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The Far East comes alive in this activity book centered on Marco Polo’s journey to China from Venice along the 13th-century Silk Road. Kids will join Marco as he travels by caravan through vast deserts and over steep mountain ranges, stopping in exotic cities and humble villages, until at last he arrives at the palace of the Kublai Khan. Woven throughout the tale are 21 activities that highlight the diverse cultures Marco encountered along the way. Activities include making a mythical map, creating a mosaic, fun with Feng Shui, making paper, and putting on a wayang-kulit (shadow-puppet play). Just for fun, kids will learn a few words of Turkish, Persian, Mongol, Hindi, and Chinese. A complete resource section with magnificent museums and their Web sites invites kids to embark on their own expedition of discovery.
Marco Polo was only a young boy when he joined his uncle and father in a journey to Asia. You can pretty much say that he was born to see the world. By reading his life story, your child might be encouraged to explore the world too. It will also open your child’s eyes to the realizations of geographic and cultural differences. Meet Marco Polo today!
Marco Polo’s sense of wonder started when he was young. As a child growing up in the streets of Venice, Italy, his imagination often turned to Asia and to what might be going on there. Little did he know that soon he would be traveling to that mysterious continent personally. You may know his name, but perhaps you've wondered, "What's so great about him?" This book (part of the “What’s So Great About…”) series, gives kids insight into life, times and career of Marco Polo.
Marco Polo was 17 the first time he saw his father. Soon after, he joined his father and uncle on a trip from Marco's hometown of Venice, Italy, to China. In the 1200s, that journey took several years and the three travelers faced many hazards. Once he arrived, Marco impressed the country's powerful leader Kublai Khan enough to become an ambassador and governor. He spent years crisscrossing China, then known as Cathay, in the Khan's service. He finally returned home, but a few years later he was imprisoned during a conflict between Venice and Genoa. During his imprisonment, he wrote a book that described places and sights few Europeans knew even existed and changed their view of the world forever.
Taking a comprehensive, nuanced, and inclusive approach to Christopher Columbus, this illuminating biography with activities for young readers places him in the context of the explorations that came before, during, and after his lifetime. It portrays the “Admiral of the Ocean Seas” neither as hero nor heel, but as a flawed and complex man whose significance is undeniably monumental. Providing kids, parents, and teachers with a fuller picture of the seafaring life and the dangers and thrills of exploration, author Ronald Reis details all four of Columbus’s voyages to the New World, not just his first, and describes the year that Columbus spent stranded on the island of Jamaica without hope of rescue. A full chapter is devoted to painting a more complete and complex portrait of the indigenous peoples of the New World and another to the consequences of Columbus’s voyages—the exchange of diseases, ideas, crops, and populations between the New World and the Old. Engaging cross-curricular activities, such as taking nautical measurements, simulating a hurricane, making an ancient globe, and conducting silent trade, elucidate nautical concepts introduced and the times in which Columbus lived.

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