The Adventures of David and Kringer in Italy
by Eddie R. Johnson Jr.
BookVenture Publishing LLC

"Ladies and gentlemen, the captain has turned on the seat belt sign. Relax and enjoy your flight to Rome, Italy."

A young boy named David is preparing to visit his grandfather in Charlotte, North Carolina. His mother is confused as to why he’s bringing along his dog Kringer, but David informs her that his grandfather specifically requested that he do so. After an honest mix-up, David and Kringer board the wrong flight and learn that they are not heading to Charlotte. Instead, only after the plane is in the air, and it’s too late to turn back, do they discover that they are on a flight to Rome, Italy.

After landing in Rome, David tries to fly directly back to Charlotte, but the travel agent informs David that all of the flights there are sold out for two days, suggesting that they sightsee in the meantime. With no other choice, David and Kringer visit the Coliseum, the ruins of the ancient Roman civilization, and even the Vatican. Kringer is confused, not understanding the significance of the Pope and reluctant to go anywhere near the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but David is always nearby to encourage him and educate the dog about the famous Italian sights. The two are so wrapped up in tourism that they very nearly run out of time to return to the airport. Kringer laments about all of the other famous places they could have seen such as Venice and Florence if they only had more time, but by now they’ve gotten back on the plane in order to reunite with their family. Now ready to return home, the duo settles in only to receive one last surprise.

Even from an early age, cartoons and restaurants can teach children a lot about the existence of other cultures without offering a proper explanation as to what they’re learning. This book offers the ability to expand children’s horizons and learn about the history and culture of Italy with a cheerful boy and his cute, curious dog as guides. Without getting too bogged down in details, this book teaches by showing the things that children are most likely to notice and recognize: big buildings and prominent landmarks. By using large, clearly defined illustrations as each attraction is mentioned, children will be able to make a visual memory that they can recall as they learn about what makes Italy special and unique.

As the ending of this book indicates, this is the first in a series of international adventures for David and Kringer, providing children the opportunity to learn about the world one country at a time. Aimed at younger readers, there isn’t much in the way of detail or explanation, only enough to allow children to put a name to something that they might recognize. While this limitation might not be ideal for parents wanting children to learn about their own cultural heritage, it does a fine job of providing general information that won’t confuse younger children or get lost in the shuffle of too much explanation. With the potential to foster a love of travel at a young age, this could be a great book to share with a child to get them excited for an upcoming trip or to remind them of things that they have seen abroad.

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