The World is Waiting for You
written by Barbara Kerley
2013 (National Geographic)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
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Perhaps the best way I could describe The World is Waiting for You is to call it the nonfiction version of Oh, The Places You'll Go!. The book starts with these words:
Right outside your window there's a world to explore. Ready?
Readers are encouraged to "dive in" as they see oceanographer Sylvia Earle diving with dolphins in the Atlantic Ocean. "Dig deeper" with paleontologist Paul Serreno as he uncovers fossils in the Sahara Desert in Niger. "Take a leap" with astronaut Robert L. Curbeam, Jr. as he works in space on a section of the International Space Station. Interspersed with the wonderful two page photographs of these famous explorers are photographs of children taking time to explore the world outside their windows. They look into logs, snow tunnels, race boats on rivers, and face the wind at the beach. It is these photographs that truly carry the message of the book which is to encourage children to explore their world. I'm guilty of allowing my children to spend too much time inside and not enough beyond the walls of our house. It's just easier to do that, but I know I should do better and so should a lot of other parents. There is a great big world outside that needs to be explored and The World is Waiting for You is just the jump start that we need.
If you are teaching a lesson on verbs, this would be a good book to share with your class. After reading the book and listing the verbs in the book, it would be a lot of fun to create verb booklets. Words like poke, soar, and peek would yield interesting illustrations from young writers. The World is Waiting for You would also be a great start to a unit on the age of exploration. Why do we go to caves or space? Why did people risk their lives and sail across oceans? These are some of the questions that can be explored (pun intended) as you begin the unit. In the words of Ms. Frizzle, it's time to "take chances, make mistakes, and get messy" as you put down your electronic device and explore the real world.