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The Travel Game Hardcover – May 18, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3–Growing up above his hardworking family's tailor shop in Buffalo, NY, young Tad is surrounded by loving Polish relatives. On a busy Saturday after work and a lunch of golumki, fried mushrooms, and homemade bread, Grandma reminds the boy it's time for his nap, but Tad declares he is too old for one. Aunt Hattie suggests that they take a rest in his room and enjoy their favorite game–the travel game. To play, the pair needs a globe and the book 1001 Pictures from Around the World. As they spin the globe, Tad's finger lands near Hong Kong. Aunt and nephew read about their imaginary destination and set off on a wild adventure involving a seven-story white pagoda, water taxis, and tigers. The ending–Aunt Hattie napping on Tad's bed while he helps his family in the shop below–will probably come as no surprise to children. Alley's cheery and busy street, home, and shop scenes in ink, watercolor, and acrylic are filled with the sorts of details that are fully appreciated over multiple readings. Children will be charmed by the warmth and humor of Grandits's wonderful tribute to family memories and the power of imagination.–Maura Bresnahan, High Plain Elementary School, Andover, MA
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“Alley’s cheery and busy street, home, and shop scenes in ink, watercolor, and acrylic are filled with the sorts of details that are fully appreciated over multiple readings. Children will be charmed by the warmth and humor of Grandits’s wonderful tribute to family memories and the power of imagination.”—School Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
The action all occurs in the life of the mind -- the imaginative tour the boy and the intrepid Aunt Hattie to "mysterious Hong Kong" via globe and photo atlas.
So many reasons to like this book. Here are some of mine. Entirely without preaching, it makes the points that:
* adventure is a state of mind, with our capacity to experience limited only by our imagination;
* the whole world is our neighborhood, and if we interact respectfully, we will be delightfully rewarded;
* work is a family affair, and it is a source of pride to do a good job and contribute to the whole;
* it is fabulous to travel, and ultimately it is even more satisfying to return to those we love and the satisfactions of our daily responsibilities.
The setting is a time when men still wore hats, but the time difference, while noticeable, is not heavy handed (and the contributions of women to the family enterprise are just as respected and important as those of the men).
Kudos to Grandits for integrating all those great messages into a charming story. Though it might not work for the action/adventure set, we will enjoy The Travel Game for years to come!