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Travels of Marco Re ePub

On a sidenote before I give a synopsis of the book: I wanted to mention something interesting about this book. The book tells that due North of where Marco lives is the tallest building in the world. Since in 1956 when this book was written this building in fact was the Empire State Building and it was so much higher than other buildings existing at that time, it must have seemed unnecessary for the author to state the name of the building. Today there are nine other buildings taller than this one and that is not including the twin towers of the World Trade Center that came down. There also have been 20 or so buildings built since that come near to the size of the Empire State building. Nowhere in the book is it stated to take place in New York City but if you know your history you would know that it is. Also if you were reading it when it was released it would have been obvious as well. Interesting to me!

Now for the synopsis: Marco is a pigeon who lives with twenty-four other pigeons in a rooftop coop, pleasantly situated in a grove of television aerials. He is well-fed on buckwheat and let out of his coop each day for excercise. Each day he travels and meets friends throughout the city and enjoys trying samples of wht they eat and hearing different phrases that make them culturally unique. In the end he follows other pigeons to "a big central park' where he meets all of his friends and marvels that while they all eat bagels, rice, hot peas, melons, spaghetti etc outside of the park, inside the park they all eat peanuts.

The illustrations are line drawings in black and red with 44 pages of text. With a little commentary as you go along, this is a very nice book about the many different people you meet along the way. You could use this book in a Five in a Row style with your preschooler and add commentary mentioning such things as how the name Marco came from Marco Polo who also had many travels. You could talk about the United Nations being in New York city and how it represents the many countries and people of the world. The people are only identified with culural elements such as food, phrases and clothing styles shown in the illustrations. The country or cultural names are never mentioned. You could perhaps have the children guess their country of cultural origin. You could include other picturebooks of pigeons or read the Newberry book, Gay the Longneck Pigeon, after this picturebook. Many different kinds of food are shown in the book with cultural ties and you could eat some of them with your child. How about going out to feed the pigeons. They are really fun to watch as they bob their heads and peck at the grain and nuts.
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