A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Imaginative kids will study the maps and illustrations despite the visual overload, and the tongue-in-cheek but unpolished and sometimes historically confusing essays might entertain them and adults reading aloud. But the line between fact and fiction is sometimes blurred -- they may need to check in to make sure their child is able to tell the difference.
What's the story?
Is it any good?
The mysterious owner of this unusually packaged book -- a catalog of exotic locations resembling something that fell out of Indiana Jones' baggage -- invites us to travel in divergent directions. First, author Albert Lorenz seems to be trying hard to captivate readers about real and fanciful events, and then he mixes in some joking, disorienting nonsense. Readers may be able to sift fact from fiction, but it's annoying that the author mixed it up in the first place.
Lorenz tries hard -- sometimes too hard -- to keep readers entertained, but the juvenile humor often contains references that will go over the heads of the target age groups. Although the illustrations and their captions are rich with information, the artwork is too busy and of variable quality. Still, imaginative youngsters may ignore these flaws and be enthralled by the sheer number and diversity of factoids and details.