125 Wacky Roadside Attractions

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America loves fun and wacky inventions and exhibits. We love to throw our heads back and laugh out loud at the unexpected, or sit in wide-eyed, open-mouthed wonder and declare, “Wow, that was a good one.”

In that spirit, book lovers young and old will appreciate the debut of the latest national Geographic Kids’ eye-opening picture book: 125 Wacky Roadside Attractions.

The cover draws readers in with a firm hand–with its gravity-defying “floating faucet” that begs a detailed explanation of just what the heck is going on, and a humongous and menacing Darth Vader hot air balloon that practically shouts, “Hey, look at me!” There’s even a photograph of an everyday citizen swimming with the fattest pig you’ve ever seen. And again, that’s only the cover.

Inside the pages are even wackier photos and stories. There’s the giant wooden elephant-shaped building that stands over six stories tall and is eerily reminiscent of the mythical “trojan horse” (P. 29); the 56-foot tall red lobster that represents the Big Lobster Restaurants in South Australia (P. 26); and the steely 40-foot turtle (P. 33) that’s made of 2,000 tire rims.

There are things to do, like walking on water in a Waterwalkerz plastic globe (P. 26); browsing “carhenge,” a knock-off of Stonehenge (P. 36), where cars and trucks form a 96-foot circle; and a feathery fun day at the International Pillow Fight Day celebration (P. 42), where people from more than 100 cities come together to bop each other on the head and send feathers flying.

Readers can visit a splendid dog collar museum in Kent, England (P.54); see a 70-foot ketchup bottle water tower in Illinois (P. 58); gaze gape-mouthed at the upside down house in Poland (P. 14); and learn all about one of the most peculiar places on earth: Gravity Goes Wild (Santa Cruz, CA), where a gravitational anomaly makes its visitors think up is down (P. 64).

There are dozens and dozens of wacky places in this book — too many to mention, and certainly too many to remember. Thankfully, the Nat Geo publishers have included a handy road map (PP. 8-9) that lists every attraction and the city, state or country it appears in. There’s an intuitive Table of Comments and a detailed Index to help enthusiastic readers find what they’re looking for. And of course there are those incomparable Nat Geo photographs that simply boggle the mind.

Great for science, social studies and geography courses. Also great for planning a bit of family fun. Enjoy!

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