Through our website and book, we have connected with lots of different people, from tour operators, authors, and bloggers, to people visiting Costa Rica or thinking of making the move. But even we were surprised when we found out that one of Jenn’s college classmates had also written a book with Costa Rica in the title. What are the chances?
That classmate is Hanna Haidar. Hanna is the author of Earl’s Big Adventure in Costa Rica, a children’s book designed to get kids excited about travel. The book has two main characters: John, a boy from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and his friend Earl, who is a small blue monkey. Through wonderfully illustrated scenes drawn by Kimberly Newton, we learn that John wants to take Earl on a surf trip to Costa Rica. Earl is excited but has some worries too. Like a lot of kids traveling at a young age, Earl has questions about the language, what the people are like, and what kinds of food they eat. In Hanna’s kid-friendly writing style, John answers these questions with ease, and the two travel to the surfing town of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.
There are a lot of fun scenes in the book that capture what Costa Rica is really like. A packed bus, mountainous hills, sandy beaches, and a small-town soda (local restaurant) all provide a good visual introduction for kids not knowing what to expect.
The highlight of the book in our opinion, though, is the way that Earl gets over his fear of playing with other children who don’t speak the same language. With John’s encouragement and a little practice, Earl even begins to speak a few words of Spanish on his own, and finds out that foreign kids aren’t all that different.
Earl’s Big Adventure in Costa Rica is a great book to share with kids who are old enough to understand that they’ll be experiencing a different culture when they travel abroad. Hanna’s writing and Kimberly’s illustrations are both fun and accurate. We’re really glad that we connected with Hanna after all these years and very thankful he sent a copy all the way to Costa Rica for us. Truthfully, after reading the book, we even got a little excited to see what Earl’s next adventure would be. Guess we’ll have to check out Hanna’s second book, Earl’s Big Adventure in Japan, and his very adventurous blog.
For more information about where to purchase Earl’s Big Adventure in Costa Rica, visit Earl’s website.
Post by: Jennifer Turnbull-Houde & Matthew Houde