In an ongoing effort to a) engage my children in helping to plan our family trips and b) encourage my son to read something other than the Wimpy Kid books, I got ahold of the brand-new Not For Parents New York City published by Lonely Planet. It’s designed for “young adult” readers, according to Amazon.com. I argue it’s a bit simple for teenagers, but I think the colorful photos, drawings and short snippets of information about the history and sights of the Big Apple are ideal for ages 8 to 12.
Author Klay Lamprell argues on the first page that this is not a guidebook, and I agree that it’s not a comprehensive listing of all there is for families to do in New York City. But the slim paperback (96 pages) does make the city incredibly interesting to curious kids, especially those who appreciate wacky facts and funny stories.
I’ve asked my children to flip through the book to check for any “must see” things they want to do on our trip to the city next month. I’ll be sure to pack the book, too, so they can read the facts pertaining to stops we’ve already planned: Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Broadway and Little Italy. For example, did you know that Lady Gaga is the daughter of an Italian New Yorker, and that her real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanota? (I didn’t.)
Other fun stuff: The original 1907 taxis in NYC were painted shiny red and green, but fleet owner Harry Allen wanted them to stand out, so he painted them yellow. Toilet paper was invented by a New Yorker. The imaginary location on Sesame Street was inspired by buildings on Amsterdam Avenue, and on November 10, fans visit the area to celebrate the long running kids’ show; the same actor has played Big Bird since 1969!
Yep, my kiddos love these little bits of trivia, and I hope the book will inspire a love of New York City, as well.
Other Not For Parents city guides include Paris, London and Rome. Purchase on Amazon.com for $11.10.
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