Today I’m reviewing the book Molly Goes to Sydney.
My experience with Sydney is not as extensive as mine with Shanghai. I’ve never been. The only thing I know about the city is very superficial. I know it’s in Australia. I know about the Opera House.
So it’s time to learn more. I was ready to review this book, though, because I had some questions. I liked how the Molly and the Magic Suitcase series approached a city that I’m familiar with and love and know a lot about. How will it work for a place I feel no connection to? Will it draw me in? Will it provide the same kind of dialog between me and my kids?
Let’s find out.
A review of Molly Goes to Sydney
A surfing competition in Australia is all it takes to convince Molly and Michael to use their suitcase to bring them to Sydney. They instantly land on a beach. I instantly know that I’m in to learn new things about this city. They meet Sydney local, Wesley, and he’s up to being their tour guide. Wesley speaks English, but it’s pointed out that there are differences between American and English accents and terminology.
Now let me take a brief moment to step away from the plot and talk about Wesley. I am horrible at accents. I can’t speak in accents, I don’t think in accents. But I noticed myself taking on an Australian accent whenever I read Wesley’s parts. Wesley had a very different and distinct voice. Very cool!
Back to the story.
As I mentioned earlier, I knew I was going to learn new things about Sydney immediately. This is because I was thinking of Sydney, the city with the tall buildings and the harbor. They landed on a beach. Sydney is more than just the city. And this is emphasized as Molly and Michael adventure out to more natural areas and parks before ever getting to any buildings. Who knew?
While stopping around different parts of Sydney and downtown (the area with the buildings), we learn more about Sydney’s culture and Australia’s history. This includes a brief introduction to both the aboriginal population and the convict ancestors. We meet the Australian animals we love, discover new ones, and find sea creatures both on the coast and in the aquarium. We stop at places that are popular past times, learn how Australians stay active, and sample unofficial national dishes.
Throughout the story, Molly and Michael have experiences that remind them of things they did in other places they’ve visited. I like how those connections are made. It’s especially thoughtful for kids who have read other books in the series. But, most of all, I think kids relate well to asking questions and making connections. It happens in books, it happens in travel, it happens in everyday life.
I started this book knowing very little about Sydney. Now I feel it’s a place I would love to visit with my kids someday. It’s more than just the city buildings and iconic Opera House. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that my kids now recognize that icon. I’m just happy they now know that the city behind it has a lot more to offer.
Who should get this book?
This is definitely the book to read for anyone with kids who love Australia, and Sydney specifically. But, I would also consider it as an option for kids who enjoy learning about animals and nature. It’s a great way to start a conversation about animals in Australia.
More informationGo down under with Molly Goes to Sydney. Read my review of the #kidsbook here. Click To Tweet
Want to read it for yourself? Buy on Amazon (free digital version for Amazon Unlimited subscribers)
Intrigued to know why Bondi Beach didn’t make the cut, or what pattern the author uses when writing these books? Get the behind the scenes look here.
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This post is part of Molly Week!
Age Range: 4-8 Years
Author: Chris Oler, Illustrated by Amy Houston Oler
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Please note: I was given a copy of the book to review, but all opinions are my own.
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