As reviewers for the #ReadYourWorld Multicultural Children's Book Day, SHIFT Book Box was so excited to be gifted a beautiful hardcover copy of @Barefoot Books’ Amazing Places to review. Written by Miralda Colombo (@miraldacolombo on Insta and @ilcucchiaino on Twitter) and illustrated by Beatrice Cerocchi (@beacerocchi on Insta), Amazing Places is comfortably oversized and well-designed-- rich with bits of trivia and snapshot-like images but not busy or overcrowded.
About the Author
Miralda Colombo works in communication, is the creator of the blog Il Cucchiaino di Alice, and is the author of several picture books and three cookbooks centered around cooking with children. Colombo and her husband live in Italy with their three children, Alice, Lea, and Edo; there she divides her time “between the computer, the stove and the terrace.”
About the Illustrator
Rome-based Beatrice Cerocchi holds degrees in both illustration and architecture. In 2018 she was selected for the prestigious illustrators exhibition at the Bologna’s Children’s Book Fair. As an artist there is the flavor of Ludwig Bemelmens energy and a touch of Christian Robinson cheer in Cerocchi’s style, through in this work the illustrations have a bit more of a static feel, evocative of a family’s travel photographs.
About the Book
This work features fifteen of “the world’s most remarkable monuments,” a list that dovetails closely with the finalists of the New 7 Wonders of the World with the author’s own twist. Amazing Places begins by situating readers, providing a world map with a legend-- and page numbers!-- for the monuments featured, definitions of the “Types of Places” (eg: mausoleum, statue, watchtower), and “Tips for Travel.” Each of the fifteen monuments is framed first on a double-page spread that highlights its size and scope and placing it in the modern day. This spread is accompanied by a paragraph of information that touches on the monument’s who, what, when, where, and why. A second double-page spread features distinct pieces of information organized under headings that provide a familiar rhythm over the course of the work, including suggestions regarding what to pack when visiting, a story from the history of the monument, a “wow”-inspiring detail, a bit about the experience of entering/arriving at the place, and more. Standouts spreads include Moai, the Great Wall of China, and Machu Picchu. Others, such as the Colosseum and Petra translate to paper less successfully. Illustrations are uncluttered; planes of primary colors and plenty of empty space highlight the majesty of the monuments, and a cool, earthy palette is soothing and inspiring.
While ability diversity is lacking throughout and information focuses primarily on the fascinating and cursory rather than any troubling truths, Amazing Places features tantalizing trivia that will inspire young readers not only to dream of future adventures but also to learn more and these monumental spots from across the globe.
Learn more about Multicultural Children’s Book Day
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2021 (1/29/21) is in its 8th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators.
Eight years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues. Read about our Mission & History HERE.
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