Saturday, July 24, 2010

We're Riding on a Caravan - An Adventure on the Silk Road

"Join the caravan for an exciting yearlong trek along China's ancient Silk Road. Following the rhyming, treasure-filled story are informational endnotes about the history of the Silk Road, the story of silk, important cities of China, and a full-spread map."
Ages 4 to 10 years
Written By: Laurie Krebs
Illustrated By: Helen Cann

We're Riding on a Caravan was part of our nightly bed-time book routine for about two weeks straight after we got it.  My daughter has many friends at pre-school who have immigrated here from China with their families, so she enjoyed learning more about part of their history and culture.  There is also a bi-weekly market day in the largest town of the region she is from in Ethiopia, which draws people from all over the area to buy and sell.  And, I take her with me when I sell my artwork at the local weekly Farmers' Market - so there were a surprising number of connections to her real life in this book about ancient China!

The illustrations in this book are simply gorgeous and so full of details.  We spend lots of time on each page just picking out the different things to see and talking about what they mean.  My daughter is extremely observant, and I had to explain to her that the sheep she saw on one page but not on the next probably got eaten for dinner by the traveling family!

The story is told in rhymes, which really helps to keep a child's interest.  There's also a repeating refrain on each page - "We're riding on a caravan, a bumpy, humpy caravan, We're riding on a caravan to places far away" - which my daughter has learned to say with me.

At the end of the story is a map, which I do look at with my daughter to show her how far the caravan traveled.  There is also information about how silk was discovered, the history of the Silk Road, and a little bit about each place mentioned in the story.  These parts are a little beyond my daughter's comprehension right now, but I will definitely read them to her when she is a little older.

All in all, We're Riding on a Caravan is a book that I'm sure we will come back to again and again as my daughter gets older.  The paperback version is currently on sale for $6.49 - an amazing price when you realize your child could enjoy this book for potentially more than five years!

Here are some other books from the Travel the World section of the Barefoot Books catalog that are on sale until August 1st.  We don't have any of them yet, but based on how much we enjoy We're Riding on a Caravan, I may just be ordering a few of them myself during this sale!


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