Crameye, the main character, is a young boy who's father is a secret agent. Because of the father's occupation, the family does a lot of traveling and relocating to different countries. In each country Crameye explores and mixes with the local culture.
The First Adventure Series from The Adventurous Mailbox contains eight books covering the countries of Finland, Taiwan, Brazil, Thailand, Greece, Tanzania and Peru. (There are two books on Peru.) Just beyond the reading level of the Magic Tree House series, these books teach kids about foreign countries by engrossing them in stories. In Finland, the first book, Crameye's family travels to Finland and meets up with another family they know well. The two oldest children are given a mission which involves traveling across Finland and serves to protect the nation's culture.
My kids burst out laughing when I read the following section from the book. Crameye, a very friendly and talkative kid was trying to make small talk with an adult Finnish native on the bus. After he asked "Miten menee?" (How are you doing?) He realized he had made a cultural error.
What I said means How are you doing, but is too informal to say to a person older than you. It would be like walking up to some businessperson or a doctor and asking, "Hey dude, what's going on with your bad self?"After ordering the books, they are shipped to your house in a cute package, from overseas, and directly from Crameye (the main character) himself.
This unique way of shipping gets kids interested right away. Our package came with one letter addressed to each of the children. They wondered who Crameye was, and why he was sending them books. Full of curiosity, we dove right into the stories.
Also included in the letter from Crameye was a link and password to his webiste. We really enjoyed reading some of the posts on topics such as food and how people eat in different countries.
The target audience for the books is around 5th grade. Both the Magic Tree House and Magic School Bus series cover science and history, American Girl books and Little House chapter books cover history....... all of which are fantastic. This series fits right in, but covers culture and geography. It's a perfect addition to a bookshelf designed to inspire and teach kids through story.
Due to the way the books are packaged and sent, they make a unique gift. What are your kids getting for Christmas?
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