Title: Off We Go for 80 Days
Authors: Rina and Jimin Jung
Illustrator: Jun Jun
Publisher: Llumina Press
If you were a small child going on trip around the world, what would you want to write to tell others about your travels? Siblings Rina and Jimin Jung do that in their children’s book, Off We Go for 80 Days.
At one hundred and thirty-one slick glossy pages, this oversize hardbound book has a drawing of two children overlooking the world below them on the front cover. The back cover has two paragraphs about the book content and separate biographies of each young author along with a small note about the illustrator. With no profanity or scary situations, the book is targeted toward six to nine year old children who are interested in learning about the world from another child’s perspective. Illustrator Jun has colorful but simplistic drawings on almost every page that correlate to the city or place visited.
The book is a diary of six year old Jimin and nine year old Rina who are extremely well-educated, fluent in three languages, athletic scratch golfers and musically inclined as they take an eighty day trip around the world with their parents, visiting ten countries and forty-five cities. Usually boy Jimin writes his story on the left side of the page while girl Rina uses the right side for each location visited so one gets two vantage points from each different aged child.
Starting from New York, they fly to the United Kingdom, France, Monaco, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, China, Korea and back to Los Angeles in the United States over the almost three month period. Each country has a map of their travels as they visit the cities, towns, museum, stores and famous sights.
Since Jimin and Rina are well beyond their grade level, some of the reading may be hard for a young preschool or kindergarten age child. Even though six year old Jimin uses words like humongous, accelerator and marvelous, he also uses slang of gonna and ‘cause as he explains visits such as the Mercedes Benz factory, wineries, the Sistine Chapel, gondola rides and using the crossbow. Rina’s tales detail her compassion and observance of people, places and things such as a diamond factory, Anne Frank, castles, museums, a safari tour and a book store.
This book is very extensive from a child’s viewpoint, mainly because the children are well learned and accomplished. The two are very privileged to experience such a phenomenal trip at such early years of their lives and now have documented stories to remember as they grow into adults.