Friday, December 5, 2014

Ken Jennings' Junior Genius Guides: Maps and Geography

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Ken Jennings' Junior Genius Guides: Maps and Geography
by Ken Jennings
Illustrated by Mike Lowery
Little Simon, 2014. 160 pages.

JEOPARDY! champion and New York Times bestselling author Ken Jennings brings together entertaining map and geography trivia as part of his Junior Genius Guides collection. The trivia is genuinely fascinating and at times hilarious. The chapters are formatted as school periods, including "Art Class", "Recess", and "Lunch". This gives the book an enjoyable structure and breaks up the trivia with ideas for hands-on activities. In "Art Class" he encourages the reader to decide what shapes countries look like and draw them (for example, he points out that Slovenia resembles a chicken). For "Recess" he challenges the reader to draw a treasure map using a backyard or schoolyard as the landscape and then send someone on a treasure hunt. The illustrations by Lowery match the tone of the book perfectly. Overall an enjoyable geography experience.   

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