'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 24 August 2020

Review: How Airports Work Activity Book; Trains

How Airports Work offers a wonderous world of discovery and interaction. For kids interested in planes and travel, and with over 200 stickers to find places for amongst the images, it is a learning experience with hours of involvement.

Extremely novel and absorbing, this educational publication is by James Gulliver Hancock, who has developed a whole series of different sized books about transport for various ages.

There is so much for kids to see, learn and participate in here.  Fun-filled activities are found in runways and mazes, the route of suitcases, matching clocks with departure times, and packing bags by choosing stickers that reflect kids’ personal choice of clothing.

Create your own meal tray or search through lots of countries’ stickers to decorate your suitcases. Several pages of ‘differences’ keep the reader searching.

The complex working of the car park is viewed up close: escalators, exits, entries, ticket booths and passport control, plus a challenge to work out the departure board!

A panoramic view of an airport scene on a double spread hides a search and find, while the experience of going through security is visible step-by-step.

A cargo maze and a join-the-dots mystery reveals what the packages conceal. Jigsaws in the Hanger, unfinished plane logos, word searches, images of various airports and a fill-the-blanks page, offer hours of learning and imagining. This is just half of what this marvellous activity book has to offer.

Trains is a vibrant board book that has many identical images to the detailed and informative How Trains Work. This book though, is purposely aimed at a younger audience, again lovers of trains, from toddlers upward.

Large, bold and colourful illustrations depict the evolution of the train. The story begins again from the same point as its big brother, where first trains were pulled by horses on wooden tracks.

Steam power follows as steam trains of all shapes and sizes power up with coal. Modern trains from various countries are on show; those that climb mountains, others that go through mountains, and ones that travel under the sea.

Trains that travel in cities – above ground and underground, are all displayed in detail amidst people hurrying to catch their transport. At the station, we get a bird’s eye view of clocks, ticket booths and the overall commotion of the functioning sector.

People inside compartments are visible; sitting up eating, typing or snoozing. Above them is a view of their carry-on luggage, musical instruments, suitcases, backpacks and even a cat in a cat-carrier. There is a food bar and sleeping compartments.

This book is ideal for teaching the very young language through dialogue and questions and answers in response to the images. It’s an historical tour through train history and due to its durable, wipe-safe pages, will be opened again and again.

Title: How Airports Work Activity Book; Trains
Author/Illustrator: James Gulliver Hancock
Publisher: Lonely Planet Kids, $12.99
Publication Date: June 2020
Format: Paperback; Board Book
ISBN: 9781838691059; 9781838690564
For ages: 5+; 1+
Type: Activity Book; Board Book