That is exactly what happened when we heard about our most recent review from By the Way Book Series.
You see, we are headed to Florida in a few weeks for our yearly family vacation and guess what? One of By the Way Book Series is...wait for it... Florida's Treasure Coast- Here We Come.
Our family had the privilege of living in Florida years ago and we have been to Disney a few times, but otherwise our youngest has not had much time in or knowledge of this magical state. At his age, (4th grade) it is not in our current curriculum to do specific state studies, so this book is not only a great tie-in to our trip, helping get us all excited about the things we could see and do, but also a good resource for a state study!
About the book- In Florida's Treasure Coast- Here We Come, author Joy Budensiek tells the story of two children, siblings Alex and Lexi, as they join their grandparents in Florida for a much needed vacation from the cold temperatures where they live. From the minute they step off the plane to the minute they go home, Alex and Lexi get to experience the beauty of Florida. They learn about the tress, the animals, the history and more, shown to them through a Biblical Worldview. While conversational and engaging, the story is like a history, science, Bible, and geography lesson all rolled into one. When a new subject is introduced in the story, there is always a separate fact area on the corresponding page labeled Did You Know? In those sections, you will find additional facts on the subject. For example- technically, a palm tree has no branches, mosquitoes have 47 teeth, and only one side of a whale's brain sleeps at a time. Who knew?
There is a lot of information packed into this 48 page hardback book! Because of that, I think you would find it challenging to read in one sitting if you used it as a read aloud. My 9 year old (4th grader) did read it in one sitting but it took him a while and he was highly motivated considering our upcoming trip. Since then, he picks up the book often and just flips to a few pages he wants to look at or read again. This is often what I find at bedtime!
Places we now want to visit in Florida- Everywhere! But not like you would think. Unlike your usual tourist brochure, the By the Way Book Series is not a specific destination book. Instead, the intent is to focus on God's creation! I love that Scripture is quoted throughout the book and the characters continually praise God for what they see. It is refreshing and encouraging.
If you are interested, there are currently several other books in this series with many more to come! We have already chosen the next one we want to own- Colorado-By the Way! Colorado is another state we have lived in and it holds a special place in our heart, so we look forward to adding this one to our library! New York City is also on the upcoming list, and I know someone that will be perfect for!