Children’s ebook: Planet Explorers Walt Disney World 2011

Planet Explorers Walt Disney World 2011: A Guidebook for Kids
By Laura Schaefer

This is the first ebook that I have ever reviewed, due mainly to the fact that I have no e-reader of any sort.  This Planet Explorers book is for 8 to 12 year olds and is all about Walt Disney World.

I read the book in a PDF file format, as I found that the easiest way for myself to go through the pages.  As I scrolled through the book, just to get a feel for what it was like, I was really glad to see lots of awesome pictures, which as you know is something that I look for in a guide book. I also look for a table of contents and an index.  This book had a table of contents, but it did not have page number as it is an ebook and, by design, does not have pages.  There was no index for the same reason.  There were no maps of the parks throughout the book, but I was intrigued by this monorail and train track diagram.  I had never seen that before.

The beginning of the book was a brief introduction to the book’s style, including what a few abbreviations meant and included basic park information such as Fastpass, Height Requirements, and Live Shows. A history of Walt Disney World is also at the front of the book.

Now, let’s talk about the specifics, the park info.  There is no explanation about the park itself, the book just immediately goes into the information about each land in the park.  This is probably a good thing as this is a children’s book and they are not interested in the history as much as they are interested in “The Now” and what they can do and see when they get there. Each land has three sections; “What’s cool about it?”, “Fun Facts!” and “Food”.  The first section describes the attractions in the area, the Fun Facts are details and interesting bits of information within the land and then the food is, obviously, all about what food you can get and where in that land.  At the end of each park section, there is a heading that talks about the characters and where you can find them in the park and then a few more touring tips.

I do not know if this happens in the other styles of the book available, but on the PDF version, there are links throughout the book on words and names that may not be known and, when clicked on them, you are taken to a page to learn more information.  The book also has scattered “Did you hear?” facts, and “In their own words” quotes. There is a list of the special tours that are available, though no description of them and a short sentence on all of the live shows available in the parks.

There are small but informative sections on both water parks and on Downtown Disney, which I was excited to see. Children don’t always learn so much about these sections in other guide books, so this was refreshing.  The next section covered the resorts with a small paragraph and picture dedicated to each. This was followed by a list of a few suggested restaurants that might be appealing to children.  The end of the book had a list of “Disney-isms”, a clickable list of Imagineers that sends readers to an information site about each of these men and woman (Alice Davis), and a quiz on the Walt Disney World Resort.  The book was finished off with a few final tips and a note from the publisher.

I really enjoyed reading some of the fact and information about the lands.  All of the information was kid friendly and there were even some tips that I did not know.  I liked that the book was interactive in the way that if there was a name or a term that may not be understood, it was highlighted and they were sent to a link for more information.  All of the links were kid friendly as well!

Why is this book kid friendly? There are not a lot of large paragraphs to read, just small lines, which appeals to not just children, but really everyone. There are lots of pictures and fun facts and it gives the children the basics of what they need to know. Again, I just love the links as well throughout the book to kid-friendly websites, a great touch!

The book is purchased on the Smashwords website, which you have to sign up for a free account before you purchase the book.  The book is a mere $2.99 and filled with content. Once you purchase the book, it can be downloaded in several different formats, including Epub, PDF, PDB, RTF, Plain Text and online reading formats like HTML. This book is definitely a worth-while purchase for the little members of your family!

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