Yesterday I reviewed the Molly and the Magic Suitcase book, Molly Goes to Shanghai. As you may remember, I’ve visited Shanghai in the past and it is one of my favorite cities.
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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My daughter would love this book, thanks sharing such a great review.
Tanya @ Moms Small Victories says
I have not been to Sydney but love the illustrations in these kids books. Of course, since I host Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge, I also encourage my kids to read books that are set around the world too. This would be a perfect addition.
I have not been to Sydney, but I hope to visit someday. This book would be great for my boys, a perfect way to kick-off summer reading and learn about a new place.
I was traveling for two years in Australia and been in Sydney a few times. I would love to read this book (I love children’s books) and see how much I recognize from my experiences. I love it that they mentioned the Australian accent too 🙂 The ‘Molly goes to’ series look very fun to read. I would probably enjoy them too 🙂
Kevin Wagar says
This looks like a fantastic series. We love reading fun stories to our kids that get them inspired about travel, and this looks perfect! Thanks so much for sharing this.
Stephanie Langlet says
My two nephews are fond of books, and they especially love when their travelling aunty read them a story related to a place she knows. There’s always a lot of explanations about what I witnessed. But I’m afraid my sister is sometimes not so happy to hear they want to travel like me!
Now I have to jump to your review on Shanghai’s book, as my Chinese brother lives there and I know the city a little.
Keep on being the cool aunt who exposes them to the world!
Rob Taylor says
I just went through this post with my oldest and he now wants to check out all of the Molly books. Thanks for sharing such a cool series!
I hope he gets to check it out!
What a great book review!! Sharing diverse cultures with kids on our own website, joysunbear.com, I was immediately intrigued by the Molly books. The illustrations are colorful and sweet and your review interests me in reading this book to my little girl even more. We have never traveled internationally, but with the work we are doing for our own site, we are learning a lot about other countries and find ourselves making a bucket list of all the places we would love to explore with our daughter. Australia definitely is dear to us since we work with a teacher and global classroom there and would love to be able to visit them and see the country! Just retweeted your Molly week and definitely reading your other reviews. ?
What a cute series and now I want to head to Sydney.
I love the idea of introducing kids to travel through books. You can start instilling wanderlust early 🙂
Yes! And it really does work.
melody pittman says
You know, I am no stranger to this concept. Though my daughters are 23 and 21, we read so many books about history and geography when they were young, and it really helped influence what we saw and where we vacationed. I mean, if Mary kate and Ashley had not had all those movies, we would have missed half our family vacations during their childhood. One book, “United Tates of America” was about a family (the Tates) traveling all around the country and it was one of our favorites. I hope it is still in circulation because I hope to share it with my grandchildren some day. Keep on traveling and exposing your kids to all the wonders of the world. 😉
I forgot about the Olsen twins movies. I think that combination of movies and books is what got me obsessed with cities I’d never been to when i was a child. I’ll have to look at that United Tates of America book. Thanks!
This series is a lovely way to introduce children to new places, new cultures and tell them about nature, animals etc., the seems to blend the elements of fun with information very well and the illustrations are so sweet.
It’s so great, isn’t it?
Sydney is one of the places I would love to go. I’ve always wanted to but now I really feel like the kid and I can take a mini pre trip. Great review.
I like that term – mini pre-trip.