Lewis fills his poems with the many wonders of our amazing world. Each clever and creative verse is full of interesting and engaging facts, trivia, and fascinating details, and complemented by Alison Jay's beautiful and expressive, evocative artwork, in the soft subdued tones of old maps and globes. Together word and art bring geography to life with imagery, magic, and wit. Perfect for youngsters 9-12, A World Of Wonders is an innovative and inventive collection that challenges the imagination and sends it soaring. "Make the Earth your companion./Walk lightly on it, as other creatures do."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By W. S. Jones on July 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a great way to introduce your kid(s) to poetry! "Knockabout and Knockaboom" was the first poem from the book I memorized with my oldest daughter. She's just six but loves the poems as well. The poems are not only fun, but educational. HIGHLY recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Scott on February 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I've seen this book in a number of classrooms, today in the third grade. It is an interesting poetry book, with unique illustrations. The poems aren't necessarily the greatest in the world, but they will do, but there is a lot that children can learn from this, it is an educational book that helps the children get a grasp of world explorers, some about world geography. Any book that takes children to different parts of the world, to history, and does it in a way that they can easily digest is worth it. So, I'd recommend this book for the classroom and for the home library. You can read it to the child, explain what he or she doesn't know, the places he is not familiar with, and it lends itself wonderful to second to fourth grade.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Acierno on December 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Opened this on the subway & read it to a little boy I met with his family on Christmas Eve! Larry was so captivated I signed it & gave it to him as a present! Someday he will travel the globe!
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By Nancy Moore on January 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book has beautiful illustrations and has many fun interesting geographical facts.
It was perfect for our 8 year old grandchild.
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