I’m always on the lookout for books about Hong Kong, both for my kids and myself. This week when my kids and I took one look at KidsGo Hong Kong (Haven Books, 2011), we were hooked! Written by Mio Debnam and stunningly illustrated by Tania Willis, it’s more than just a guidebook. It’s a treatise on Hong Kong.
My kids just love the super fun illustrations, and recognize many of their favorite things about Hong Kong (even though they’ve never been there): the Star Ferry, trams, floating restaurants, dim sum, and junk boats. These illustrations seem to resonate with them more than other Hong Kong images they’ve seen.
When I think about taking my kids to Hong Kong (and I do often, although I know it’ll still be some years from now), I picture taking them on all the different types of transportation: boats, trams, double-decker buses, and trains. So I was delighted to see that KidsGo Hong Kong devotes six whole pages of boating activities for kids!
But I love the whole book. One of my favorite parts is a detailed walking tour of Sheung Wan/Western District. It includes a nice map toward the back of the book, as well as pages that list other cultural attractions like markets, temples, and museums.
There are also sections about other cultural activities, restaurants, shopping, indoor excursions for those days when the weather is rainy or too hot, and things to do with younger kids. In the back of the book, a list Chinese festivals and common Cantonese sayings are things I can refer to even outside of Hong Kong.
Unlike other guidebooks, my kids have asked me to read this one time and again. In fact, when my three-year-old was in the throes of a major tantrum earlier this week, my five-year-old daughter picked up KidsGo Hong Kong and started ‘reading’ it to him, pointing out all of the fun illustrations.
The book is pocket-sized and 80 pages, yet it packs in the must-dos for kids and adults in Hong Kong. I would go so far as to recommend it all to adults, whether or not they have kids in tow.
For updated information about kid-friendly hotels and parent recommendations, check out KidsGo Travel Guides.