I am one of those people who arrive in a new city armed with a guidebook full of scribbled tips for restaurants and coordinates of the local playgrounds. I recently had a revelation that my kids are actually becoming fellow travelers, rather than just two bundles that need to be dragged along and bribed with ice-cream breaks to squeeze in a bit of culture in between amusement parks and beach side fun.
So no wonder I got super exited when I found out about Leap & Hop, a guidebook series designed for kids. We are planning a two-family trip to Sri Lanka with a bunch of kids in tow, and I am hoping the Leap & Hop Sri Lanka will help my eldest to get a bit more out the trip.
The design of the book is fantastic: colourful and whimsical illustration combined with colour photos – so much so that I feel tempted to start filling in the blanks myself. It has a great balance of activity book-like features and concrete facts, that help make sense of the grown-up destinations for the kids.
The way the book introduces history, religions, geography, food and culture of Sri Lanka is bite-sized and playful, and offers plenty of entry points to engage curious youngsters into talking about issues that normally would not catch their attention. It is also very helpful for adults who may not have all the answers ready! Games and quizzes make it interactive and I imagine those will be a great way of filling many boring moments on trains, restaurants or when the adults just want to watch the sunset.
My son has already started filling in the details of our trip, and there is space for drawings, writing down your impressions and gluing mementos like tickets in the book, so that it will become a personal travel log by the end of the trip. Although the book concentrates on the most important sights in the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka, there is so much other information that I imagine it doesn’t matter much even if your itinerary doesn’t take you to all of those places.
I am impressed by the amount of research and design work has gone to this book and would recommend it to anyone traveling with kids. The publisher’s recommendation is for kids over 8 but I think it can be enjoyed by even younger children as long as they are proficient readers and an adult will help them along. The destinations currently available are Bali, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Cambodia, Rajastan, Paris and Sri Lanka.
Books are priced HK 170 (about RM 96) and postage to Malaysia is HKD 40 (about RM 22).
* We received a free copy for review. Opinions are our own, as always!