Living Geography! Learning geography can be made boring and repetitive or it can be exciting when brought to life through literature and media (or, even better, real life experience)! When I find books like Travels of Gannon and Wyatt by Pattie Wheeler and Keith Hemstreet that spark a natural interest in science and geography, I just want to jump for joy. :)
Meeting Gannon and Wyatt
So after reading that this series is recommended for ages 8 and up, I intended on sending the books to my nieces (10 and 13) to read. But when we received them and my daughter (5 1/2) saw the covers, she asked me to read them to her and of course I obliged. I figured that she would be bored and then I would be able to send the books on. What happened was the exact opposite – she LOVES this series! And I’m not exaggerating, she has literally followed me around the house with Botswana in her arms, begging me to read it to her. We are reading other books for literature like Little House on the Prairie, Winnie the Pooh, and The Adventures of Buster Bear, but she always asks for Botswana first. I was so pleasantly surprised by this! She definitely has a more advanced understanding and wants to learn as much as she can about the world, as well as a fascination with maps, so maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised by this. But we went with it and both of us have enjoyed the time spent reading these books and learning about the people, animals, and places in the countries explored. She has been especially interested in hearing about how the boys (two kids like her!) interacted with the animals, and always eagerly awaits the next photo in the book.
Here Emma is watching a documentary on rhinos after reading about the rhino that charged Gannon and Wyatt’s jeep:
Some things that we really like about the books:
– There are photos throughout the books.
– A wide variety of animals are described and much is learned about their behaviors, habits, etc.
– It’s in journal format, each kid sharing their take on experiences.
– Gannon and Wyatt are very different personalities, Gannon being more feeling- and experience-oriented (he is interested in helping the people and animals) and Wyatt being very science-minded and detail-oriented. This really adds interest to the series since we are exploring the world through two different points-of-view.
– A list of common phrases in the language spoken is found in each book.
– There is a map of the country explored on the inside cover of the books.
– They are anything but boring! In Botswana alone, as they try to track down a lioness and her cubs in danger before poachers reach them, a lion has charged them, one of the boys nearly died from an illness, they found themselves stranded in a dead jeep in the middle of a body of water inhabited by crocodiles, a leopard has stalked their camp, and much more!
Whenever we read about a new place we look it up on the wall map and our mini globe!
Here Emma is looking for Botswana:
We recommend this series as a great way to bring geography to life! We have found it to be an ideal springboard to study habitats, animals, and the people in other countries. We have kept our studies light due to my daughter’s age, but I can definitely see using the books to create unit studies/notebooking around in the future!
Awesome Bonuses Can Be Found at the Official Website!
Visit www.travelswithgannonandwyatt.com for photos of Gannon and Wyatt’s travels (these are TERRIFIC!), videos, to follow their blog, and more!
Also check out the Travels With Gannon and Wyatt Facebook Page where they are giving away 3 Kindle Fires in November!
Want the Books?
You can purchase Botswana and Great Bear Rainforest through the Travels With Gannon and Wyatt website here. Egypt will be available in January 2014, and Botswana is currently available in eBook format for a great price on Amazon.com!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.