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Kid-Centric Guidebooks: Worth a Read

Matt Villano

If your kids are old enough to read a guidebook on the next family vacation, odds are that they won’t want to read yours.

Your book has too many words. It spends too much time on art museums. Oh, and it’s yours.

Thankfully, Lonely Planet has come out with a solution to this problem: the new, kid-oriented “Not For Parents” series. The series, which debuted last October, approaches the traditionally boring “art” of guidebooking from the perspective of a curious teen-ager, presenting information about particular places in fun, digestible and slightly off-beat chunks.

In the NFP New York book, for instance, there’s a feature about rats (did you know a mother rat can have up to 285 babies in one year?). The NFP London book boasts a two-page spread about the local punk-rock scene, complete with some sick mohawk pix.

All of the books blend pictures and comic book-like illustrations. They’re all roughly the size and of a tablet computer, making them easy for youngsters to carry in a backpack or iPad case.

Other books in the series: guidebooks for Rome and Paris, as well as a general (and a larger format, hardcover) NFP Travel Book with tons of “cool stuff to know” about every country in the world.

(The smaller city guides retail for $14.99; the bigger book sells for $19.99. UPDATE: In celebratoin of the Olympics, Lonely Planet also is offering the NFP London ebook on the iBookstore free until Aug. 17. For more about this deal, click here.)

The folks from Lonely Planet say six more books for the series are scheduled to come out later this year: NFP Australia, NFP China, NFP Great Britain, NFP USA, NFP How to Be a World Explorer and NFP Extreme Planet.

If you’re heading to any of these destinations with the family, definitely give these books a whirl.

*One lucky “Are We There Yet?” reader will be the winner of a package of “Not For Parents” books, including the New York, London, Paris and Rome books, as well as the NFP Travel Book. Overall, the prize is valued at $80!

Simply click here to enter for a chance to win.

The giveaway runs from today (Tuesday, July 17) to Tuesday, July 31.