This isn’t a sponsored post. It just happened that one day while my son was at home poorly and feeling woefully sorry for himself I received an email from Lonely Planet asking if we’d be interested in reviewing Extreme Planet and How To Be A World Explorer. This cheered him up no end and as an avid user of Lonely Planet books myself we quickly accepted the offer.

A week later, and fully recovered, a parcel arrives for us with the books inside. First up its worth saying that Will is aged 7, in Year 3 and a free reader and this kind of book is just his thing. He’s a real questioner and definitely prefers facts & knowledge to fiction. His bedtime reading pile at the moment consists of Horrible Histories, The Top 20 of Everything, & Where’s Wally.  He’s a fan of Steve Backshall and Deadly 60.  You get the picture.

He was immediately drawn to the bright cover & photography of Extreme Planet and particularly liked the ‘NOT FOR PARENTS’ stamp across the front. The book promises a whirlwind tour of the globe seeking out the extremes and doesn’t disappoint.

Inside, the content is grouped into double page spread themes such as Incredible Caves and Super-Size Attractions. Each content spread is bursting with eye catching photos, illustrations and interestingly written facts. It’s not too wordy nor too lean. The facts are grouped in easy to read, well laid out paragraphs and the pictures tell and support the story well.

My son’s favourite bit so far?  That’s Gotta Hurt – some of the ouchiest things on the planet.  It’s gruesome and he’s 7 – a perfect match!

It’s the kind of book you can dip in and out of. The kind of book my son loves to have by his bed at night. Each content spread is perfect for a quick 5 – 10 minutes read before the lights go out (…and some more under the cover with a torch)

I asked Will what he thought about ‘How to be a World Explorer’ as he spent so long with his head in the other book. He liked it, I could tell. How? Well, this is always a good sign…

‘Arrrr mum, look at this, listen to this…..’ That immediate burning desire to share. Once he picked it up and started browsing I can tell it fired him up.

I think because we received both books together and Extreme Planet has a more visually appealing cover to a 7 year old Will wasn’t immediately smitten with How to be a World Explorer. However, once it had grasped his attention he was hooked.

The cover imagery is a lot more retro, with an illustrative style throughout.

In terms of content this book is split broadly into areas of exploration – Jungle & Savannah, Desert, Polar, Oceans & Rivers etc. Within that you’re invited & challenged to explore your environment ‘Can you uncover the hidden mysteries of the desert, armed with little more than a bad-tempered camel, a plastic bag and a headscarf soaked with wee?’

Will definately liked the humour of this book. ‘How to’ tips, tricks and facts mixed with jokes – a winning combination for any young boy with a thirst for discovering the world.

To sum up I would definately recommend both books for boys aged 7+. They are educational, informative, humourous and an attractive addition to any bookshelf.

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