Sunday Afternoon Hotdog Meal, A: A Guide to Chicago Featuring Shrimp from the Fu: By 205 second through sixth grade students, all of whom are eager to show you ar

Aug 18, 2008

Combine Europe on $5.00 a Day and Kids Say the Darnest Things, add original illustrations and the observations of elementary school children, and you have a delightful, informative read. This book is a compilation of short essays written by the best native guides in Chicago… its children.
I have been to Chicago once; we made a wrong turn and the police escorted us out of a "rough" neighborhood in the late evening with our two wide-eyed sons (Todd was three and Andy was five) in the back seat. After that, I never really wanted to revisit the city. Times have changed and if I go, I’m taking this book with me so I can tell my husband where to go.
The child authors wrote about of points of interest, including the Adler Planetarium ("it is dark and can give you a creepy feeling"), the Chicago Cultural Center ("bring food, a camera, and a backpack in case of emergency"), City Hall (wear nice clothes and have an ID), the Lincoln Park Zoo (it’s free and the monkeys are human-like), Sears Tower (both scary and amazing), and The Shedd Aquarium ("smells fishy").
There is a restaurant review section, and Karen’s bottom line is "When you come to Chicago if you are starving, don’t panic!"
If I go in the winter, I’ll follow Santiago’s advice to "wear a huge jacket, a warm hat to keep your ears warm, and a scarf. Sometimes the scarf chokes you, so don’t put your scarf on too tight." Alexis recommends going ice skating in the winter, not in the summer.
Thanks to Melodi, I know about Chicago taxis: "A taxi can smell either like rotten fish, wet dog, or fresh flowers, and sometime all three at the same time." While Jocelyne wisely advises: "If you do not have money, you should have walked."
The book devotes a section about its authors. For instance, "Cynthia’s mom is going to have a baby soon and Cynthia is pretty sure it will be a boy." "Jamell refuses to eat black-eyed peas, which he claims are nasty, even though he has never eaten one." "Henry likes bugs even though everybody else hates them. He saves every bug he can. He once saved a water bug that was drowning."
This entertaining and informative book is a result of 826CHI, which is a non-profit that supports children with their writing skills and helps teachers inspire their students to write. It achieved its goal with this book. –Todd’s Mom (

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